199. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

When ex-convict Benjamin Barker returns to London, he is determined to wreak vengeance on the men who wrongly transported him to Australia. Judge Turpin not only sent the young barber away, but lusted after his wife and took his daughter, bringing her up as his own. For years, Barker has been plotting his revenge, and soon finds his way back to his old barber shop and has found his hidden razors.

Barker now uses an alias, Sweeney Todd, and sets up his old salon which is above Mrs Lovett’s failing pie shop. As the bloodthirsty barber finely hones his slashing and murdering, there’s a problem with what to do with the bodies, and with the scarcity of meat being the way it is, the locals of Fleet Street soon begin devouring some delicious pies at the revamped emporium…

A slasher horror musical isn’t very common and I found this adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical quite tricky to get into at first – there is very little dialogue outside of the songs and neither Johnny Depp as the titular anti-hero or Helena Bonham-Carter as his accomplice Mrs Lovett, can barely hold a note. But it soon became quite easy to get into the story and it’s good to see Depp play a wrong ‘un like Todd for a change. Enjoyable with some good Grand Guignol style black humour.


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