I watched Get Carter for the first time properly last night. Now I know where Alexi Sayle discovered the phrase “Ere, didn’t choo kill my bruva? Oh no that was me” from in Young Ones. It does seem to mostly be just Jack Carter (Michael Caine) bounding around like a better groomed lookalike of my old man as a young go-getting banker (the character upon which his performance was based I can only assume). He menacingly says ‘I wanna talk to you…’ before occasionally adding ‘later’. Particularly if you’re a local filly lacking in moral fibre and strangely unintrigued by the grisly end of one of your favourite regulars.
The scene where Carter talks dirty over the phone to Britt Ekland in her black unmentionables (whilst his landlady’s chair rocks purposefully) had my mind harking back to Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon’s prolonged attempts to out-impression each other in Caine’s dulcet tones to a Spanish female during an episode of The Trip.
You’d hope for Geordieland’s sake that most of their portrayed cityscape has since been redeveloped with caring hands but without becoming too gentrified. I remember reading about the imminent demolition of the concrete skybeast of Trinity Centre Multi-Storey car park a year or two back from which Carter throws Brumby – a brutalist death to match the architecture. This rendered it an important yet grim landmark for early 70s British cinema but probably not something as a culture-savvy council you’d want to strongly encourage filmophile tourists to re-enact.
The writer/director Mike Hodges also wrote the screenplay for The Omen II & directed Flash Gordon! The Omen sequel with its series of elaborate shocking deaths (the post-hockey icebreaker being the most gleefully helpless – I know that sounds sick) is not too far removed but to go from North-East industry & the fog on the Tyne being all crime to Brian Blessed’s winged hawkman diaper in under 10 years must require an intense period of personal growth.
My verdict? Top drawer Cockney vs. Geordie Splatterfest Showdown.