Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd

Christ, Tim Burton’s gone down the pan recently, hasn’t he?

After the fantastic Ed Wood and the ridiculously enjoyable Mars Attack, he went crazy on the remakes, failing to recreate Planet of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with any flair and making the more original Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish to a universal ‘so what?’

Now he’s remade a musical that nobody had seen in the first place. It also got an indifferent response from the critics. It doesn’t get a response from me at all, as it happens. It gets a deep, heavy snore. One hour and ten minutes in, I fell into a fantastic sleep and upon waking, it had ended. But what was the reason for my lapse into unconsciousness? Why did I plop into slumber? How could the work of this commercial auteur fail to inspire me?

If you haven’t seen it, you won’t know that half an hour of the film is devoted to Johnny Depp doing a sixth form impression of Bowie whilst singing the same lines over and over and over again. He sings to his razor blades that they are ‘his friends’. ‘His friends’. They are ‘his friends’. Instrumentation. ‘They’re my friends’. ‘His friends’. It never bloody ends! Honestly, the amount of time devoted to this section almost drove me to a monitor-smashing incident. Add the occasional intrusion of Bonham Carter doing her best Rada-actress-landed-in-Walford accent and fists become clenched and teeth get themselves gritted. It stinks.

Also repeated until it bores into your head is a song where the word ‘beeeautiful’ features a billion times. ‘Oh, she’s beeeautiful’ the young lad sings, until you’ve bitten your bottom lip off. ‘Beeeeautiful!’.

You just want it to end suddenly.

Even the bit with Sacha Baron Cohen fails to amuse. He arrives in the midst of heavy, intoxicating boredom, sings a bit whilst wearing tight trousers, then dies as quickly as he arrives. Even the bit where he gets his throat slit wide open is dull. The whole thing is as BORING AS FUCK.

*nods off just thinking about it*

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35 Responses to “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

  1. Napoleon Says:

    I didn’t like it when he was fighting with the naked fat man, and he got all old man’s old balls shoved in his mouth. I saw that at the cinema, and them balls were huge up there. Didn’t finish my popcorn, suffice to say.

  2. Swineshead Says:

    What – Borat?
    You seen the old man’s anus too – it was brown.

    What about Sweenily Todds and his blades?

  3. Napoleon Says:

    I refused to watch this because it’s a musical. That old man’s anus was disgusting. It was the sort o’thing Piqued likes.

  4. piqued Says:

    I think Burton is overrrated, though I like his clothes and biscuits (except Wagon Wheels)

  5. Clarys Says:

    My bloke and his best mate persuaded me to go and see this, despite my not wanting to. I gave in, and off we toddled to the cinema.

    Now, I played Mrs Lovett in a school version of Sweeney Todd, so I was aware of the nature of the film. The evening went something like this:

    *all settle into seats*
    *I get quite bored*
    *Depp does Bowie impression*

    Bloke and Friend, in unison: IT’S A FUCKING MUSICAL?!”

    Oh dear. Apparently they were both unaware of this fact. As were a group of townies, who left after the first song. My enjoyment at this point soared, as bloke and best friend were so pissed off they’d chosen to see a musical.

    I thought it was shit.

  6. piqued Says:

    ‘Sweenily Todds’

  7. Napoleon Says:

    Men shouldn’t be subjected to musicals. They’re the devil’s work. Women, being instruments of the devil, like musicals. Thus, women should be burned at the stake. I think this is right.

  8. Clarys Says:

    I didn’t like this musical though, it were rubbish. I do like other musicals though, proving your theory to be correct.

    *burns steak*

  9. Napoleon Says:

    My other half loves the musicals. My mum does too. And my grandma, my female cousins, and my aunt. They should all burn for this. And if you like Cats, you should burn twice.

  10. Swineshead Says:

    Piqued – Sweenily Todds was a deliberate misspelling.
    Btw, your Baron post was near impossible to edit as you’re an illiterate, booze-drenched twat.

  11. piqued Says:



  12. Napoleon Says:

    It was near-impossible to read, too. I gave up halfway through. I’m surprised he didn’t treat us to an article about Grand Designs Live. I can’t wait to hear how wonderful that was, even though it wasn’t, even though I’ve not watched it. But it most certainly wasn’t. Yes?

  13. Swineshead Says:

    I can guarantee it was shit, and the article that would follow from his fat fingers would be unreadable.

    As for musicals, not really my bag. Apart from Little Shop of Horrors which has a big singing plant and a song about a dentist. I liked that when I was wee.

    Yes – I was actually urine.

    Clarys – I’ve heard others say the same thing – they went in not knowing it was a musical. It amazes me that people don’t read up on what they’re about to see.

  14. Clarys Says:

    Mmm, I heard it mentioned by quite a few people, and there were obviously plenty in our cinema. I was quite surprised, I’d not mentioned it to them as I assumed they knew. Whoops.

    On another note, Iron Man is rather enjoyable, and not a musical.

  15. Swineshead Says:

    If it’s not a musical, Napoleon’s not interested. He quite likes musicals.

    I’ve got this to watch tonight. It looks shit/ace.

