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Beg!

British grunge hits rock bottom in "Beg!," a chaotic mishmash of physical theater and gross-out schlocker that's as entertaining as a night in the morgue. Though avant-garde gatherings may bite, this first production of Chicago-born U.K. commercials director Robert Golden looks set for a long career on the shelf. Wicket chances are zip.

With:
Penny Second ... Peta Lily Det.-Sgt. Stiltskin ... Philip Pellew Dr. Rogers ... Julian Bleach Hal ... Oleg Fedorov Dr. Second Senior ... Chris Banks Dr. Melplash ... Jeremy Wilkin

British grunge hits rock bottom in “Beg!,” a chaotic mishmash of physical theater and gross-out schlocker that’s as entertaining as a night in the morgue. Though avant-garde gatherings may bite, this first production of Chicago-born U.K. commercials director Robert Golden looks set for a long career on the shelf. Wicket chances are zip.

Story is set in a dreary private hospital, St. Caninus, in which order has broken down and the well-heeled management is pondering further cuts. Someone has murdered the head of research, which sets off a power struggle for the vacant post between women’s ward head Penny (Peta Lily) and the oily Dr. Rogers (Julian Bleach).

Opening reel, full of blackly comic gross-out fare and a raft of undefined characters, sets the tone. By the time the plot comes vaguely into view around reel three, the mix of sophomore antics, bargain-basement production values and watch-me-shock effects is well on the road to nowhere.

Brit mime artiste Lily, who co-wrote/directed the recent fringe production on which pic is based, is serviceable as the femme doctor battling a cynical management. (Film can also be read as a satire on the U.K.’s privatizing health system.) Other roles are played at full tilt.

Technically, pic is adequate.

Beg!

(BRITISH)

Production: A Robert Golden Pictures presentation of a Beg Ltd. production. (International sales: Pilgrim Entertainment, London.) Produced by Sandra Yarwood. Executive producer, Robert Golden. Directed by Golden. Associate director, David Glass. Screenplay, Peta Lily, Glass, Golden, from the play by Lily, Glass.

Crew: Camera (color), Chris Middleton; editors, Terry Jones, Dean Wyles; music, Steve Parsons, David Pearl; additional music, Francis Haines; production design, Harry Metcalf; art direction, Sue Ferguson; costume design, Jochien Van Schuppen; sound (Dolby), Steve Taylor; associate producer, Andrea Marsh; assistant director, Steve Lincoln; casting, Suzy Korel. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 17, 1994. Running time: 108 MIN.

With: Penny Second ... Peta Lily Det.-Sgt. Stiltskin ... Philip Pellew Dr. Rogers ... Julian Bleach Hal ... Oleg Fedorov Dr. Second Senior ... Chris Banks Dr. Melplash ... Jeremy Wilkin

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