Righteous Villains will be released on DVD and digital download from 19th April and is the third instalment from director Savvas D. Michael for distributors Saints and Savages, this time taking a London crime story into the dark underworld of secret societies and devil worshipping.
It starts with a wild mob thirsty for blood and a bloodied man lying in bed berating a secret society he’s fallen foul of. He begins to narrate his story about how he got into this position. A self-confessed thief, liar and con artist; this door-to-door salesman, Jeremiah (Jamie Crew), dupes vulnerable people with his lottery postcode scamming. Having lived a life of poverty he’s doing whatever he can to survive, so when he gets an anonymous invitation from a man in a white suit, it is one he can’t refuse. The strange invitation introduces him to a spiritual preacher, Adrestos (Cavin Cornwall), weirdly keen on self-harming. He’s also joined by a foul mouthed Jolie (Lois Brabin-Platt), hellbent on trouble having lost her lover, Mickey Monroe (Gary Dourdan), the man who saved her from a life on the streets. She too has nothing to lose and they accept their challenge to visit the secret society, a New World Order, who sell their souls to Satan. Their job is to find a child, a descendent of the illuminati, in return for a handsome reward and for Jolie she will be reunited with her dead husband. But only one of them will be able to escape Satan’s lair.
As the third film in quick succession from Savvas D. Michael, it continues with the theme of exploring criminal underworlds full of unpleasant characters but this time looking into secret societies and devil worshipping. Like his previous films there are plenty of guns and violence and some shockingly offensive dialogue but it lacks much of the vibrancy from its predecessors including any entertaining soundtrack. The talk of lost sacred scriptures in juxtaposition with the brash tough talking cockney vernacular tries hard to entertain but lacks any likeable panache and the costumes and sets at times fall short in making believe we’ve been transported to anything but a fancy dress party on a northern isle of England. Lois Brabin-Platt is the gun wielding female gangster with full-on swearing, which she plays to a fault but her desire to be reunited with her dead husband (Gary Dourdan who is reduced to a somewhat limited zombie state) is a little bit deluded from the start. Adam Deacon is the authoritative demonic voice of Satan and whilst there is some light-hearted social mimicry, like the judge passing sentence on the sinners, the supporting cast of damned followers mostly fail to impress. There’s also a cameo from Steven Berkoff who is barely recognisable at the back of shot, unless watching on a big screen. He’s pampering his poor grandson, Jeremiah, played by Jamie Crew, who’s squirming uncontrollably on his bed doing his best tribute to the Exorcist, as he recounts his brush with the devil.
It’s another bold attempt at a gangster epic drawing upon pulp gangster stories and horror influences that raises the bar again, but sadly, mostly for offensiveness, in another unashamed attack on political correctness. There are flashes of mystical intrigue from the script which is overloaded with ideas but its narration and visual imagery never fully captivates in its attempts to bring the criminal underworld and the mythical underworld together.
Film: Righteous Villains
Director: Savvas D. Michael
Stars: Gary Dourdan, Lois Brabin-Platt, Steven Berkoff, Adam Deacon
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Run time: 1hr 15min