- Alex Cox/Revengers Interview
- Eddie interview
- 60 Second Interview
- No Surrender 
- Eddie Cuts Up Rough
 - Stage Fright
 - On Location

Film Festivals

View the Theatrical Trailer
   (Quicktime download 6.5mb)


Director, Alex Cox's Diary

- Intrepid Media
- Digital Bits
- Daily Yomuiri
- Seattle Times   
- Modern Literary Studies
- High Angle
- Entfirst
- Senses of Cinema
- The Independent
- Guardian UK
- Liverpool Echo
- Scotsman
- Entfirst
- Guardian
- Variety
- The Scotsman
- The Indepdent
- FilmFour

Revengers Tragedy on DVD (Region 1)

Released June 24, 2004, you can order it HERE. (thanks Beth)

Will be released in Norway on DVD October 13, 2004 (thanks Bjorn)



Alex on the Portland Screening
Wednesday 3rd September

I'm in Portland, Oregon, for the US premiere of "Revengers". The Mission Theatre is the ideal venue: a stalls-and-circle piece of Victoriana with a micro-brew bar in the back. Not only is this the film's first paying US show, it is also a benefit for a local HIV charity, and the occasion of the First Annual Eddie Izzard Portland Film Retrospective. The event is sold out, perhaps in anticipation of the arrival of Ed, and a raffle of various 'Items That He Has Touched'. And indeed, Eddie graciously attends. He has a stand-up gig in Portland tonight and three over the weekend in Seattle - by coincidence the next destination of the film. I retire, jetlagged. Apparently Ed returned after his show to do an impromptu Q&A at the second "Revengers" screening. The man is a trouper.

Thursday 4th September

Steve and I take the train from Portland to Seattle, through some extraordinary countryside. I shoot all the bridges the train passes over; metal struts flashing past outside the window, rivers and mountain ranges beyond. It's all good stuff for transitions in future mini DV films. Over the broadband at the hotel, I get my marching orders from this website! After months of searching, BBCi Films has found a replacement for this particular director, and the next week's offering will be my last. I throw myself upon the bed, drenching my pillows in tears. (Thoughts of an angry not-so-young British novel well up: Alexis, an-approaching fifty-something seventy-five-pound-a-week web logger, loses his only regular employment, and embarks upon a voyage of discovery / vengeance trail / trip to the dole office... CUT TO: Arizona Highway / Chainsaw Section of Rapid Hardware / DSS queue.) In reality it's good - no, really. New blood, and all that. It's been a laugh. And, having got used to it, I reckon I'll continue to post something weekly on my website, if only to compete with the wife, who's publishing her diary now at The Exterminating Angel.

Friday 5th September

The Seattle paper has a very nice review of "Revengers Tragedy", as do both the weekly papers. Eddie and Carla Henry are singled out for praise. Humming gaily, I walk down sunlit colonnades to my lovely hotel where I write three Buñuel pieces which I've long owed the BFI. As I'm firing them off, I receive an email from Chase, the New York Scouser who directed "On the Nod". Chase says Anthony Minghella has just called his producer and asked to see their script. Their feature project is called "The American". I hope to see it reviewed here before too long. The 8.30pm screening at The Grand Illusion Cinema is - how to put this? - spartanly attended. But the 11pm "Revengers" show, which Eddie attends, is completely packed. Weeping acolytes are turned away. Tonight, Eddie wears false breasts, a white t-shirt declaring that he is 'SEXIE', and a mini-skirt. It's the first time I've seen him in drag.

Saturday 6th September 2003

The same thing happens at The Grand Illusion this evening. There is a modest turn-out for the early shows, sans Eddie. And a sell-out crowd shouting "Whoa!" and "Yea!" when Ed is there. I start going through the phone book, looking for Celebrity Lookalike Casting Agents. I must hire Eddie Izzard impersonators. If I can book one for every screening of "Revengers Tragedy", the film's American success will be assured!

A Fan's Perspective
(thanks Chrissy)

So I went to the screening of "Revenger's Tragedy" on Saturday, the late show in Seattle where Eddie & Alex Cox made an appearance. Thought I'd pass along a few observations in case anyone else reading this gets a similar opportunity.

Eddie, in what I thought was an admirable decision not to let the evening be just about him, announced he'd just answer questions about the film. Anything about the film (story, actors, location, special effects, etc) got a thoughtful and/or funny answer. He and Alex tag-teamed a bit; Alex is also a funny person.

But every minute or so, someone in the audience had to pipe up, "I have a message for you from my friend in _______", "Can I have a hug?", etc... etc... Each of these comments fell into the room with a clunk that was almost audible. And to every single one of them, Eddie responded, (politely at first, then with a more pissed-off edge to his voice as people didn't take the hint) something along the lines of "well, that's about my gig and not this film, so I can't address that." or simply, "No!"

