Bloody Kids (1979)
Written by Stephen Poliakoff and Directed by Stephen Frears
Bloody Kids is an intriguing collaboration between Poliakoff and Stephen Frears. It is a hallucinatory story set over a few days where we see the late 1970s youth culture in the last moments of punk, viewed through the steely gaze of two eleven-year-old boys. It begins with a dark practical joke on the adult world, which goes terribly wrong.
The film was originally made for television but shot on 35mm film. After it was shown on the main ITV network where it drew 15 million viewers it was later given an art-house cinema release by the BFI and was selected for the New York Film Festival. The film was brilliantly shot by the legendary British director of photography, Chris Menges and features a particularly powerful soundtrack composed by George Fenton.
The two young leads had both never acted before and there are early appearances by Mel Smith, Gwyneth Strong and Gary Holton who was to achieve fame in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet in the 1980s.
The film is one of the most vivid examples of Poliakoff’s urban work, set in a landscape of shopping malls and motorways, settings which dominated many of his theatre plays.