Mentally ill young Simon Lacey (Roland Curram in the performance of his life) gives out his prescription barbiturates to children thinking they are sweets because they’re normally administered to him by his mother (Jean Anderson).
The kids are found unconscious and the police begin an urgent investigation. Chasing Simon through the streets and alleyways of London is Inspector Duffy (the ever-reliable Bernard Archard).
The story’s underlying wisdom regarding neurodivergence and mental ill health is clearly outdated now, but Ellen McIntosh gives a bravura performance as a single mother juggling work with raising a family, and Jean Anderson paints a sympathetic portrait of an older mother coming to terms with the extent of her son’s mental health issues.
Pitched somewhere between a kitchen-sink drama, a police procedural, and a juvenile morality tale, this low-budget British B movie (it was shot in 24 days for $75,000) is a masterpiece of great writing, naturalistic acting and superb direction from Stanley Goulder, who had previously been a documentary maker.
Shot on location in Greenwich and Woolwich in South East London.