The Legend Of Barney Thomson


Last night I went along to the Festival Theatre to see the premiere of The Legend Of Barney Thomson, which also happened to be the opening film of The Edinburgh Film Festival. If you follow the link, you can watch the trailer and get a sense of what will be waiting for you come the general release in the middle of July.

The film sees the directorial debut of Robert Carlyle who has managed to get a cracking cast together and uses them extremely well to bring out the many flavours of the story.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the film is based upon the excellent The Long Midnight OF Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay and published by the Scottish team at Blasted Heath (who also publish my own Southsiders and one of the reasons I went along). I reviewed the book many moons ago here. If you want to get ahead of the game, you can find the first book in the series here (a Kindle steal at 99p) and the whole omnibus (The Barbershop Seven) here.

I really enjoyed the film. It’s stays true to the book and that is to its credit. It’s a very funny, dark piece just like the novel. It opens with the posting of body parts by a serial killer and in the barber’s shop where Barney is on the verge of losing his job. The police are on the case after a fashion and, due to unforeseen events, eventually end up on Barney’s doorstep.

In terms of the plot, I won’t elaborate here. I can say that it’s extremely funny, visually very pleasing (occasionally stunning) and that the performances are superbly OTT. As reference points, I’d pick Shallow Grave, After Hours and TV’s Tutti Frutti with a nip of Hot Fuzz and Carry On. Judging by the guffaws of the audience, this one’s going to do very well indeed.

A word of warning, it’s not for those who dislike strong language or the macabre.