St. Trinian’s is a bit of a British institution. Based on the illustrations of Ronald Searle, the first film, The Belles of St. Trinian’s, launched a reasonably successful franchise that plays to a lot of our traditional end of pier seaside humour (which is invariably as funny as cancer) and borders on the frankly fetishistic on more than one occasion, particularly with regards to the Sixth Form (the 18 year olds). In the original films, they were effectively being run as a brothel by Flash Harry (the incomparable George Cole), but very much weren’t the focus of the films. The actual meat, so to speak was that the headmistress Millicent Fritton (Alastair Sim) had an educational philosophy that allowed the girls to run wild, and the fourth form in particular would get up to all sorts of hijinks, outwit the dimwitted local constabulary, and they would usually end in some sort of wild mêlée. They were all, though, essentially harmless and basically good natured “family” films. In 2007, some genius had the idea that it would be a good idea to bring this obvious anachronism back for the 21st Century, cast it full (in classic Hollywood style) of “hot” women too old for the parts, focus on the 6th form and place Rupert Everett in the Sim role. Sadly, the damned misbegotten idea made money, which meant that in 2009 we were treated to the sequel: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold.
Buckle up, this one’s going to be rocky. Oh, and spoilers below.
Listen very closely, fire-crotch
Jarv’s Rating: 1 Chang- polished and clearly accomplished, but unfortunately more boring than golf.
This film has taught me three valuable lessons that I shall forever carry with me: 1) Bruce Campbell makes an awful lot of shit, 2) Witchcraft movies are fundamentally boring, and 3) PG13 horror is a complete and utter waste of time. I did, admittedly, already suspect this, but it was nice to have it confirmed for the small price of 2 hours of my life that I’m not going to get back.
Now we reach the climax of the list, it becomes harder for me to separate and rank them. This is a film that I saw back when it was first released that just blew me away. It’s got a terrible reputation, mostly down to the bad timing behind the release (what with it being so close to Columbine) but to treat it as a mere exploitation film is to underrate and disparage a staggering achievement. Battle Royale is a masterpiece of dystopian cinema that creates a bleak and depressing landscape of generational fallout and every man for himself.