So my advice to anyone who attends a future screening like this is, keep Eddie's rule in mind and think of creative or funny questions about the film. You will be rewarded with an answer instead of a rebuff and scorn from the audience. You might even make Eddie laugh at something you've said, which is a lovely payback indeed.

Revengers Screening

Catch it if you can!
3 September MISSION THEATRE Portland, Oregon
5-12 September The GRAND ILLUSION Seattle, Washington
13 September in EURO SPACE Tokyo, Shibuya

Revengers Coming to the US?
From Alex Cox's Diary:

Doesn't seem like it will make the west coast run but will probably play Seattle and Oregon. No official word yet about the Retrospective Film Festival but here is a rather amusing diary entry from Alex Cox:

A couple of years ago, I directed a feature called "Revengers Tragedy" (recounted in previous diaries). I was lucky to be directing a film that really was mine: an idea I had nurtured and pursued for years, finally brought to the screen. But what they don't tell you at film school is that if you are a director you may spend six months to a year making a film, but you will then spend between one and two years promoting it.

Since "Revengers Tragedy" was finished, 18 months have passed. During that time I've paid for and maintained the website, attended at least 20 screenings and Q&A sessions, travelled all over the world and done maybe 100 interviews.

In other words, on a modestly-budgeted independent feature, a director works for a modest salary for nine months, and then works 18 months for free.

Why am I telling you this? Am I so downhearted that I must actually unburden myself in this embarrassing and public way?

Actually, no. I'm actually quite chuffed. The reason is; on Wednesday I was up to my neck in work promoting the US release of "Revengers" and on Thursday I was not.

After The Film Council and Pathé agreed to our US distribution proposal for "Revengers", Tod and I assumed that the other investor would accept it as well. But because we didn't want to get in any deeper into distribution without their agreement (and because Tod's just written a script and I have been asked to direct it!) we gave them a deadline of Thursday to respond.

The financiers ignored the deadline. It was too late to cancel the screenings in Portland and Seattle, so we must still make sure they receive prints and publicity materials and absorb the cost of that. But we were able to shut the rest of the US distribution down.

As a rule, you don't make money from the theatrical distribution of an independent film. You put it in the cinema because the opening brings reviews from the major newspapers. These reviews, if they're good, can be put on the video box and the DVD cover. And this translates into a more enthusiasm and a better price when one makes a sale to the DVD distributor, or to TV.

So from a business point of view a cinema release in a major market is a common sense thing to do. Not to have one means the film will be worth less, and will be seen by fewer people. Why then am I glad that we aren't having one?

Because missing our deadline meant that the financiers didn't think it was worth observing. Which suggests to me they have a rather low opinion of us. (The Peckinpah complex.)

So we withdrew our offer, and I contacted Liverpool-based producer Sol Papadopoulos to say I'd be available to direct "I'm a Juvenile Delinquent - Jail Me!", based on Tod's screenplay, in September. Today my esteemed business partner finally broke the news to me that one of these financiers (not The Film Council) had objected to our taking the "Revengers Tragedy" website offline in protest against the Iraqi War.

To this financier I say, and to anyone who doesn't like political content on film-related websites, you'd better avoid, starting next week.

You can read the full entry here.

(August 18, 2003)

The Film Council have re-considered, and have told us that they are prepared to let Exterminating Angel distribute "Revengers Tragedy" on the west coast of the US, as mentioned two diaries ago. This is very sensible of them and - though there isn't a lot of time left - if the other financiers are willing, we can still give it a go. Regardless, the excellent Steve Tenhonen is forging ahead with the First Annual Eddie Izzard Retrospective Film Festival in Portland, Oregon, to coincide with Ed's appearance there on 2nd September. (August 11, 2003)

"Next day a train to Reading, a bus to Heathrow, and a plane to the States, in connection with the "Revengers Tragedy" West Coast tour. The idea is that - thanks to the efforts of the valiant Steve Tenhonen, who runs a cinema in Portland - Exterminating Angel will bus a couple of prints around from LA and San Diego to Seattle and Vancouver, taking in other cultured and collegial cities en route. We've offered to pay for the prints and publicity, and to try to time it to coincide with The Eddie Izzard Conquers America! tour. In return, we've proposed a 50-50 split of all US revenues with the investors. Pathe, our sales agents, are in favour of this, since a release in the cinema inevitably translates into reviews from newspaper magazines, and - ideally - a better price for the TV rights and DVD, and better sales of the latter. (Tod secretly hopes the investors will say no to our proposal since the tour is bound to be a lot of work and a drain on our energies and resources. She thinks we should shut down the website, forget about the US theatrical, and move on to other things. For some reason - probably the UCLA screening in December - I think the movie might have a life in the US, and that it's worth the attempt.)

