A confession: I’m not a great fan of horror films and I haven’t been on a first date since – (coughs to mask the year). So I’m not the ideal audience for Double Date, the antithesis of a romantic comedy. Written by lead actor Danny Morgan, it is about an awkward young man, Jim (Morgan) whose best friend, Alex (Michael Socha) tries to get him laid before his thirtieth birthday. They double date two sisters, Lulu (Georgia Groome) and Kitty (Kelly Wenham). Lulu is quite nice; you’d take her home to meet your mum – and Jim does. Kitty is, how you say, mental, a word to describe her mistress’ plan to sacrifice a virgin to bring Daddy back to life.
We are in British horror comedy territory, the land of Shaun of the Dead and, er, Lesbian Vampire Killers, except that Morgan and Socha are far funnier than Cordon and Horne, if not on a par with Pegg and Frost. Jim has been dumped by his long-term girlfriend and doesn’t want to put himself out there. Alex loves a challenge, as opposed to University Challenge, and who stays in on a Monday night? He decides to push Jim towards two girls who make eye-contact, unbeknown that they are serial killers.
The cast boasts the estimable Dexter Fletcher as Alex’s dad, whose idea of a night in involves three-ply tissue and Robert Glenister as Jim’s pa. Jim’s birthday with the family is Brit comedy at its most crispy-cringe. The main reason to see the film is the finale. Creed Jr going twelve rounds with Tony Pellew is nothing compared with Alex taking on Kitty. When a man and a woman fight it is usually unwatchable but Alex takes a proper beating and Kitty looks like she could dish it out – it is the opposite of exploitation.
Double Date is the funniest, most satisfying British horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead – although I have to say the funniest British comedy horror ever still has to be Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce, just ahead of Norman J. Warren’s Insemnoid. Although Morgan and director Benjamin Barfoot distinguish themselves, Wenham’s manic turn elevates the film; so kick-ass, she could be the first British actress to convincingly play Lara Croft.