A Week In Film #174: Getting up to speed

Big Fat Gypsy Gangster
I’d forgotten about this. I’d actually forgotten I’d watched it. And frankly, I put it down to trauma.

A British gangster comedy, based around the Bulla character performed by Ricky Grover (The 11 O’ Clock Show etc), directed by Grover, written by Grover and his wife Maria. I believe it was called simply Bulla during production, and only got its release name as a last-minute and shameless nod to BFGW.

It’s packed full of Nick Love’s repertory company (Geoff Bell, Roland Manookian, Eddie Webber) plus various actors from films based on hooligan/door porn, like Leo Gregory and Dave Legeno. More incongruously there’s the likes of Peter Capaldi as a prison shrink, Derek Acorah as himself (with Rufus Hound his protégé), and Steven Berkoff as Bulla’s spiritual adviser. Oh, and a lot of dwarves, including Maxwell Laird (from that recent documentary series) as a knee-high satyr named The Major. Plus Big Mo from EastEnders as Bulla’s foul-mouthed pub landlady aunt.

Basically, it is all very silly, often rather offensive in a thoroughly casual manner, much in need of a good edit, and definitely a good example of what happens when you don’t nail the script before putting the cast on the set.

It draws on Nick Love, the Gilbey brothers, Jake West, Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, and the noughties run of Ritchie-influenced films. It doesn’t necessarily draw on the best of any of them.

It imparts casual misogyny, homophobia and anti-Gypsy attitudes, all in pursuit of “a larf”. Even worse, it’s not really very funny. But at least it is not as unredeemingly awful as Kung Fu Flid.


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