Later in the week Tod and I receive the news that, in spite of Pathe's enthusiasm, the Film Council and their co-investors won't go for our proposal. Which is a pity, and perhaps a tad myopic. How often does one of their directors offer to fund and arrange a US theatrical distribution for one of their films? I call Steve in Portand, and tell him. He's a bit down, since he's put a fair bit of work in, and most of the cinemas were pretty keen. But it means that Tod and I can at last put "Revengers" behind us, be shut of that pesky website, and concentrate on new things." (July 28, 2003)

"I am now in my second year of unpaid promotion of the thing - and the US release is still four months down the line!"
(July 8, 2003)

Revengers in Vancouver

Revengers Tragedy will screen in Vancouver at the Revenger's Tragedy on July 12, 2003 as part of the CINAMUERTE INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL. (thanks Diana)

The Dome Cinema Hosts Alex Cox

The Dome Cinema (Worthing, West Sussex, UK) will host THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR, a series of special events for film enthusiasts, starting with THE REVENGERS TRAGEDY on Sunday 30th March, 2003 at 3 pm.

Joining us on 30th March is the film’s director, ALEX COX. He will be answering questions about this film, and about his impressive backlist of work, which includes writing and direction for films such as ‘Sid & Nancy’, ‘Repo Man’, ‘Death & The Compass’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.

Tickets for the afternoon cost £15, to include full afternoon tea, and £10 for the film and discussion only. All proceeds from the event will go to the Dome Regeneration Appeal, which is trying to raise £150,000 to carry out essential restoration work on the Dome’s 1911 building. Booking is essential; either call in to see us in person, or ring the box office on (01903) 823112. Please note that afternoon tea starts at 3 pm prompt; those attending for the film and discussion need only to arrive at 4 pm. You can get more info HERE.

Bradford Film Festival Honors Alex Cox

The BRADFORD FILM FESTIVAL (Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK) will honor Alex Cox at this year's festival with a viewing of some of his greatest movies including: Revengers Tragedy, Sid and Nancy, Repo Man, Death and the Compass, Edge City, Emanuelle: a Hard Look, Highway Patrolman, Straight to Hell and others. The festival runs from March 14-29, 2003. Ticket info is HERE.

"It's always nice when the eccentrics show up..."

Alex Cox talking about how fun it was filming Revengers Tragedy: "It really was fun. Basically I think it all came from the brothers - Ambitioso (Justin Salinger), Lussurisoso (Eddie Izzard), and Supervacuo (Marc Warren). You know, it's saying something when Eddie Izzard is the normal one! They really tried to outdo each other. Justin Salinger showed up one day with a pink cowboy hat on and everyone else got really annoyed because somehow he'd managed to get the pink cowboy hat. So that was very amusing. It's always nice when the eccentrics show up!"
You can read the REST OF THE ARTICLE and enter to win a various Revengers goodies!

Alex in Edinburgh

CULT film director Alex Cox is coming to Edinburgh for a talk and special screening of his new movie in a city cinema. The maker of films such as Sid and Nancy and Repo Man will host a question and answer session at the Filmhouse after the 7.45pm screening of Revengers Tragedy on Saturday, February 15, 2003 . Christopher Eccleston, Derek Jacobi, Eddie Izzard and Sophie Dahl feature in the all-star cast of the movie, which is billed as a "Jacobean horror-comedy about family, love, revenge and the criminal aristocracy" set in 2011. Cox, the presenter of the BBC cult film series Moviedrome, was in Edinburgh last August for the world premiere of Revengers Tragedy at the city’s film festival.

Revenger 101

You can now download a Revengers Tragedy STUDY GUIDE that's being used in some UK schools in conjunction with the film. It's a .pdf file so you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Revenger News

Congratulations to Revenger's Tragedy for winning "BEST BRITISH FILM of 2003" at Birmingham Film Festival!! Also some new dates:

  • Black Nights Film Festival - Estonia Gonsiori 27 EE10147 Tallinn, Estonia 5th and 8th of December
  • Liverpool PREMIERE new date! 21 Febuary 2003 at the FACT Centre
  • Opens 14th Febuary Curzon, Soho and around UK

From Alex Cox's Diary

To the Edinburgh Film Festival, for the UK premiere of "Revengers Tragedy". Actor Eddie Izzard, producers Margaret Matheson and Tod, and cinematographer Len Gowing are present for the screening, which goes quite well. A full house of approximately 250 people. I sit at the back and count the non-returning walk-outs, of whom there are four.

