Joe Cornish has come a long way. From spoofing his favourite films with pal Adam Buxton on the unashamedly cultish The Adam And Joe Show, Cornish has now brought his own cinematic vision to life with his directorial debut, Attack The Block.
Influenced by John Carpenter (Halloween) and Richard Donner (The Goonies), and starring Nick Frost, this riotous, rollicking action-comedy begins with Sam (Jodie Whittaker) being accosted by a bunch of kids on her way home. But the group are distracted when a falling meteorite hits a nearby car.
ENTER: SPACE CREATURES
As the gang investigates, a small alien attacks them, only to come a cropper. While it’s South London 1, Space 0 for now, alien reinforcements are on the way. The five youths — Moses, Pest, Dennis, Jerome and Biggz — will have to go from zeroes to heroes if they’re to save the estate and (gulp!) the world. Cornish reveals where his inspiration came from. “In 2001 a gang of kids nicked my wallet and phone through sheer force of numbers. I’m a typical coward and gave them everything.”
They may have taken Cornish’s material goods, but they at least left him with the seeds of an idea. “I was struck by how young they were. I thought, ‘I probably see you in the park. We’re probably on the same level of Call Of Duty.'"
It was M Night Shyamalan’s spooky alien-invasion flick Signs that really crystallised the idea behind Attack The Block in Cornish’s mind. “Signs reminded me of a script that John Sayles wrote called Night Skies, which was eventually developed into ET and Gremlins.
“I’ve always loved the idea of a siege and, in particular, humans being under siege from aliens. Then it struck me: what if that scenario unfolded in my south London neighbourhood?”
THE BIG REVEAL
You can find out the answer to that very question, first and for free. Optimum Releasing has teamed up with Cineworld cinemas nationwide to offer ShortList readers the chance to see Attack The Block for nothing. Exclusive screenings are taking place on Monday 9 May at the following Cineworld cinemas: Birmingham Broad Street; Brighton; Crawley; Glasgow Parkhead; Liverpool; Didsbury, Manchester; Middlesbrough; Sheffield; The O2, Greenwich and Wandsworth.
To download your tickets, visit Showfilmfirst.com and enter the code ‘Attack’. You’ll need to present your tickets, along with this page, at the box office. ID may be requested (certificate 15). Please arrive by 6pm.
Attack The Block is at cinemas nationwide from 11 May; attacktheblock.com'''