R | 1h 34min | Drama | 11 September 2009 (UK)
Teenage gang member Cal hides his sexuality from his fellow happy slapping gang members’ often futile and violent dislike of anyone who isn’t the same as them, be they unsuspecting shoppers, foreign students, gays, etc. Hooking up with a random stranger (Scott), Cal is unaware that this chance meeting will eventually provide him with choices and routes of escape from the tedium of his unambitious and depraved life. When his world collides with Olivier, a French student he rescues from a pointless beating, he encounters a lifestyle that presents as many new experiences as it does obstacles.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for strong sexual content and violence including a brutal rape, pervasive drug use and language
Filmed in Bristol, England, UK on a non-existent budget of 20,000 euros (28,000 USD) with a cast made up almost entirely of first-timers to feature film, “Shank” is one of my all time favorites.
“Shank” is the story of teenaged “scallie” gang banger, Cal (Wayne Virgo), who is realizing his true desire for other men. In particular, his best friend and fellow gang member Jonno (Tom Bott) with whom he shares several very intimately awkward moments. His gang is known for filming the beatings that they frequently dish out to innocent bystanders. However, when the gang jumps an attractive young gay man, Olivier (Marc Laurant), Cal reaches his breaking point stopping the beating.
Having left his gang stranded to go and help the bloodied young man, Cal is now the target of their rage. Can these two young men from opposing worlds and different understandings of oneself survive all that is thrown their way? Directed by 21 year old Simon Pearce, “Shank” is a gritty and unapologetic look at a coming-out story that has never been seen before. Wayne Virgo is an extremely talented newcomer, who also happens to be a gorgeous young man with great attributes which are seen throughout out the movie.
“Shank” is violent and unsettling at times, sensual and compassionate at others, and has a well-balanced use of intimacy and nudity. All of which is necessary to truly tell this story of self-discovery and love. Most importantly it pulls you into the story from the moment it starts and holds you til the very end. Making you care for and feel for the characters, “Shank” is a perfect blend of every element that a good movie is made of.
With it’s gripping script (written by Darren Flaxstone and Christian Martin), beyond-their-years-in-talent acting, and superb direction and cinematography, “Shank” is a low-budget film that can stand against any Hollywood powerhouse…
Just letting you know…
Directors: Simon Pearce, Christian Martin (uncredited)
Writers: Darren Flaxstone, Christian Martin
Stars: Wayne Virgo, Marc Laurent, Tom Bott
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Languages: English, French
Filming locations: Bristol, England, UK
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4
File size : 4.01 GiB
Duration : 1 h 27 min
Overall bit rate : 6 524 kb/s