  16. Napoleon Says:

    I assumed it was shit. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Some people were hoodwinked by the trailer that contained no songs. I said at the time that there should be a banner reading ‘WARNING! THIS FILM IS A MUSICAL’ … but did anyone listen to me? Did they buggery.

  17. Napoleon Says:

    I don’t like musicals. I don’t, I don’t. I quite fancy seeing this Iron Man fillum (as the bog-trotters call films), and I want to see a film where Bruce Willis fights Dolph Lungren who’s snapping Van Damme’s neck who’s kicking Segal’s ass who’s emptying a clip into Norris’s face. With kung fu and nude girls. And dogs and explosions.

  18. piqued Says:

    I hate musicals more than all of you put together, and have more reason to do so too (for reasons I can’t divulge)


  19. Swineshead Says:

    ‘feeds me’??

    I don’t make any money out of this shit, you pervert.

  20. piqued Says:

    We all know you do, we all no…

  21. Napoleon Says:

    You don’t hate them more than I do. I hate them the mostest of anyone ever. And I don’t need to hide the reasons why.

  22. Swineshead Says:

    *watches clock until the Apprentice is on next*

  23. Napoleon Says:

    Holby’s on tonight. Oh yes. Nigel off of Eastenders looks like he’s going to have some Gilflicious fun with Jane Asher off of the 60s.

  24. piqued Says:

    NC, really you can’t

    One day I’ll tell you why, after I’ve touched you

  25. Napoleon Says:

    I can, and I do. There’s not a man living wot hates musicals as much as I do. Nobody.

    And you’re not touching me. The Bible has no truck with sodomites. You fat sodomite.

  26. piqued Says:

    You cannot and won’t

    …but I will have you, oh yes. I need to teach you a lesson

    *builds dungeon*

  27. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Why are you suddenly just ‘Napoleon’?

    Also, musicals are a tawdry crock of camp shit music performed by people who think it’s talented to sing like mariah carey with a turnip up her arse.

  28. Napoleon Says:

    It’ll be I teaching you a lesson, heathen. I’ll be there, at the right hand of God, laughing at you down there in Hell. Down there! ROASTING in the fires of torment with all the other sinners who comment on this Godless site! Burning! Burning along with:




  29. piqued Says:

    Calm down please

    I quietly hate musicals more than you with dignity and class


  30. Napoleon Says:

    I hate musicals more! There’s no end to my loathing of musicals! Your tawdry disaffection with the genre pales into insignificance when set aside my thunderous derision! I’d rather eat a bucket – that’s right, a bucket – of Swineshead’s turds than watch a musical. That’s what I’d rather do. That. And I’d still wolf ’em down if he’d eaten nothing but beetroot, dog food and pickled eggs for a month!

  31. piqued Says:

    I will take you at your word, sir

    By Jove I’ll be seeing you over his jobs before June all ready to bite down into creamy filth, there are witneses to this claim, this is a legal matter!


  32. Napoleon Says:

    No you won’t. It’ll be you, you filthy sinner, that’ll be gobbling down Swineshead’s turds. YOU. I’ll be laughing. Laughing and then milking Nigella’s big udders, and then adding that to the bucket so you can enjoy milky MILF-udder turds. BECAUSE I ‘ATES THEM MORE.

  33. dave Says:

    I fully agree. And can I actually be nice and say the quality of writing here, not that I’m an expert, is superseding the fodder from them so-called ‘journalists’. Get yourself on Comment Is Free.

    Also, don’t you find Sweeney Todd’s target audience a little alarming? I mean, there are those who like Gothic Horror, and those who like camp musicals – surely a correlation of the two would be a mid-twenties, Buffalo Bill-type figure, prancing around in his Austrian Cellar, singing Ra-Ra-Rasputin, whilst wearing a skin-suit made from his mother?

  34. Me Says:

    Well, I enjoyed it. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were both wonderful in the leading roles, both acting and vocally. The supporting actors, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman and Edward Saunders were great too.

    The songs are really good too; Not While Im Around is beautiful, A Little Priest, The Contest and By the Sea are all hilarious, particularly By the Sea, and Epiphany and My Friends are very good musically and vocally. I actually am cast as Mrs Lovett in my drama groups version, we have based it mainly on the film. The scene in Epiphany when Sweeney slams Mrs Lovett up against the wall is very difficult and scary to act, as is the final scene of Mrs Lovetts death.

    All the actors pull it off well, particularly Helena. Granted, she is dating the director, but Tim didnt actually want her in the film, but she auditioned for Stephen Sondheim anyway. She was pregnant during most of the filming, and having to act that you are in love with your fiancees best friend can’t be easy, which probably wasn’t helped by the fact said fiancée was directing the movie. Mrs Lovett is a very difficult character, she’s murderous, insane, intelligent, cunning, caring and totally on love with Sweeney, all at the same time.

    Trying acting all that and then singing too. Leave them alone

  35. Your Benefactor Says:

    To the musical haters:

    How darest thou insult the musical genius of Sondheim???

    Also, how the hell could you NOT know Sweeney is a musical? It’s only one of the biggest ever….

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