Resurrection Man has been drawn from the insane activity that was going on in Northern Ireland during this era (The Troubles), where random violence and murders were being conducted against innocent members of the public by roving street gangs in the name of sectarian activity. The film is loosely based on the activities of the Shankhill Butchers, a gang led by the charismatic Lenny Murphy who roamed Belfast between 1975 and 1982, abducting and killing random Catholics. Although the killings continued after, Murphy and the principals were arrested in 1979 and sentenced to 42 life sentences for a total of nineteen murders. There are fascinating portraits of this period to be found in Neil Jordans first film Angel (1982) and the documentary Elephant (1989). However, the film here seems to exist in a vacuum where you keep asking what is going on but nothing is ever provided. Resurrection Man does make interesting contrast to the satiric The Boondock Saints (1999), which had two Irish brothers in Boston becoming celebrated by the public when they go on a vigilante killing spree.
The film stars Stuart Townsend who has since gone onto become a rising international star in films like Queen of the Damned (2002) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). Whereas both Queen of the Damned and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have tended to cast Townsend as a foppish, impossibly handsome pretty boy of ambiguous sexuality, Resurrection Man instead plays into a kind of surly, dangerous sex appeal. With his native Irish accent to the fore, walking with a pouty swagger, his eyes dangerously lidded, even a vampiric black coat, Townsend projects a dangerous presence that pierces right off the screen. It is a part where he gets to project a whole lot more and engage in far more real acting than any of his Hollywood mainstream roles have ever allowed him to do. There is also an excellent performance from the always reliable Brenda Fricker as Townsends mother.
The film is made by Marc Evans, a promisingly up and coming director from Wales. After working in British tv for some years, Evans premiered with the little seen Arthurs Departure (1994) about time travellers attempting to snatch King Arthur; before Evans found acclaim with the sleeper reality tv horror My Little Eye (2002), the ghost story Trauma (2004) and various other non-genre films including Snow Cake (2006), Patagonia (2010) and Hunky Dory (2011) and works for tv.
(Nominee for Best Actor (Stuart Townsend) at this sites Best of 1998 Awards).
Film online in several parts beginning here:-