sees Ross Noble join that long line of stand-up comedians, from
Morecambe and Wise to Cannon and Ball, who – either through
personal vanity or the misguided belief of film producers –
find themselves starring in movies, despite not being actors.
It's not always a recipe for disaster, but unfortunately,
this film makes The Boys in Blue look like the
height of sophisticated humour. As funny as AIDS, Stitches
joins Kill Keith
in that exclusive list of recent British (British/Irish in this
case) comedy horror films that will make you want to drive a steel
spike into your brain just to get some relief from the relentless
string of unfunny jokes and awful characters played by rotten
Horror comedy is, of course, a difficult thing to get right –
the balance between the two connected by very different genres
is a tricky one. No one even tries here. Instead, after an introduction
with Noble as predictably foul-mouthed, bitter clown Stitches
who dies in a birthday party accident, we get around 50 minutes
of the worst teen comedy imaginable, mostly taking place at a
party and filled with the sort of charmless characters that British
TV viewers will be only too familiar with. This goes on and on
and on. And on. Eventually, someone remembers that this is supposedly
a horror film, and the resurrected Stitches turns up to take his
bloody revenge on the kids who were not responsible for his death,
while cracking one-liners that I assume writer/director Conor
McMahon thought would have people rolling in the aisles.
Noble has such a one-dimensional part here – it's just looking
sinister and muttering puns in a raspy voice – that I can't
really criticise his performance... because there's little performance
involved. The rest of the teenage cast are uniformly dreadful
though. The best you can say about them is that they play a group
of self-centered, charmless, obnoxious tossers with consummate
The only thing that Stitches has going for it
are the practical gore effects, which are bloody, splattery and
gross. But it takes more than an exploding head, a disembowelling
and a brain-scooping to make a film work. Everything else here
is just awful.
Watching Stitches was, quite honestly, painful.
Don't put yourself through the same ordeal.
IT NOW (UK)
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE INSTEAD