THE ACID HOIISE
‘ t ontiiriiecl from previous page
nronstrous caibuncle on Swinging Britain’s skyline lust for life? Aye, right.
lrnagrne, their, the confusion of Gary Mc(.oimack loiinei bass player with legendary ldinhurgh punks lhe lsploited who makes a formidable acting debut as l.dllv, psychopathic neighbour of lolrrrny (Kevin McKidd) and his wrle (atrioira (Michelle (H)lll(‘x'). llrere he is at the llriston launch party for [he Acid inappropriately feel good event sponsored by Loaded magaxine and characterised by l)!
sets, glamour girls, free booze and Ionclon's lrggerati. Ihe Acid House continuously loops on big screens and, every time (rary steals .r nervous glance, there's his brutal sex scene with Michelle ()Ulllt‘t'. lhis scene isn't tender, Gary and Michelle aren't making love; it’s a grinding, pounding, mechanical fuck Not a great backdrop for a party.
'So there I was with my kit off and it was on all night, d'you know what I nrean?’ McCormack groans with a shake of his close cropped head 'It was |tlsl continuous. Me
getting nry kit off, rrre and Michelle slraggiirg, all fucking nrght.’
Decencling from top left: Stephen McCole in 'Grantorr .Star Cause'; Gary McCormack and Michelle Gomez in 'A Soft Touch'; Ewen Bremner and Arlene Cockburn in 'The Acid House'; and Michelle Gomez and Kevin McKidd in ‘A Soft Touch'
22 THELIST " V"
McCormack's tarry a hardman who makes his neighbour's life a living hell by stealing his wife, his consumer durables and, ultimately, his electricity has been described by his friend lrvrne Welsh as the most terrifying screen villain since Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet. And with good reason. With his blunt features, bleached bruncut, chunky jewellery and lollopping fighter's swagger, [any is Prince Na! disguised as Goldie.
for a man more used to chords than cues, McCUllchlck is so utterly convincing that you have to wonder if he really is like that. (ertarrrly, he retains the wiry, compact frame that looks custom built for close encounters of the bloody kind and, throughout this mtervrew in l.diirbuigh’s City Cafe, he will olterr emphasise points by leaning across the table and lixrng me with serious eyes which seem to contain sorrre kind of unspoken challenge Despite all this, he is friendly, funny and engaging. It is this mixture of charisma and threat which he brings, in greatly exaggerated form, to his performance.
'You can play a straightforward psycho like Begbie, but laiiy's not a Begbie,‘ says l\/lc('ormac k. 'lle’s more cunning, he’s got a bit more thought behind him. Years ago, I did the music for Made In Britain and, when l auditioned for this, I had Tim Roth at the back of my head. I liked the way he moves. Without saying anything, he conveys the underlying tliieat.’
McCormack has a new film, The Match in which he plays an l- nglish hating bai fly called (liowler released in the new year. He may also have roles in two short films based on Irvrne Welsh screenplays, one of which continues the story of. Larry, who has become a lottery millionaire.
’livine and me are going to take Larry on a different iourney,’ smiles McCormack. 'He buys a big house in Morningside, but he's still a complete cunt.’
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, as they say in Gianton.
Cradle snatcher WHEN YOUR HIBS CASUAL BOYFRIEND DROPS acid in an electrical storm and exchanges consciousness With an unborn baby, there's only one thing a strong willed, coniugally inc lined (ills gal can do: take lull advantage of the situation and get engaged to the drooling, inaitrculate former radge while he can't control his bowels never mind his personal relationships.
lhis is the manipulative course of action followed by Kristy in 'The Acid House'. She aggressively pursues domestic bliss with Coco Bryce (Lwen Bremner) who cannot protest as he has the mental ability of an infant. Meanwhile, in an altogether nicer part of
town, there's a newborn baby with a taste for .
Beck's, a talent for football hooliganism and an unwholesome enthusiasm for breast feeding.
This final part of The Acid House is the trippiest of the triptych, but, like E laced with LSD, it has an unexpected kick. You can watch it as an enjoyable romp through bad drugs, bad luck and good parenting, but it’s also a' bleak tale of manipulation, perhaps a
comment on the scramble for advan tage buried deep Within every human relationship. Uri surprisingly, Arlene Cockhurn, the young Portobello born actr' ess who plays lsiistv, admits to little com mon ground with her character.
'I wouldn't like to think I'm as devious as Kirsty, she's a bit of a bitch,’ says Cockburn. ’What we do share is that I’m also sure of the path I want to follow, so I brought that strength to the role. But my ambition at the moment is not to get married.’
’The Acid House' is a fair old trip from Cockburn's first star ring film role in Alan Rickman’s The Winter Guest, which opened earlier this year. While both parts saw her cast as a headstrong young woman determined to get her man, her debut was notable for its chilly colours and ice effects which could make even the most popcorn melting auditorium feel cold. By contrast, 'The Acid House', as befits its psychoactive arnbience, is a super~real rainbow hued sweep.
'We’re not going for that slum woe-is-rne look. It's a romp rock 'n’ roll, very in~your~ face, lots of music, montages and very stylised, lots of really high colour,’ says director Paul McGuigan. ’We aimed to make Edinburgh look like South LA, rather than the dull way it is usually portrayed.’
This nrix of near the knuckle situations and pop video style attracted Cockburn to the film. 'I like the bold, bright quality, but also the iawness. There are no holds barred,’ she says. 'l'in particularly impressed by "A Soft louclr”, which is poignant and real and bleak.’
Cockburn suspects that this very bleakness could well stoke the flames of controversy.
'Well, it’s not spoon fed Hollywood rubbish, is it 2' she argues. ’l've already heard someone corrrplainrrrg about how The Acid House encourages drug use, but that's so stupid. If it has any influence on drug use, then it shows how badly you could end up. People who say it's encouraging just don't understand.’
Despite ac krrowleclging the possibility that she might lincl herself catapulted into tabloid headlines as a peddler of mind altering substances to the nation's youth, past experience has taught Cockburn not to count on a fame injection similar to that which' Trainspotting gave Kelly Macdonald.
’l was really proud of The Winter Guest, but nobody paid much attention to it,’ she says. ’I'm not expecting anything from The Acid House, so I won’t be disappointed. I'm certainly not interested in being a star.’
The Acid House opens on Fri 1 Jan.