Nick Gillespie’s dark comedy Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is as sweet as it is sinewy. It tugs on your heartstrings, tickles your funny bone, and pulls out people’s intestines 😄 Never before has bitter revenge been so adorable. It’s also maybe the first movie gorehounds can watch with their gran! Although, gran might not be too thrilled about its commitment to eye-popping practical effects…
Celebrating its World Premiere at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break stars Tom Meeten (The Mighty Boosh), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd), Kevin Bishop (The Kevin Bishop Show), Steve Oram (A Dark Song), Alice Lowe (Prevenge), and June Watson (Chernobyl). Walking a tightrope between emotionally devastating drama and pitch-black humor, Nick Gillespie (along with fellow writers Brook Drive and Matt White) has crafted something really special in this delightfully twisted tale about never giving up on your dreams, and punishing the evil bastards that walk all over you.
Paul Dood (Tom Meeten) knows in his heart that he is a superstar, he just needs the rest of the world to see his talent. He livestreams constantly on “Trend Ladder” but is mostly mocked and ridiculed by everyone around him. His biggest fan and supporter is his loving mother (June Watson). She helps choreograph his routine, hand sews his costumes, and encourages him to reach for the stars no matter how unattainable they may seem. After a lifetime of preparing, he’s finally ready to audion for a national talent show but his dreams are crushed after a series of unfortunate run-ins with cruel strangers who couldn’t care less about stepping all over Paul and his ailing mother.
“…the first movie gorehounds can watch with their gran!”
Completely gutted after this life-ruining day, Paul does what any rational person would: He plans his revenge. Tired of letting people take advantage of his kind nature, Paul seeks out every nasty person responsible for the death of his dream. Part cringe-comedy, part revenge-fantasy, Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is littered with little moments that are sure to have you cheering Paul on, even if it does mean seeing a few meanies get their heads bashed in.
Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a heartfelt tale of revenge but it’s also an emotional story about grief and honoring the legacy & sacrifice of the people closest to us. Tom Meeten delivers an incredibly sympathetic performance as a man who has spent most of his adult life caring for his sick mother. He’s sweet and passionate and unshakably dedicated to his craft. To the outside observer, Paul is a delusional dreamer but every single musician playing to sold-out arenas has faced the same criticism. The world beats people like Paul down every single day and that’s why it is so unbelievably rewarding to see him stand up for himself and take his place in the spotlight.
Okay, so, that’s all well and good but why is Nightmare on Film Street (a predominantly horror-focused outlet) covering something so delightfully charming? Let’s just say that Paul‘s idea of revenge isn’t a series of harmless pranks. Paul wants blood! Like Spree made for the BBC, Paul livestreams the entire rampage, guts and all, in a deadly afternoon of star-studded redemption. And I’m not kidding when I say guts. Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break features a handful of gnarly sequences that range from brutally realistic to cartoonishly gruesome. It’s a do not miss for anyone desperate to get a little more brain matter in their tea time.
There is a line drawn down the center of this film that divides its tragicomedy from the fun, murder spree that follows. Knowing ahead of time that this was a revenge film, the first half was a little more drawn out than I had expected, but it’s essential for such a satisfying conclusion. I’m still abuzz with the joy this hilariously gory story filled me with even though some of its darkest moments punched my heart in the butt. The underdog story to end all underdog stories, Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a shot of courage and a comforting mug of warm milk served on a tray with the heads of your enemies as a garnish. It’s a triumphant journey bound to put a smile on the face of even the most jaded among us because who doesn’t want to give a standing ovation to someone brave enough to slay the competition, whatever it takes.
“The underdog story to end all underdog stories, Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a shot of courage and a comforting mug of warm milk served on a tray with the heads of your enemies as a garnish.”
Nick Gillespie’s Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break celebrated its World Premiere at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival. Click HERE to follow our full coverage of the festival and be sure to let us know if you’re excited to check out this hilariously gory tale of revenge over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.