Deadly Cuts (TBC, 91mins) Directed by Rachel Carey ***½
Piglington, Dublin. Home to multi-ethnic Roma takeaways, Piglington Meats butcher and Deadly Cuts hair salon.
A working-class suburb currently living in fear of a group of elderly runners in tracksuits, led by the menacing but gormless Deano (Ian Lloyd-Anderson). Claiming “protection money” from local businesses, they are not afraid to use violence in case of non-payment.
The local garda are more interested in her ex’s whereabouts and the local politician has his own less than popular plans for the future.
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Still, stylists Stacey (Ericka Roe), Gemma (Lauren Larkin) and Chantelle (Shauna Higgins) have big dreams. Through their perseverance – and highlighting a glaring lack of diversity – they managed to make the salon a place in Ireland’s most elite hair competition – AhhHair.
While confident in their own skills, the trio face resistance from owner Michelle (Angeline Ball), whose history with annual event and chief judge D’Logan Doyle (Louis Lovett) has left her marked.
As for their more established rivals, they despise these brave upstarts. “You’re about as likely as a dark brunette to go platinum blonde in one step without her hair falling out,” one sneers.
However, even as they face battles on many fronts, these women are determined to prove that they won’t give up without a fight.
Continued Gorgeous Drop Dead than brushing, Writer-director Rachel Carey’s feature debut is certainly not for the faint-hearted or easily offended.
Profanity punctuates the dialogue, while the threat and misogyny displayed are more than minor. Cut out some of the more flowery and downright nasty elements though (things improve considerably after a particular key incident) and Deadly Cuts eventually hones in and turns into a barbed black comedy of empowerment and edgy extensions.
And while events follow a predictable path, there’s an unexpected sting in the story that ensures this isn’t just a simple competition-underdog-attempt-to-disrupt-the-odds.
Deadly Cuts will be screened in select theaters nationwide from March 17.