Eat the Rich


1h 32m 1987

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Release Date
1987
Distribution Company
NEW LINE CINEMA (NEW LINE)
Location
London, England, United Kingdom; Portugal

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m

Synopsis

Crew

Marwan Al-khafaji

Assistant Director

Roy Alon

Stunts

Caroline Amies

Art Director

Graham Attwood

Photography

Mark Auguste

Sound Editor

Alan Bailey

Property Master

Frank Battersby

Other

Sophie Becher

Art Assistant

Carole Bennett

Hairdresser

Lindsey Bleach

Other

Laurie Borg

Location Manager

Simon Brint

Music

Daryl Bristow

Wardrobe

Michael Burston

Song

Phillip Campbell

Song

Tony Clarkson

Location Assistant

Laszlo Clements

Accounting Assistant

Ben Davis

Assistant Camera Operator

Sean Dromgoole

Assistant Director

Jimmy Fagg

Song

Jimmy Fagg

Song Performer

Richard Fettes

Sound Effects Editor

Sam Garwood

Camera Assistant

John Gibson

Camera Operator

Peter Gill

Song

Andy Glen

Sound Editor

Frances Haggett

Costume Designer

Tom Harris

Special Effects

John Hayes

Sound

Gordon Kaye

Makeup

Jane Kearney

Production Accountant

Lemmy Kilmister

Song

Martin King

Electrician

Amanda Knight

Makeup

Anna Ksiezopolska

Assistant Editor

Roger Lowe

Driver

Mark Mcbride

Stunts

Malcolm Mclean

Gaffer

Dave Mcwhinnie

Electrician

John Metcalfe

Photography

Mike Metcalfe

Camera Operator

Brian Mitchell

Production

Jim Monks

Grip

Andy Morris

Boom Operator

Hugh O'donnell

Location Manager

Ruth Piercy

Assistant

Dinny Powell

Stunts

Glynn Purcell

Assistant Director

Jill Quertier

Production

Helen Rayner

Other

Dave Reilly

Property Master

Peter Richardson

Screenplay

Sophie Richardson

Assistant

Pete Richens

Screenplay

Pete Richens

Production

Chris Ridsdale

Editor

Roland Rivron

Music

Andrew Sanders

Associate Producer

Jock Scott

Art Assistant

Martin Shepherd

Other

Annie South

Continuity

Eddie Stacey

Stunts

Lloyd Stanton

Office Runner

Jezz Startup

Production Assistant

Ted Stickley

Props

Witold Stok

Director Of Photography

Rocky Taylor

Stunts

Jack Towns

Property Master

Maggie Tyler

Production Coordinator

Tim Van Rellim

Producer

Terry Walsh

Stunts

Chris Webb

Stunts

Thomas Westbrook

Carpenter

Kevin Wheeler

Props

Steve Wheeler

Props

Michael White

Executive Producer

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Release Date
1987
Distribution Company
NEW LINE CINEMA (NEW LINE)
Location
London, England, United Kingdom; Portugal

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m

Articles

Eat the Rich - 1987 British Black Comedy on DVD


For whatever reason, New Line Cinema recently farmed out two of its more remarkable 1980s releases to Image Entertainment for DVD release: the first was Alone in the Dark, the 1982 horror thriller that still holds up very well; the second is 1987's Eat the Rich, which retains the novelty value it had during its original release, but generally dates quite poorly.

New Line began in the 1970s, distributing movies to be shown on college campuses. John Waters's films were among the first it acquired, and Eat the Rich has a vaguely Waters-esque premise, with an androgynous waiter at a posh restaurant starting a ragtag revolution, killing the restaurant's clientele and then reopening the restaurant under the movie's title, cooking up the killed aristocrats and “beautiful people” as entrees. In addition to Waters's movies, the sensibility in Eat the Rich also recalls the two anti-authoritarian 1980s comedies Michael Nesmith produced, Repo Man and Tapeheads. But it fails to reach the comedic level of those still-funny films.

