If you're a sick mutha and you like your comedies kettle black than the "Young Poisoner's Handbook" is sure to please.Graham is your average, misunderstood teen growing up in England in the early 60's. He has problems with girls, his family, and fitting in, so he turns to his favorite hobby to help him through the hard times. It's not stamp collecting, or model airplanes, it's harsh and volatile chemicals. Yep, Graham likes poison, and it's not long before he starts slipping it to his bitchy step-mother. After spending a few years in a mental institution he is released back to the world only to find the world doesn't want him. He takes a lowly job at a camera company and begins to live a normal life. Everything goes well for Graham until he discovers a key ingredient used to make the cameras is his favorite poison. He just can't resist and the whole thing starts again.
The most amazing thing about this movie is that it's actually based on a true story. Being that it happened about 20 years before I was born I obviously don't remember it, but maybe some of you reading this do...that is if anyone is reading this...The Director took many liberties when making this film including a fictional ending because no one really knows how Graham Young's story ends, it's a bit of a mystery.
Hugh O'conor is brilliant as Graham. He plays the character as a sort of creepy peter pan...he's a lost boy with them crazy eyes. There is an underlying sweetness to Graham, and in the end you realize he's not evil, but just a soul in need of help. Ruth Sheen and Roger Lloyd Pack are great as the parents and provide many of the movie's funniest moments. It's not a "HA HA" comedy, but a film that has subtle and sophisticated wit.
There is a really fantastic look to the "Young Poisoner's Handbook", maybe it's because colors were brighter in the 60's, but everything has this vibrant sheen to it. The movie has a kick-ass soundtrack which includes "Green Onions"! I love that song! One problem that I have with the film is that a few scenes are pretty much borrowed from "A Clockwork Orange". One scene in particular where the mental patients are hanging out in the courtyard might encourage bouts of violence from die hard Clockwork fans(not that they need something to get mad about).It's a charming movie that's a required taste.
Gadzooks! Grade: A-