In the fictional district of Piglinstown in north Dublin, a hair salon called Deadly Cuts is where the locals gather to gossip, giggle and get their hair done. Michelle (Angeline Ball) leads the gang alongside Stacey (Ericka Roe), Chantelle (Shauna Higgins) and Gemma (Lauren Larkin). All four demonstrate big personalities and plenty of sass to match. Their business is under threat, however, by the thuggish Deano (Ian Lloyd Anderson) and nasty politician Darren Flynn (Aidan McArdle).
Their only hope to save their salon, and other local businesses being bullied out, is to win an elite hairdressing contest called ‘Ahh Hair’. Unbeknownst to the judges, the hairdressers had to take other more measures to ensure they are protected…
Star of ‘Deadly Cuts’ Angeline Ball is still probably best-known for her role as the stunning back-up singer Imelda of ‘The Commitments’. Aside from the works of Roddy Doyle, we’ve gotten few North Dublin stories so full of heart and focussed on community since then, and so this movie feels as immediately nostalgic as it does like a fresh wash and blow dry.
Director-writer Rachel Carey impresses with her cheeky script, full of witty comebacks and giddy remarks. The camaraderie between the young women working in the salon and the older ones coming to get their hair done is lovely to see. ‘Deadly Cuts’ is charming, and not afraid of a little female toilet humour either.
Ball makes a fabulous lead and she’s surrounded by a talented cast. The film is punctuated by some “coulourful” and very funny snippets of the locals, the Dublin class divide being very much at the centre of the film’s sense of humour. At the same time, ‘Deadly Cuts’ can be sillier than it is sharp, losing that shine a little as it gets into the final act, set around the ‘Ahh Hair’ contest. It generally feels very B-movie, but then it doesn’t pertain to be anything more than it is, and there’s a lot to admire in that humility.
‘Deadly Cuts’ won’t rock the world but it’ll certainly provide a fun night out. Try to watch it with a big audience, so you can embrace the silliness and laugh along altogether.