Awaydays is an adaptation of Kevin Sampson’s noted novel. While the book provided a fascinating look at football hooliganism in 1979, the film offers no such insight. It’s not exactly incoherent, just mind-numbingly simplified. There is little to distinguish each titular awayday from another. The interesting thing about Tranmere Rovers’ crew of hoolies (“The Pack”) is that not only did they have a fearsome reputation but they had loads of style. Their wedge haircuts and Adidas were a striking contrast to the other thugs on the terraces and their lack of interest in anything sartorial. It does get this point across but the scraps all blend into one another. At least you have to hand it to Kevin Sampson, who also wrote the screenplay, for not supplying Basil Exposition voice-over. But the script is poor, leaving much unclear and ambiguous.
What can really raise the game of a low budget feature are good performances. Unfortunately, Awaydays doesn’t have any. The leads, Nicky Bell (Carty) and Liam Boyle (Elvis) have little charisma and/or presence. The closest thing is Stephen Graham’s older hoolie, who certainly looks the part in his sheepskin coat and ‘tache but it’s a minor role.
And this is a personal taste thing, but the dreary late seventies brit pop / indie film soundtrack makes it a contender for one of the worst ever.