I really like being surprised by films To pop in a DVD or click onto a digital thumbnail and watch a film that I didnt know anything about (other than perhaps the cast or a premise) and then seeing a story unfold. It doesnt happen much with the big budget Hollywood style films due to online spoilers and magazine articles telling me whos in it, what character they are playing and details scenes that will be show 2 hour into the film. I tell you its hard work being surprised by films nowadays unless you stick to watching indie films that are made outside the big studio system. Then you are fine because sadly not many people talk about the smaller films, and yet they are some of the best films out there. Check out Bone Tomahawk or Blue Ruin if you want a couple of fine examples.
For 2016 I vowed to work my way through the insanely piled up backlog of British indie films that I have been purchasing on DVD for the past few years. The stockpile must be at least 100 or so titles and thats just a rough guess.I havent the heart to actually count them. Last nights random selection from the pile was a film from 2010 entitled ‘Freight; Written and Directed by Stuart St Paul Starring Billy Murray (Rise Of The Footsoldier, McVicar), Craig Fairbrass (Breakdown, Cliffhanger) and Lauran Aikman (Waterloo Road) in I have to say a seriously original film (well I thought it was anyways). Starting with the theft of not one but two portaloos (portable toilets) from a building site and then progressing down a tit for tat revenge movie with human trafficking, illegal cage fighting and a whole host of other plot elements wonderfully knitted together into ninety minutes. There is enough drama, action and crazy goings on in this film to satisfy anyone that needs entertaining. Freight also abides by the law of UK crime films that a scene must be set in a lap dancing bar , but hey there are far worse places to use as a location thats for sure.
Billy Murray is as always on form in the roles he plays. There is something about that guy that just makes him watchable and 100% believable in every role he takes on, and having met the man himself for a few minutes a couple of years ago, he is a damn fine gentleman as well. Charming. Craig Fairbrass, who can be seen in this months Breakdown, is on form in the wheelhouse role of tough guy. The scenes where he is in combat either with a gun or his fists are pretty brutal and hes the sort of character you wouldn’t want to annoy.
I have to mention writer director Stuart St Paul whos stunt background has to have come into play in this film, and the action set pieces are brilliantly done, I wasnt familiar with his name, but from now on I shall be keeping an eye out for Stuart St Paul being connected with a film.
Freight does take a slight confusing story beat around the one hour mark but nothing severe, it just made me think ‘erm would that happen’ but it certainly didnt distract me from the film or make me think any less of it. It just took me a couple of minutes to adjust.
Another highlight of the film is a guy called Danny Midwinter who until a few moments ago I didnt realise he wasnt a Romanian actor. Danny plays the role of Cristi in the film, and whom I would describe as a bloody scary and creepy cinematic villain who I wouldnt want to get on the wrong side of. He plays is very much like someone that would fit into Paul Hyetts film The Seasoning House (even though that was set in Serbia…its all scary Eastern European stuff) Cristi is brutal, ruthless and appears to be pretty much unstoppable. A scene where he faces up against Gabe (played by Billy Murray) is excellent and from then on, we the viewer are pretty scared about the repercussions that may or may not happen because of it.
Freight is available on DVD