Eat the Rich AKA Comic Strip Presents: Eat the Rich
R2 - United Kingdom - Gonzo Multimedia
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (6th December 2019).
The Show

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... The film stars Lanah Pellay, 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 (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 peoples 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.
Oh please let real life imitate art.

Video


This is generally a richly coloured, beautifully shot little film with a rich colour palette that mostly favours a gritty naturalism throughout. Flesh tones are rich and natural.

Black levels are also satisfyingly deep but there is some unintended crush here and there, but shadow detail is decent when it's there.  Contrast is in concert allowing plenty of detail to shine through although this does have an inherently soft look typical of the era and budget, especially during opticals like scene transitions. There are no blown out highlights.

Grain is consistent and ever present becoming courser during murkier moments at night and in some exteriors, however being in standard definition grain mixes with noise. I noticed no digital artefacts.

Being a DVD it falls short of the highs in which a BD edition would soar. Mild compression artefacts do occasionally show up during darker moments but apart from that, no complaints.

PAL / 1.78:1, 1.33:1 / 88:52, 71:24

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: None

The big problem with Eat the Rich in DVD is that it was made in Dolby Stereo and shown in cinemas that way, but this DVD is a mono downmix ... which is bizarre.

A solid, robust mono track typical of the period benefits greatly from the lossless treatment, especially when compared to the lossy mono of the DVD.  Plenty of base and no distortion with dialogue always allowed to shine through amongst the music and sound effects.

No subtitles is unforgivable in this day and age; folks who're hard of hearing will have to do without these three releases.

Extras

Eat the Rich:
- Behind the Scenes (13:18)
Original Ending (7:18)


Photo Gallery (2:59)

Decent, brief still gallery.

Trailers:
- Bad News (1983) (0:43)
- Fistful of Travellers Cheques (1984) (0:45)
- The Bullshitters (1984) (0:26)
- Stella Street (1997) (1:05)
- The Hunt for Tony Blair (2011) (1:12)
5 Go to Rehab (2012) (1:13)


Short promo pieces that seem to be vintage (early 2000s?). Picture quality is acceptable but nothing to write home about.

4-page liner notes leaflet

Decent little liner notes booklet adds context and appreciation to the episodes.

Packaging

Standard 2-disc DVD case.

Overall

Simple, tacky menus; off the shelf masters; minimal extras. Thankfully the prices aren't bad for these releases so they get a pass. Image and sound are unrestored but essentially decent with the 2012 productions obviously looking better but fans will snap these up.

The Show: B- Video: C+ Audio: C- Extras: C- Overall: C+

 


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