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Top Five Shittest Gangsters

By Kirsty Walker 

Sometimes film and TV get it beautifully right, but when gangsters go wrong, they go so, so wrong…


Johnny Allen – Eastenders


He was supposed to be the scariest bastard ever to walk the Square, but dragging his daughter-dead-in-fire backstory behind him like a big soap barge he was more Alan Sugar than Tony Soprano.


His rap sheet reads like the ‘Crimefile’ column of the Cumbria Gazette. He killed his Clive Owen-a-like rival Andy Hunter by throwing him off a bridge, and the rest of his ‘misdemeanours’ include beating someone up for spelling his name wrong on a birthday cake, and trapping Peggy Mitchell’s fingers in a door. Grange Hill has hard more hard-hitting villains. It finally only took the iron fist of clearly-gay Irag veteran Sean Slater to see Johnny off, and now he has taken the crown of ‘least convincing bad guy’. Slater was last seen taunting someone and smiling slyly after they looked away.



Marcus Tandy – Eldorado


Effectively re-christened ‘Marcoos’ by his daft Spanish girlfriend Pilar, Jesse Birdsall’s turn as the Shite Opera’s resident baddy was as laughable as….well, the rest of Eldorado I suppose.


In the Shit Gangster Bible, rule 14 is that an impressionable youth will fall under the spell of said bad guy, and end up biting off more than he can chew. The exceedingly ugly Blair Lockhead was the chosen stoolie, but he managed to double cross his boss surprisingly easily, and got off with just a warning video of Marcus inexplicably wearing a pig mask and laughing. If a drama is as strong as it’s bad guys then Eldorado was trailing Rentaghost at this particular moment.


Tandy got the last ‘let’s use up the money’ shot of the cancelled series when his car was seen exploding. He sailed off into the sunset with Pilar and hopefully drowned.



Pookie - New Jack City


One of the greatest gangster films ever made has a terrific weak link in the form of Chris Rock’s shit gangster Pookie. While Nino Brown and the brilliantly named Cash Money Brothers are giving Ice T the run-around, the good guys’ only inside man is a lily-livered junkie who seems to be present only to preach a message of ‘drugs are bad’ as he’s led back onto the crack pipe by the evil dealers, and then get plugged in the head.


“I tried to kick, but that shit just be calling me man!” he whines as the viewer half expects fucking Cookie Monster to show up and underline the moral panic.



Sonny, Dead Man’s Shoes


Shane Meadows’ midlands gangster flick contains one of the most terrifying depictions of vengeful rage from the brilliant Paddy Considine. But as Considine’s Richard supplies the anti-hero, where’s the villain? Step up ex-boxer Gary Stretch as Sonny, the local drug dealer and hard man who runs his ‘business’ from the upstairs room of a pub and seems to spend most of his gangster down-time hanging around with a load of scabby scalls rather than blinging it with some tasty ladees. He’s so shit that Richard actually manages to give him a make-over, axe his henchman in the head and blow his brains out within about thirty minutes.


Sonny’s principal crime seems to be that he teased Richard’s ‘special’ brother, and then sold some multicoloured pills which look like they came off the pick and mix.  He shoots his own henchman from out of the sunroof of a Citroen 2CV. On a farm. Maybe this is how they do things in Matlock, but it’s not exactly Scarface is it? Stretch’s light middleweight record reads Lost 2, won 23, two by knockout. Hardly the type who’s going to be intimidated by a bloke from a Coldplay video.



Rory Breaker – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels


The endearingly crap Rory Breaker is the epitome of all Shit Gangsters. He talks the talk but takes all manner of nonsense from idiot gastropod ‘Nick the Bubble’. His dangerous rep is the result of a story about setting fire to someone’s hair, the kind of thing that doesn’t even get you thrown out of school these days. If Rory was a South London teenager he’s be on the naughty step, not heading up one of it’s most notorious gangs,


In true Shit Gangster style he threatens some kind of menace before getting shot to oblivion. His drugs gang are a load of middle class proto-hippies who grow weed in a warehouse conversion, and his easily breakable glass table looks like it came from Argos. Get some style man!









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