Mona Lisa (1986)

Neil Jordan directs Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson and Michael Caine in this British neo-noir where a just out of prison criminal becomes a driver for a high class prostitute with a hidden agenda.

Much like sleazy Eighties New York, this seedy and blatant variation of Soho and Kings Cross doesn’t really exist anymore. Brewer Street has been gentrified over the 21st century and the back of the mainline station has been completely redeveloped. You can only see echoes of the vice and destitution, the clip joints and pick up areas when you wander these streets now. The slightly camp, always sinister thriller Jordan sets in this lost milieu is full of sexual violence, great acting and meta commentary. Hoskins stands out as the garishly ridiculous pawn in a game too big for him to understand. The excellent Tyson has never found quite such a worthy role. The movie is like a nightmare, one that often at least tries to pretend to pass for neon fantasy. Every thread of this pulls at you – sometimes it is so grim it turns your stomach, other times so cheekily flamboyant you marvel at its audacity. Awesome.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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