The Football Factory

by

What kind of backward imbecile would watch the Football Factory of their own free will? Not this kind of backward imbecile, that’s for sure. Here is my review:

Hooliganism was invented in 1872 by Mother O’ Hooligan, a stout, bellicose and matriarchal denizen of Cork, Ireland. Her brood was numerous and consisted solely of thick-boned, pudding-bummed bruisers, whose copious reserves of punchsome gusto were inversely proportional to their sense of civic responsibility. “Why, Mother O’ Hooligan”, the priest would exclaim, “I’ll wager those boys are a handful even for your gargantuan, shovel-like hands”. “Aye”, she replied, “but what am I to do”? However, that very night Mother O’ Hooligan was struck by a fresh, sugary pump of inspiration. “That’s it!” she cried, “I’ll channel the destructive energies of my fat, rowdy sons into a form of noisy football-oriented enthusiasm and have them engage in hot frothy battle with other gangs of fat, rowdy boys who happen to support different football teams, so as to render them tired and pliable by the time they come home for tea.” And lo, football hooliganism was born.

In essence, this film features underpaid, ill-trained thespians affecting to be “shit brickhouses” and “hard wingnuts” with the intention of producing a sublimated erotic thrill in the brains of the unprepossessing subnormals who actually watch these sorts of films. This, at least, is what it says on the blurb. Let’s have a looksee for ourselves….

Heaven On A Hotplate! Danny Dyer is in this film! The most mysterious, challenging artiste of our – or anyone’s – generation is in this film, this film that I am watching right now, with my own eyes. I retract every particle of the preceding paragraph, especially the bit pertaining to underpaid thespians – I was, transparently, talking shit. Good lord. I feel like Joe Meek must have felt after he didn’t sign the Beatles to his record label and then they went on to become famous, or like the innkeeper must have felt after he turned away Jesus and then the said Son of God went on to sell more records than the Beatles. I hope the readers of the Agoraphobic Reviewer can forgive me for this appalling oversight. Permit me to try to recover what little critical credibility I have left.

This film is not so much a vehicle for Danny Dyer, as Danny Dyer is a vehicle for this film, and indeed for all of our most noble aspirations and divine sentiments. When he curls his face up like a cheesy quaver and squeaks “you done a bloindah, me old san, a facking bloindah”, we feel as if he is talking directly to us and validating each of our existences on an individual basis. It is highly gratifying. When he strips off his velveteen hooligan costume to reveal a specimen of male genitalia that is, like the human to which it is attached, tiny, pink and full of character, we do not feel anything so base and feral as sexual arousal. Rather, we feel what Dante must have felt when he ascended, in living form, to heaven, and viewed the resplendent Beatrice sitting by God’s side: nothing short of all-conquering holy rapture.

Oh, exalted Danny Dyer. Teach me how to fight and love and live like you. Bear me up on your shoulders as if I were a mogwai and you were the main character out of Gremlins whose name I have forgotten. Throw me up into the benign sunlight as if I were your own son. Nurture me and all of humanity at your soul’s teat.

Danny Dyer’s surname reminds us, like a terrifying, Satanic memento mori, that one day he will die. When that day comes, we must all just have to try to cope in our own way.

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