Eat the Rich (film)
Eat the Rich is a 1987 British black comedy film directed by Peter Richardson. A co-production between Channel Four Films, Iron Fist Motion Pictures and Michael White Productions, it features cast members from the popular television series The Comic Strip Presents....
|Eat the Rich|
|Directed by||Peter Richardson|
|Produced by||Tim Van Rellim|
|Written by||Peter Richardson|
|Distributed by||CBS/Fox Video Ltd. (UK)|
New Line Cinema (US)
The film stars Al Pillay, and Nosher Powell as the Home Secretary, and includes cameos from a number of well-known figures, including: Miranda Richardson and Nigel Planer as vile DHSS clerks, Robbie Coltrane, Rik Mayall as a union boss, Paul McCartney, Shane MacGowan, Jennifer Saunders, Jimmy Fagg, Kathy Burke, Koo Stark, Dawn French, Bill Wyman, Jools Holland, Hugh Cornwell, Adrian Edmondson, Angela Bowie, and Lemmy.
The film begins in a high-class London restaurant named 'Bastards' where the protagonist, Alex (Alan Pellay), is a waiter. Subject to the upper-class customers' daily contempt and disgust, Alex is eventually fired for being obnoxious and rude to the clientele. After witnessing a terrorist act on an embassy, he robs a benefits office and goes on the run with his new friend.
Meanwhile, Nosher Powell plays the Home Secretary, a menacing, beer-swilling, fornicating, lovable lout who has his own no-nonsense way of dealing with trouble, usually with his fists. He is the darling of the voters, the press, and the gorgeous Fiona (Fiona Richmond), a glamorous KGB agent. He was also the one who ended the terrorist situation that Alex witnessed earlier in the movie. However, Nosher has enemies, including the sinister Commander Fortune (Ronald Allen), who plots a people's revolution with a difference, and General Karprov (Dave Beard) and Spider (Ian Kilmister), who plot to derail the Home Secretary's campaign of becoming Prime Minister.
After assembling a four-person team of would-be anarchists, Alex returns to 'Bastards' and lays waste to the clientele and staff. He begins serving them up to other rich people in their new restaurant, 'Eat the Rich'. When Commander Fortune and Spider find out about these changes to the menu, they formulate a plot to get rid of the conservative Home Secretary for good.
- Al Pillay aka Lanah P as Alex
- Nosher Powell as Nosher
- Kathy Burke as Kathy
- Robbie Coltrane as Jeremy
- Fiona Richmond as Fiona
- Sean Chapman as Mark
- Rik Mayall as Micky
- Peter Richardson as Henry
- Jimmy Fagg as Jimmy
- Jennifer Saunders as Lady Caroline
- Adrian Edmondson as Charles
- Dawn French as Debbie Draws
- Katrin Cartlidge as Katrin
- Paul McCartney as Banquet Guest
- Koo Stark as Hazel
- Ian Kilmister as Spider
- Les Bubb as Waiter
- Nigel Planer as DHSS Manager
- Miranda Richardson as DHSS Blonde
- Jools Holland as Sun Reporter
- Rowland Rivron as Star Reporter
- JoAnne Good as Jaqueline
- Ron Tarr as Ron
- Bill Wyman as Toilet Victim
The film performed poorly at the box office, taking $200,723 across 4 screens in the USA. Channel 4 were disappointed with the returns on the film and shelved another Richardson project, Five Go To Hell.
Critics were mixed in their opinions on the film. Hal Hinson writing in The Washington Post gave it a lukewarm review, writing "The punk jaggedness they bring to their derivations is the only hint of originality, but this, too, seems a little staid. It feels like punk on the downward swing, after most of its rude energy has dissipated." However Vincent Canby in The New York Times was more favourable and drew comparisons to "an upscale John Waters satire" and "Jean-Luc Godard's pre-Maoist period."
In January 1988 the film was one of those attacked for its critique of Thatcherite society by Oxford University historian Norman Stone, which he condemned in the Sunday Times as being "worthless and insulting" and "riddled with left wing bias".
Eat The Rich featured at #49 in Time Out London's list of "Cinema's 50 greatest flops, follies and failures."  The feature stated: "[The film] may not have had the budget to be considered a true flop, but the back-alley production values and total lack of comic invention on display in this Thatcher-baiting misstep meant that any hopes of a Pythonesque run at the movies were knocked way back on their heels."
The soundtrack album was released on the Filmtrax label, and featured six tracks by Motörhead, including the track Eat the Rich, written especially for the film. The track also appeared on the Motörhead album Rock 'n' Roll, and was released in the UK as a single in its own right. It also featured a solo track, "Bess", by Würzel (Motörhead's second guitarist at the time).
The album also featured several pieces of incidental music from the film, as well as the synthpop track Pistol In My Pocket by Alan Pillay (credited as Lannah).
- Motörhead – "Eat the Rich"
- Simon Brint – "Terrorists"
- Motörhead – "Built for Speed"
- Danny Eccleston – "Nosher in the Bar"
- Motörhead – "Nothing Up My Sleeve"
- Simon Brint – "Arriba Salsa"
- Motörhead – "Doctor Rock"
- Motörhead – "On the Road (Live)"
- Lannah – "Pistol in My Pocket"
- Simon Brint – "Car Approach"
- Motörhead – "Orgasmatron"
- Würzel – "Bess"
- Danny Eccleston – "End Titles Theme"
The VHS release of the film had a reversible cover.
- "Eat The Rich". Eat The Rich Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com. inc. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "Five Go To Hell". Film & TV Info > Film & TV Database. BFI. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- Hinson, Hal (20 May 1988). "'Eat the Rich'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Canby, Vincent (22 April 1988). "Movie Reviews: Eat The Rich (1988)". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Monk, Claire (2002). British historical cinema: the history, heritage and costume film. London: Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-415-23810-6.
- "Cinema's 50 greatest flops, follies and failures: part 1". Time Out London: FIlm. Time Out Group Ltd. Retrieved 21 December 2011.