Afterwards, we repair to Ed's hotel for a rather grand dinner for 20 in the Lower Dining Room. The white wine flows like, er... fill in appropriate flow metaphor... and I have many delightful conversations, the exact details of which elude me the following morning.

But I do not forget that we have taken vows to kit ourselves out appropriately for our press conference and photo call. So the next day, after a brief visit to BBC Radio Scotland, we head for the kilt shop on Princes St.

Selecting the correct Scotsman's outfit is a tricky process. Our shopping adviser Kevin, tells us that Sean Connery is always kitted out in full-dress black-evening-wear-and-kilt, but that this doesn't go down well with discerning locals at a midday function. "Of course, he's Sean Connery, so I reckon he thinks he can pull it off," says Kevin, eyeing us closely. We opt for day-wear. Eddie goes for the lower half only (kilt plus donkey jacket); I opt for the full whack, including green tie and tweed jacket.

Rather disappointingly, health and safety laws don't permit Kevin to rent us real daggers to stick in our socks. We make do with plastic substitutes, which are replaced with Swiss army knives at the first opportunity. I don't know if the kilts make any difference at the press conference, but they are certainly a hit at the preceding photo call. Though modestly we resist the invitations to 'give us a twirl.'

When I return to the kilt joint to settle up (Ed has been kind enough to invite all 20 of us to dinner, so it seems only right that I should spring for his kilt), Kevin informs me, "of course if you were to buy a kilt today the hire would be free...". Unable to resist what appears to be a bargain, I spend the next two hours modelling a variety of kilts for Tod and Margaret. I'm keen on the Matheson tartan, but Tod - unaware perhaps of the terrible slight to her fellow producer! - ain't. I finally go for the Pride of Scotland, a bright purple tartan which I wear on the train back.

We both contrive to trap our fingers in the sliding doors of the brand-new Branson tilting Pendolino train to Preston. After a half hour wait in that charming place, we catch the last yellow Arriva train to Lime St. It is full of exhausted, mardy children, in the charge of smelly, drunken grown-ups who keep hitting them and then apologising: a grisly, Hogarthian scene. Welcome home!

Speaking of festivals, I would like to thank the organisers of the Edinburgh and Cambridge festivals for their very kind invitations, and the lovely screenings of our film.

I'd like to thank the organisers of the Chichester film festival too, for their forthcoming screening on 5th September - but I do have one request: would they please stop saying on their website and in press releases that I'm coming to do a Question & Answer session at the screening? Unfortunately (as the distributors have told them) I have a meeting in Paris on 5th September seeking money for "Helltown". I've emailed the festival about this, but have had no reply. Sorry about the confusion. I hope the screening goes well, and apologies to anyone (Sid and Doris Bonkers?) who may be planning to attend the imaginary Q&A.

Revengers Ties for Eighth Place

Standard Life Audience Award /Edinburgh Film Fest

1. Rabbit Proof Fence
2. Out Of Control
3. Tadpole
4. The Guru
5. All Or Nothing
6. This Is Not A Love Song
7. Morvern Callar
8. 8 Women / Revengers Tragedy / One Hour Photo
9. Once Upon A Time In The Midlands

About the Award
Sponsored by Standard Life, this award is potentially the most interesting to Film Festival goers as the winner is chosen by audience vote (you are given a voting slip as you take your seats in the cinema), from films in the Gala and British Gala sections. The Standard Life Audience Award was the first to be chosen solely by the audience, and celebrates mainstream cinema: narrative skill, characterisation, suspense, spectacle and comedy. Previous winners of this award have included Peter Cattaneo's The Full Monty, Wim Wender's Buena Vista Social Club and Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot. Last year's winner was Jean-Pierre Jeunet's widely acclaimed Amelie.

More stars expected at Edinburgh Film Festival

Rhys Ifans, Robert Carlyle and Eddie Izzard have been added to the list of stars expected at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Ifans and Carlyle will be joined by Shirley Henderson to help promote their new film Once Upon A Time In The Midlands. Izzard will be promoting his new film Revengers Tragedy. The Film Festival takes place between August 14 and 25. (from

Eddie at Locarno
(click on pic to enlarge or click here and here for really HUGE photos)

Revenger's Tragedy Festival Dates

- Filmport 04, Oslo (February 27. – March 4. 2004)
- Tromsø International Film Festival (January 13.-18. 2004)
- Jacksonville Film Festival (May 16, 2003 @8pm and May 18 @1pm)
- Cambridge Film Festival (1900 hrs Friday 12 July)
- Locarno Film Festival (August 1-11)
- Edinburgh Film Festival (Cameo 1, 2100 hrs Wednesday 21 August)
- Edinburgh FilmFestival (Cameo 2, 2130 hrs Saturday 24 August)
- Chichester Film Festival (Sept. 5, 8.30)

- Leeds International Film Festival (October 6)
- Cork Film Festival (October)
- Hamburg Film Festival (Sept. 28/29)
- Cairo Film Festival (October)
- Birmingham Film Festival (November)

Interview with Alex Cox
(from the Locarno site/ thanks Spoot!)

