The existence of a legendary budget martial arts ‘epic’ set in rural Ireland and featuring the Franciscan Friars and a former member of ‘Boyzone’ was long thought to be an urban legend, but rumours and bootleg VHS videos continued to circulate. The film’s cult status continued to grow and eventually screenings took place at several universities.
Finally, some decent fellow put it online.

Basic introductions


I thought you said "marital arts" 8O
Well, it has pretty much the same production values.
Fatal Deviation is a low-budget cult film produced and set in Trim, County Meath, Ireland. Produced in 1998, it enjoys the distinction of being Ireland's first full-length martial arts film. The film stars real-life martial arts enthusiast James Bennett. Despite proceeding straight to video without a theatrical release, Fatal Deviation has through word-of-mouth become a much sought-after release and, indeed, something of a cult classic. Admirers cite its unusual and enchanting rural setting; its extensive use of local individuals with no acting experience or training to fill key roles; the protagonist's many memorable one-liners (e.g. "**** you and your gun, ya prick"); and the undeniable charisma and magnetism of its star. The film is also notable for its many plot holes, continuity errors, incoherent dialogue, badly-dubbed sound effects and a scene involving the consumption of cocaine using a Dunnes Stores Value Clubcard.

[edit] Plot

Fatal Deviation tells the story of Jimmy Bennett, a disenfranchised young man trying to rebuild his life on returning home after a period in reformatory school. He aims to discover who killed his father while he was away and also to win the upcoming Bealtaine Fighting Festival. However, the local drugs gang see Jimmy and the festival as ideal vehicles for strengthening their grip on the town. When Jimmy refuses to join them, they turn on him. The gang leader arranges for "Seagull" to return from his successful mission in Toyko on a direct flight to Trim airfield in order to take part in the festival. Meanwhile the gang leader's son, Mikey (played by Mikey Graham of Boyzone fame), has Jimmy's girlfriend kidnapped and leaves Jimmy a note warning him to "Loose [sic] or else".

Jimmy's fortunes begin to change when he is brought under the tutelage of a group of mysterious local monks who had trained his father, a martial arts champion, many years before. Under the guidance of the mysterious head monk, Jimmy undertakes an intensive training programme in preparation for the tournament. Jimmy goes on to reach the final, where he faces Seagull - whom he defeats with a well-timed use of the mysterious "Fatal Deviation" move as taught to him by the head monk.

Having triumphed over Seagull, Jimmy then takes on the gang and rescues his girlfriend. In doing so, he kills Mikey. On hearing of his son's death the gang leader seeks bloody vengeance ("Erm, you bastard, you murdered my son. Now I'm going to blow you. Away"), but Jimmy ultimately dispatches him too. The film ends with Jimmy reunited with his girlfriend and looking confidently forward to a happy and peaceful future in Trim.

[edit] Notes

* It was during the production of this film that James Bennett supposedly earned the nickname "Jimmy 'Square Arse'" after allegedly wearing protective gear on his posterior during a stunt.
* The film famously kickstarted Mikey Graham's distinguished acting career.
* The gang leader was played by prominent local solicitor Michael Regan.
* Meath Senior Gaelic Footballer, publican and would-be Fine Gael politician Graham Geraghty makes a cameo as "Celebrating Contestant in White shirt #1" in the early stages of the Bealtaine tournament, demonstrating a signature headbutt.
* The car crash scene was not intended but while filming the scene, the driver of the car crashed it. It was decided to leave the scene in.
* The film's tag line was "A classic good versus evil action flick, mixed with kicks, guns, motorcycles and a hot babe!" and also "Enjoy the Slide"

Latest Threads