Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd the  Demon Barber from Fleet Street has been a haunting story, scaring the living day lights out of people for years. Sweeney Todd is a gruesome horror about a barber named Sweeny Todd who slits his customers throats while giving them a good shave. The story takes place in the eighteen hundreds which would be the perfect time for a murderous barber.  After murdering these poor souls, he drops them underneath his barber shop from the floor, stealing their wealth and other belongings. Down below, Sweeney Todd’s mistress Margery  Lovett takes the remains of the dead and places their toes, fingers, and other parts of the human body into pies that she bakes and sells at her meat pie shop. They say her pies are bloody brilliant. The more men Sweeney Todd slaughters the more his thrill to kill grows.

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Sweeney Todd’s origin began around the mid 1840’s from author Edward Lloyd’s  story ” A Penny Dreadful: The String of Pearls. Lloyd’s creativity arrived from other classic tales. In the 1830’s he pretty much was infamous for plagiarizing some of Charles Dickens’ stories like Oliver Twist. Today we’d probably just call that satire. Supposedly Sweeny Todd was not a real person, although Londoners back then had to deal with that Jack the Ripper guy. Perhaps Mr. Ripper and Mr. Todd knew each other?  Sweeney Todd has been a well known Broadway musical and film. The latest film production was created by well known director of horror and suspense Tim Burton back in 2007. The leading actors and actresses for this film were Johnny Depp( Sweeney Todd), Helena Bohman Carter( Margery Lovett) and Alan Rickman( Judge Turpin). I had never seen Sweeney Todd before so when I noticed Netflix had picked it up I was bloody joyful.

In Tim Burton’s film, Sweeney Todd is returning to the cold, gloomy streets of  Victorian London, England. He arrives with a young, dashing sailor named  Anthony Hope. Years ago, Sweeney Todd went by the name of Benjamin Baker. He was once a young, ambitious barber who was in love with his beautiful wife named Lucy.  His time with Miss. Lucy is cut short when Judge Turbin convicts Benjamin Baker of a  crime out of lust for his wife. Judge Turbin sends Benjamin Baker away to a penal colony,  stealing Lucy away from him. When he returns, Sweeney Todd  enters Fleet Street. Fleet Street is now crime ridden and unbearable to say the least. He walks into Mrs.  Nelie Lovett’s meat pie shop that sits below his old barber store.  Cockroaches and other bugs swarm the shop. Todd learns that his wife was raped by Judge Turbin. Eventually Lucy committed suicide.  Lucy’s daughter Joanna has become Judge Turbin’s pawn being trapped inside his home. This news drives Sweeney Todd to bonkers. Todd vows his revenge plot in song to Mrs. Lovett as she returns his flashy straight razors over to him. Soon Sweeney Todd re-opens his shop, beginning the horror that would plague the poor, disgusting Fleet Street for centuries.

Overall I really  enjoy these type of films. These films are set in a older time period which is entertaining to explore.  The setting of this film was perfect being based on Victorian, England in its prime. I’d love to just walk around a city like London during its genesis. Films being directed by Tim Burton also having Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, and Helena Bonham Carter are just so quirky and fun. The characters were very interesting and cheerful. If we sang every sentence we spoke perhaps the world would be a happier place. For some odd reason this film felt like a Disney film. Sweeney Todd was rated R, yet I’ve seen some pretty bloody PG13 rated movies.

 Being such a Potterhead, it was delightful to see so many actors and actresses from  the Harry Potter cast in this film. It’s always so funny and weird to me when seeing Johnny Depp in a musical.  I’m starting to think that Johnny Depp has some strange fascination for cutting things.  Lets remember that he also played Edward Scissorhand. This might sound strange, yet I liked and also dislike the ending. The ending caught me by surprise which was great, but it felt like they had rushed it a bit as well.  I do not want to give out any spoilers to those who have not seen this movie, yet so I’ll leave it at that. IMO Sweeney Todd is deserving of 3 and a half stars out of five. Some parts were too bizarre for me and drop this film from reaching the 4 star mark. Still I really enjoyed Sweeney Todd and am glad to be living in modern times were we can groom our facial hair ourselves.

 

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