Blood on the Mersey Sex, revenge and
torture in downtown Liverpool

Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy) returned to his home town of Liverpool to make a bloodcurdling modern-day adaptation of Jacobean stage classic, The Revengers' Tragedy (screening in Locarno's Competition.)

What about Liverpool made you want to shoot there?
I am from Liverpool. I shot a film there four years ago, called Three Businessmen, and thought that, along with Mexico City, it is just about the ideal place to be making films. Now I've made two features there and think it's doubly so!

Is Jacobean revenge tragedy relevant to contemporary audiences?
We are the same people as they were. And the language of the Jacobeans is much closer to ours than even Shakespeare's. There was a political and cultural shake-out when Elizabeth Tudor died, and the Jacobean playwrights had a lot more freedom (in the sense that they were less likely to be dragged away and tortured, like Kyd, or murdered by government agents, like Marlowe.) This helps the artist.

Were you surprised that a public funding body like The Film Council's was prepared to get behind the project? No. Revengers is a British classic and a risky piece which no studio would have the balls to attempt. It is just the sort of project the Film Council should be doing, and I am very glad they went for it.

Why did you cast Sophie Dahl (a model and society figure) in Revengers Tragedy?
The casting was by Gary Davy, who was stage manager of the Royal Shakespeare's brilliant production of Revengers atthe Swan in 1987. And Sophie does the best cod-Lady-Diana I have ever seen. Do you still have ties with the Mexican industry? I would love to make more films in Mexico but the industry is currently devoted to yuppie comedies, which cuts the really good directors - Arturo Ripstein, Luis Estrada, et al - out of the picture. These things are cyclical, though, and I'm sure some beefier, more political features are on the way.

What's happened to your long-gestating Bunuel project which Javier Bardem was to star in?
Bardem dropped out and I am instead going to make it with glove puppets.

What are you working on now?
I'm doing a Japanese detective series called Mike Yokohama starring Masatoshe Nagase. I may make a film called Digital Jesus - a drama about cyber-terrorism - in New York at the end of this year; and, if I'm very lucky, a film called Helltown starring Michael Madsen, Dennis Hopper and Eddie Izzard in 2003. Plus Women Beware Women and the Bunuel glove-puppet biopic. (gm)

Movie Review

Sheila Johnston in Locarno
06 August 2002
Dir: Alex Cox. UK. 2002. 112mins.

UK film-maker Alex Cox first came across Thomas Middleton's Jacobean revenge tragedy as a student in 1976, when he was intrigued by its very modern blend of morbid comedy and ultra-violence. His long-planned screen version is steeped in a 1970s anarcho-punk sensibility, with Derek Jarman a striking influence on its satirical and apocalyptic elements (Jubilee, The Last of England) and irreverent anachronisms (Edward II, Caravaggio). The result has a slightly dated feel: its rebellious mood might have been perfect for Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee in 1977, but looks less representative of Blairite, Golden Jubilee Britain, perhaps partly due to Cox's long absence from the country. Still its timeless themes, the wealth of visual invention and the director's dedicated admirers should secure the film a cult following.

As with Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet, the stylised futuristic setting and lively, lucid treatment of a byzantine play - long neglected but now back on the cultural map, thanks to two stage revivals by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966 and 1987 - could also work well in educational contexts. However, the Liverpool accents and extravagant period language may present difficulties, particularly for US audiences.

Set in 2011, the film's premise is that southern England has been destroyed by a comet, leaving the North ravaged by gang warfare and urban decay. Revengers Tragedy (there is no apostrophe, in compliance, according to Cox, with the play's original 1607 title page) begins with the arrival in Liverpool of a mysterious stranger, Vindici (Christopher Eccleston), whose bride - a flashback reveals - was poisoned on their wedding day 10 years earlier. The killer was the degenerate Duke (Derek Jacobi), a Londoner who now rules the city and his five children with an iron hand.

This dynasty is a rum lot. One son is having an affair with the Duke's wife (Diana Quick). Another rapes a beautiful blonde aristocrat (supermodel Sophie Dahl) whose subsequent death and canonisation - to the political advantage of her widower - invites pointed parallels with Princess Diana. Completing the line-up is the Duke's spoiled, lascivious heir, Lussurioso (Eddie Izzard).

The family is contrasted with Vindici's own: his brother, a virtuous sister, who Lussurioso is bent on seducing, and their blind mother (Margi Clarke) who proves vulnerable to corruption. Meanwhile Vindici himself has embarked on a plan to eliminate the Duke and his clan by ingeniously sadistic methods.

