Tim Burton directs Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman in this horror musical about a vengeance fuelled barber who returns to London with only murder on his mind and access to a pie shop to handily dispose his bodies in.
“There’s a hole in the world like a great black pit, And the vermin of the world inhabit it, And its morals aren’t worth what a pig could spit, And it goes by the name of London.” What a joy this is… at times! Includes all my favourite post-Sleepy Hollow Tim Burton moments. The Pretty Women duet is a glorious 5 star number – it gives me tingles. Helena Bonham Carter’s By The Sea fantasy oscillates between jolly celebration and grumpy self parody of Tim Burton’s long established and unwavering house style. The usually bloodless director handles the Grand Guignol violence orgiastically. Paint red sprays, sluices and drip in big delicious and malicious globlules. As an actual musical, it is a tad too trapped and minor. The plot moves at a snail’s pace and hits a standstill too often, then it just ends on a clunk, with a few character threads untied. It almost gives up. So a wobbly experience overall but I utterly love me some of those scenes. And I’m struggling to think of a better Depp performance since Curse Of the Black Pearl. He’s all internal and malevolent and single minded. You can’t think of anyone else who could play this role. Which is the best kind of star vehicle. Writing this review makes me want to watch it again right now despite its glaring structural issues.
Perfect Double Bill: Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/