Eat the Rich sprung from the English alternative comedy group The Comic Strip, whose members have been responsible (collectively and separately) for such TV series as The Young Ones, Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders and The Comic Strip Presents, among others. The first movie the group made together, 1985's The Supergrass, is no classic, but it at least features many of the core Comic Strip crowd (folks like Jennifer Saunders, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Alexei Sayle, Dawn French and the movie's director, Peter Richardson) in central roles. As good as it was to see these people onscreen in Eat the Rich in 1987, when their prolific work was hard to come by on these shores, now it's rather frustrating that they're mostly on the fringes of the movie.

While Eat the Rich taps into the Comic Strip's post-punk irreverence, instead an ensemble with more novelty value than acting or comic chops plays the movie's central characters. Among them are Lanah Pellay (né Alan Pellay), a sometime female impersonator who's no Divine in the charisma department; Nosher Powell, a stuntman-turned-actor who pretty much steals the movie; Ron Tarr, a behemoth of a bit player elevated to a co-star; and Motörhead frontman Lemmy, who acquits himself very well here (the band also does the movie's song score). Ron Allen is a more conventional presence, playing Commander Fortune, a dapper English spy who's also a Soviet double agent. The double agent and his henchman, Spider (Lemmy), set out to discredit Nosher (Powell), the thuggish yet popular Home Secretary who's maneuvering to be England's next Prime Minister. After fired waiter Alex (Pellay) and similarly unemployed Ron (Tarr) shoot the unemployment-office clerks who disrespect them and then start to recruit fellow revolutionaries to join them, the anti-Nosher schemers start to secretly aid the ex-waiter's crusade, leading to an inevitable Alex-Nosher showdown.

It's a decent enough premise for an irreverent comedy, and the action featuring bruiser Nosher (who single-handedly breaks up an embassy invasion) and the restaurant (before and after the change in management) is good for an occasional chuckle. But the toffy-nosed customers at the restaurant are easy targets, the main characters are one-dimensional and Eat the Rich never really adds up to much. It seems too disjointed, frivolous and gratuitous to make much of an impression, unlike the Waters and Nesmith productions it recalls. Despite those movies' bizarre comedy, they had core values they espoused through that comedy, but Eat the Rich feels shallower, with less of a purpose driving it forward.

Maybe that's because it can seem as if the movie is just an excuse for its stream of cameos. In addition to the Comic Strip members having one-scene pop-ins, sometime Strip cohorts such as Robbie Coltrane, Miranda Richardson and Nigel Planer appear, as do musicians as diverse as Shane MacGowan, Jools Holland, Paul McCartney and Bill Wyman and actresses Koo Stark, Katrin Cartlidge and Kathy Burke. All these cameos repeatedly remind of the novelty value of Eat the Rich. They don't enrich its comic value quite so much. Director/co-writer Peter Richardson and co-writer Pete Richens would segue from this to 1989's The Pope Must Die, which made a bigger impression, with Coltrane in the lead and no cameos from the Comic Strip performers.

Image's disc of Eat the Rich includes no extras. The movie is hardly buried treasure, but at least it's out there now for the curious catching up on their British comedy.

For more information about Eat the Rich, visit Image Entertainment. To order Eat the Rich, go to TCM Shopping.

by Paul Sherman
Eat The Rich - 1987 British Black Comedy On Dvd

Eat the Rich - 1987 British Black Comedy on DVD

For whatever reason, New Line Cinema recently farmed out two of its more remarkable 1980s releases to Image Entertainment for DVD release: the first was Alone in the Dark, the 1982 horror thriller that still holds up very well; the second is 1987's Eat the Rich, which retains the novelty value it had during its original release, but generally dates quite poorly. New Line began in the 1970s, distributing movies to be shown on college campuses. John Waters's films were among the first it acquired, and Eat the Rich has a vaguely Waters-esque premise, with an androgynous waiter at a posh restaurant starting a ragtag revolution, killing the restaurant's clientele and then reopening the restaurant under the movie's title, cooking up the killed aristocrats and “beautiful people” as entrees. In addition to Waters's movies, the sensibility in Eat the Rich also recalls the two anti-authoritarian 1980s comedies Michael Nesmith produced, Repo Man and Tapeheads. But it fails to reach the comedic level of those still-funny films. Eat the Rich sprung from the English alternative comedy group The Comic Strip, whose members have been responsible (collectively and separately) for such TV series as The Young Ones, Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders and The Comic Strip Presents, among others. The first movie the group made together, 1985's The Supergrass, is no classic, but it at least features many of the core Comic Strip crowd (folks like Jennifer Saunders, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Alexei Sayle, Dawn French and the movie's director, Peter Richardson) in central roles. As good as it was to see these people onscreen in Eat the Rich in 1987, when their prolific work was hard to come by on these shores, now it's rather frustrating that they're mostly on the fringes of the movie. While Eat the Rich taps into the Comic Strip's post-punk irreverence, instead an ensemble with more novelty value than acting or comic chops plays the movie's central characters. Among them are Lanah Pellay (né Alan Pellay), a sometime female impersonator who's no Divine in the charisma department; Nosher Powell, a stuntman-turned-actor who pretty much steals the movie; Ron Tarr, a behemoth of a bit player elevated to a co-star; and Motörhead frontman Lemmy, who acquits himself very well here (the band also does the movie's song score). Ron Allen is a more conventional presence, playing Commander Fortune, a dapper English spy who's also a Soviet double agent. The double agent and his henchman, Spider (Lemmy), set out to discredit Nosher (Powell), the thuggish yet popular Home Secretary who's maneuvering to be England's next Prime Minister. After fired waiter Alex (Pellay) and similarly unemployed Ron (Tarr) shoot the unemployment-office clerks who disrespect them and then start to recruit fellow revolutionaries to join them, the anti-Nosher schemers start to secretly aid the ex-waiter's crusade, leading to an inevitable Alex-Nosher showdown. It's a decent enough premise for an irreverent comedy, and the action featuring bruiser Nosher (who single-handedly breaks up an embassy invasion) and the restaurant (before and after the change in management) is good for an occasional chuckle. But the toffy-nosed customers at the restaurant are easy targets, the main characters are one-dimensional and Eat the Rich never really adds up to much. It seems too disjointed, frivolous and gratuitous to make much of an impression, unlike the Waters and Nesmith productions it recalls. Despite those movies' bizarre comedy, they had core values they espoused through that comedy, but Eat the Rich feels shallower, with less of a purpose driving it forward. Maybe that's because it can seem as if the movie is just an excuse for its stream of cameos. In addition to the Comic Strip members having one-scene pop-ins, sometime Strip cohorts such as Robbie Coltrane, Miranda Richardson and Nigel Planer appear, as do musicians as diverse as Shane MacGowan, Jools Holland, Paul McCartney and Bill Wyman and actresses Koo Stark, Katrin Cartlidge and Kathy Burke. All these cameos repeatedly remind of the novelty value of Eat the Rich. They don't enrich its comic value quite so much. Director/co-writer Peter Richardson and co-writer Pete Richens would segue from this to 1989's The Pope Must Die, which made a bigger impression, with Coltrane in the lead and no cameos from the Comic Strip performers. Image's disc of Eat the Rich includes no extras. The movie is hardly buried treasure, but at least it's out there now for the curious catching up on their British comedy. For more information about Eat the Rich, visit Image Entertainment. To order Eat the Rich, go to TCM Shopping. by Paul Sherman

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video January 5, 1989

Released in United States September 20, 1987

Released in United States Spring April 22, 1988

Re-released in United States on Video September 26, 1995

Shown at Boston Film Festival September 20, 1987.

Formerly distributed by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video.

Began shooting February 2, 1987.

Released in United States on Video January 5, 1989

Released in United States Spring April 22, 1988

Released in United States September 20, 1987 (Shown at Boston Film Festival September 20, 1987.)

Re-released in United States on Video September 26, 1995