The cast of Eastenders versus vampires? This film's a Dead Cert!

Yes, this happened. Dead Cert took a selection of B-level London actors, along with the great Steven Berkoff and Danny Dyer, and pit them against a gang of Blade-style vampires.

Can such a formula conceivably produce anything worth watching? Hit the jump to find out...

Confession time: the first time we watched Dead Cert, we weren't paying any particular attention as we were certain it would be a load of tosh. It opened with a plotline ripped right out of a London soap opera. Craig Fairbrass (Dan in Eastenders) is a London gangster gone straight, setting up a strip club to support his 'footballer's' wife and unborn child, with the help of various hangers on including DayHWStoodStill-favourites Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng.

A bunch of Romanian gangsters led by Billy Murray (Johnnie in Eastenders), show up and bully their way into a deal to take over the club, co-incidentally ruining Fairbrass' life. When Fairbrass reaches his breaking point, he grabs a bunch of his heavies and heads to the club to have a 'conversation'. Unfortunately, the Romanians' heads aren't as kickable as hoped and things go all From Dusk Till Dawn. They're all vampires and they've turned all the strippers into bloodsuckers too. Fairbrass and friends end up locked in a basement with Steven Berkoff, who turns out to be the cockney version of Van Helsing.

That's about when things get interesting. Berkoff begins to reel off some intriguing variations on vampire mythology. Crosses only work if you're Christian, whereas any object that symbolises your personal faith, from a Star of David to a photo of your kids, has just the same effect. If you're bitten by a vamp, but not killed, you live as normal, but, once bitten, when you die, then you turn. The vampires, on the other hand, have dominated various civilisations throughout history; they were the reason, for example, that guillotines were used during the French revolution, as many aristocrats were vampires.

The action from there is mediocre, but there's enough intrigue to propel things along and we made a point of watching the film again from the beginning. It may not be exactly original, but a lot of intelligent thought has been put into the plot and there's just enough drama and acting chops to keep the characters endearing and even the early scenes were a better watch second time round. Hard as it is to believe, the film works, and it even sets up for a sequel. Dot Cotton: Werewolf Hunter, anyone?

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