With its mix of outrageous farce and spectacular bloodshed, Revengers Tragedy bears a passing similarity to the recent cycle of British gangster movies. However, Middleton's corrosive vision of a society obsessed with power, sex and money lends it a moral gravitas that - unlike many of these films - stops it ballooning into flippancy.

Among an effective cast, Eccleston's manic avenger and the silky, heavily made-up Jacobi are worthy antagonists. Meanwhile Izzard, a comedian-turned-actor whose dramatic talent has been steadily evolving, has a strong screen presence and - with the actors playing his four siblings - brings out the play's absurdist streak.

The film looks grungy but distinctive on a tight budget, with an eclectic design dominated by punk and glam-rock laced with historical and Middle East detail and an emphasis on tattoos, piercings and extravagant make-up - Izzard sports the strangest false eyelashes since Malcolm McDowell's in A Clockwork Orange. The omnipresent throbbing score by anarcho pop band Chumbawumba is over-used but ratchets up the general atmosphere of menace.

Review from Cambridge Site
Reviewer: Mike, St Ives
Date: 17/07/2002

A real cinematic treat, this film takes a play published in 1607 and transposes it to a strange modern(ish) world. Cox's direction is brilliantly inventive, giving the film a fast-paced anarchic feel that never becomes just a showy veneer. The stylised langauge and the modern visuals work very well. Christopher Eccleston as the "revenger" is superb, as is Derek Jacobi (as you've never seen him before!). Highly recommended.

Blogger Review
From blog site

Revenger's Tragedy was also excellent. Nice post-apocalyptic Liverpool setting (an all-Liverpool production, apparantly), reasonable amount of bloodshed, Eddie Izzard as an evil heir. A few people in the post-viewing Q&A compared it to A Clockwork Orange, but I think that a more valid comparison is Derek Jarman's classic punk film Jubilee. Heck, even the costuming was similar (Jubilee had Adam Ant, Revenger's Tragedy had Eddie Izzard dressed as Adam Ant). After the film, the director (Alex Cox) did a stupendously annoying Q&A. In 45 minutes, we learned precisely two interesting things, and sat through (at my count) four extended diatribes about how great a place Liverpool was and why everyone should try and make movies there. The two useful things we learned was that the play was one of the first examples of black comedy in English (and that really came through in the movie), and that the soundtrack (by Chumbawumba) came about when the director got narked at being bounced by Radiohead's management and emailed Chumbawumba to see if they'd want to do it. They replied that afternoon, and lo. Worth it, though - the soundtrack was absolutely excellent, and I'd definitely buy it if it comes out.

"Customer Review" from Cambridge Film Fest
Reviewer: sneersnipe
Cambridge Date: 14/07/2002
(thanks Peggy)

Anarchistic approach to Middleton’s play, cementing Liverpool’s architectural reputation as a decaying grandiose ruin. As a fan of Cox and Liverpool, watching this film was a treat. Every five minutes is a fresh Liverpool landmark from the Liver Buildings, to Happy Al’s Buses to occasional swipes at Liverpool Club culture.

Black pantomime comedy is rarely this lethal or fun. Cox clearly injected amphetamine into his cast to add frothing mania to the already grungy cinematography. Christopher Ecclestone thrashes and raves, virtually self combusting in talent. As Vindice he is the returning revenger seeking to obliterate the Duke for the nuptial poisoning of his wife. Using her desiccated but hirsute skull, Ecclestone communes emotion that you sometimes fear Punch and Judy could erupt into, baying for revenge through her clenched teeth. Old hands Derek Jacobi and Antony Booth as the Duke and Lord Antonio also impress as rivals politicians. Eddie Izzard doesn’t.

Mixing contemporary Scouse with Middleton’s original text, Frank Cottrell Boyce, handles the classic ‘Ah Fuck Off’ as a delightful parry to the occasional Middleton line. This encapsulates Liverpool’s reaction to authority well. Following the trend of mixing the contemporary and the old, the film is shot in both celluloid and digital, deliberately highlighting their discrepancies. Meticulously celluloid set pieces mingle with filtered hyper real vistas. Stylistically, the apocalypse may have been and gone, but as always Liverpool remains. The Protestant Cathedral exemplifies this; a gothic cathedral hewn of bricks at the opening of the twentieth century. Clothing alternates between cat walk chic to hooded medieval, all glimpsed through the contemporary. Of all the cultural mixing on display the use of daggers fails badly, reminding the reviewer of theatre cast offs.

Ideas crackle throughout, overwhelming proceedings on occasion. Continual surveillance style digital shots supply a sense of jumble but little else. Commencing the film with a satellite zoom does little but let the audience rattle their jewellery (in Cambridge at least) to the dominant Chumbawumba soundtrack. Merseyside is indeed distinctive from orbit. Superior by light-years is the Dina motif, played on the rape induced suicide of the Lord Antonio’s Wife. In anarchistic style Vindice beheads a commemorative teddy bear using its body as an affectionate body for his wife’s skull. Naturally Antonio benefits from his wife’s deification.

The Revengers Tragedy is a flash of fresh British cinema that will probably not receive the release it deserves. REVENGE.

Revenger in line for film awards
Izzard, Outhwaite and Carlyle films in line for awards at Edinburgh New films starring Eddie Izzard, Tamzin Outhwaite and Robert Carlyle will be competing for the Best British Feature award at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. Izzard stars in Revengers Tragedy, and Outhwaite in Out Of Control. Shane Meadows' Once Upon A Time In The Midlands stars Carlyle. Also competing are Mike Leigh's All Or Nothing and Lynne Ramsey's Morvern Callar. Ten films are eligible for the award, which is given to films of imagination and creativity. Other awards at the festival include the new director's award and the audience award. (from

Revenger's will premiere in Liverpool at the Philharmonic Theatre on September 15, 2002 (all proceeds will benefit local educational charities). The film opens in Britain in October 2002. More precise dates will follow closer to the openings. No mention of an overseas release yet.


From director, Alex Cox's online diary: "A conversation with Tony James of City Screen distributors regarding "Revengers", which has been invited to the Cambridge Festival. He'd prefer to screen it in the second week of the Festival so that I can participate in a debate on 35mm vs. digital projection, but for reasons shortly to be revealed, my preference is earlier... We horse trade and settle on Friday 12 September, at 1900 hrs, for the Cambridge "Revengers" premiere (I promise a diatribe against digital projection on the night). Yer all invited. " You can read the whole article here.

SCREENED (courtesy of the official site)
"Apologies for my failure to contribute much to this site of late. I've been in the final stages of post on REVENGERS TRAGEDY, which is now, at last, finished. The cast and crew screening took place last night, at the Crosby Plaza, Liverpool's number one venue for art cinema." - Alex Cox

SYNOPSIS (courtesy of the official site)
"Ten years ago, the Duke (DEREK JACOBI) murdered Vindici's wife on their wedding day. Vindici (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON) fled. His family fell into poverty, while the Duke, Duchess (DIANA QUICK) and their decadent sons acquired wealth and power.

Today, Vindici returns.

With the help of his brother Carlo (ANDREW SCHOFIELD), he sets about the destruction of the Duke and his entire clan. But it will not be easy. The Duke is well-protected; and his villainous first-born, Lussurioso (EDDIE
IZZARD), is determined to seduce Vindici's sister -- Castiza (CARLA HENRY).

When the Duke's youngest son is imprisoned for the rape of a beautiful aristocrat, Imogen (SOPHIE DAHL), Vindici sees an opportunity to test his mother and his sister, and to secure his revenge."

ON LOCATION (from TimeOut Magazine -- thanks Mimi!)






5                            6  




click to go to the official site


Japanese Poster (click for larger view)

Liverpool gets new role as Hollywood of the north

Scouse cameras in action - city's architecture and moods, from grandeur to squalor, make it a prime location for film-makers By James Morrison 19 August 2001

The docks are idle, the factories are silent, and the film-makers are moving in. Liverpool is reinventing itself as a major player in the British film industry.

Drawn by the sheer variety of locations on offer, from urban squalor to Georgian grandeur, more than a dozen directors have chosen to film in Liverpool in the past three years. Now, more than 30 years after Gumshoe, the classic Albert Finney thriller, gave it its first big screen claim to fame, the city is set to get its first major studio.

Merseyside is already attracting some of the most glamorous names in Hollywood, defying the endless jokes about shell suits and bubble perms. The city's docklands were used earlier this year as part of the backdrop to 51st State, a big budget thriller featuring Pulp Fiction actor Samuel Jackson and Robert Carlyle.

Although set in Manchester, The Parole Officer, a new comic thriller starring comedian Steve Coogan, was largely filmed in Liverpool.

Period locations around the port including Abercromby Square, George's Dock and the Walker Art Gallery stood in for five different European cities in Hilary and Jackie, the Oscar-nominated biopic of cellist Jacqueline Du Pré.

A science fiction epic based on a Jacobean tragedy and a Billy Elliot-style coming-of-age drama are just two of the numerous projects in varying stages of production in and around the city.

The forthcoming films include My Kingdom, a contemporary version of King Lear set in the Liverpool underworld, Al's Lads, a 1920s thriller about cruise ship workers who are hired by Al Capone, and Mermaid and Money Trouble, a social drama expected to star Dame Judi Dench.

Liverpool is the only city outside London to have its own dedicated local authority film office. Film-makers say they are drawn to the city not only by its wide variety of settings, but also their growing frustration with the logistical problems of filming in London. Unlike the capital, Liverpool does not suffer from severe traffic congestion, and many of its most dramatic and photogenic locations are within a short distance of each other.

Producers are also lured by the bedrock of local technical expertise, and the presence of accomplished television hands such as Cracker writer Jimmy McGovern and director Chris Bernard, whose 1986 film A Letter to Brezhnev was one of the first to be shot in the city.

The latest feature to finish filming is Revengers Tragedy, a £1.7m film directed by Cox, which transposes Thomas Middleton's 17th-century play to post-apocalyptic Merseyside. The film, which received £500,000 from the Film Council's new cinema fund, boasts an eclectic cast, including actors Christopher Eccleston and Derek Jacobi, comedians Eddie Izzard and Margi Clarke and supermodel Sophie Dahl.

Among the more unlikely locations used in the film, which wrapped on Friday, is Aintree racecourse and a field filled with futuristic dwellings resembling upturned submarines.

Cox was drawn back to Liverpool by what he describes as the city's "epic" qualities – and the rather more mundane fact that its relatively low living costs enabled him to stretch his tight food and accommodation budget.

The director, whose earlier films included cult classics Repo Man and Sid and Nancy, said: "All the sets are very weird and epic, but then the city itself is epic in many ways too."

Eccleston, whose previous films include Jude, saw the project as a chance to illustrate the cinematic qualities of northern cities such as Liverpool, while escaping from the "Hollywood-obsessed" approach of London. The actor, who plays the lead character, vengeful peasant Vindici, said: "There's a different attitude up here to filming. There seems to be more camaraderie and less looking after number one, which means there's a great deal more humour on set too."

Cox recently teamed-up with television producer Colin McKeown, one of the creators of Brookside, to form the Liverpool Film Consortium. The initiative, which aims to pave the way for the city's first fully equipped film studio, currently has 19 projects in development, including a submarine drama called The Foetus and The Cameo Conspiracy, based on a real-life rough justice case.

McKeown, who operates out of a disused school, believes that Liverpool could one day have studio facilities to rival those at Pinewood and Ealing. "What's going to happen here over the next four or five years is that it's just going to get bigger and bigger. I feel confident that we will soon see the big American films coming over for post-production."

London film commissioner Sue Hayes said she was delighted that Liverpool was attracting more inward investment from producers, but added: "You can go to Liverpool to shoot docklands and cobbled streets, but there's an awful lot you can't do there, which is why so many people come to London."


Derek Jacobi and Eddie Izzard have been lined up to star in Alex Cox's new film, Revenger's Tragedy.

A modern update of the 1607 play attributed to either Thomas Middleton or Cyril Tourneur, the screenplay by Frank Cottrell Boyce depicts a futuristic clan war between Liverpool and London.

Derek Jacobi is lined up to play a villainous duke, and Eddie Izzard will play Lussorioso, his son.

Writing in a weekly diary about the film's production for BBC Films Online, Cox described Lussurioso as the "second most nefarious character of the film".

He also described Derek Jacobi as having the ability to play an "exceptionally depraved and threatening Duke".


Liverpool born and bred, Alex Cox's film making career includes Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, and Straight to Hell.

He has also written a number of screenplays and directed documentaries including Kurosawa, The Last Emperor, and Emmanuelle, A Hard Look, for Channel Four.

 He is however best known for presenting the BBC's late night film showcase, Moviedrome from 1987 to 1994.

The cast is also set to include Margi Clarke, Christine Tremarco, Christopher Ecclestone, Tony Booth, Dexter Fletcher and Drew Schofield - aka Johnny Rotten from Sid and Nancy.

The film is being part funded by the Film Council's new cinema fund, which Cox has described as the "weird film division".

With a plot that involves the south of England and northern France being destroyed by a giant comet Cox has promised that the film will indeed be "weird enough".

Shooting is scheduled to begin in July.

Alex Cox's diary can be read weekly on BBC Films Online.

icon.gif (43 bytes) Synopsis of original play
icon.gif (43 bytes) Entire play
Download Scene 1 (RealAudio)




the man | the myth | the shoes | groovy news | recent updates | photo gallery | current tour info | tour archives| stage & screen |
the hive
| board | shop eddie | fun stuff | feedback | faq | sitemap | eddienet | site survey | CoD Cabana |
| email Momo | home

site design by:  auntie momo designs    [FEEDBACK]     Providing the latest in Eddie news since July 1999