Acid House

Trainspotting 2, it's not. Although the author of "Trainspotting" penned this collection of stories, they don't manage to come up to par, cinematically speaking. A Scots trio of twisted tales that are, unfortunately, only mildly interesting. Punks might be wild, but they can also be boring.

The Acid House:
© RCV Film Distribution BV
© Film Four International

"The Granton Star Case"
Boab Coyle (Stephen McCole) glides along on a lifestyle that he believes anyone might envy. Only when it begins to fall apart does he get an inkling of how rough "tings" can be for a guy left to sail along on the thistles of life! His soccer teammates on the Granton Star see to it that he gets the boot because they're sure he's the one responsible for holding them back from a glorious future (e.g. - playing on a real field with nets). His aging, sleazy parents (Alex Howden & Anne Louise Ross) want him out of the house quicker if possible, so they can get on with their sex (spelled kinky) games while enjoying a bit more privacy. As if this isn't enough, his girlfriend (Jenny McCrindle) dumps him, but not before she throws it in his face that she's been bonking someone else for quite some time. Topping off this new found change of fortune, he loses his income once getting fired from his job at the illustrious furniture removal firm. God (Maurice Roeves), it seems has been waiting in the wings for Boab and, manifesting himself as a thirsty unshaven alky in the local pub, has one final lesson in store for yob Boab. He makes him reflect seriously on his past lifestyle by turning him into a fly. No Cronenberg monster, our hero winds up in the shit.

"A Soft Touch"
By far the most interesting of this filmed trip-tych is the story of Johnny (Kevin McKidd) and his wife Catriona (Michelle Gomez). After their shotgun wedding, these two move into a run-down, but affordable council flat to pursue the merits of marital bliss. Catriona may have put a crimp into Johnny's lifestyle by forcing him to marry into her sociopathic (and more some) family, but she has no intentions of letting their marriage put a crimp into hers. She continues painting the town, while Johnny stays home watching the baby. Whenever she's happens to be at home and he isn't, their punk neighbor Larry (Gary McCormack) bops along to take advantage of the free food, drink, TV, and pussy (excuse my Scots).. Being a friend as well as a neighbor, Larry eventually offers to let Johnny have a go with her for a cheaper rate than usual. The end of this turbulent and twisted affair winds up with a kind of inside- out, upside-down, modern version of "The Graduate". where Johnny and Catriona face a new, 90's lifestyle of the world in which some find themselves caught. Quo vadis, Jimmy boy?

"The Acid House"
Coco Bryce (Ewen Bremner) loves his acid almost as much as a baby loves its nipple, but a bad lot at feeding time turns this animal into one big baby raving for the ultimate reunion. A lightning storm and strong dose of mind transference switch his gray cells with that of the new born babe of neighbors Roy (Martin Clunes) and Jenny (Jemma Redgrave) which means that there now an infant's mind trapped inside his lanky pro-Hib body (and people, you may be surprised to hear, actually notice the difference). His drug induced psychosis sends him from raving to raging. On the one hand having his every need catered to in the hospital, while on the other feeding on Jenny's luscious teat, he enjoys the best of both worlds whilst trapped in a chemical generation version of "Look Who's Talking" and spouting some of the filthiest Edinburgh verbiage that ever came out of a baby's mouth. (The baby, despite attempts and makeovers by the movie's FX dept. to avoid it, looks mechanical and maniacal enough to be "Chucky's Uncle on Acid".)

Welsh's first endeavor at screenwriting proves that fiction is unquestionably his strong point and suggests that producer Alex Usborne might have been wiser securing the assistance of another scenarist like "Trainspotting" adapter John Hodge. Both director Paul McGuigan and producer Alex Usborne hail from documentary backgrounds and, although this undoubtedly adds to the gritty look and realistic feel of the whole, perhaps also contributes to the shortcoming of success in the department of dream-like qualities demanded (,but not satisfied) by 2 of the 3 stories which, when all is said and done, have eluded easy transference to the screen. Pass some more of that stuff around, will ya' Jimmy? In short, to be clear, to be sure, and not to boggle your mind, stories 1 & 3 suffer somewhat from their endeavor into the world of the cinema surreal of the drug-hype-punk-nineties craze, making 2 stand out far above them (at least by a so-called head) in it's rowdy venture through the rough edge of the gritty Granton crews.

Plus points for actors Stephen McCole, Kevin McKidd, Michelle Gomez, Gary McCormack, and Ewen Bremner. All deserve praise. Maurice Roeves adds a nice touch of class to the (w)hole.

No matter what your tastes may crave or your reaction to the meager movie matter may be, you should be able, nonetheless, to appreciate the mind-bending movements of an explosive soundtrack that combines elements ranging from The Verve to Nick Cave to Oasis. Its enough to make you Primal Scream.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett