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To Die For (1994, Thomas Arklie, Ian Williams)



Litten’s film takes a Ghost -like look at a gay relationship, managing to imbue what could have been a maudlin film with enough light moments to carry it off. Mark (Ian Williams) is a gay drag performer dying of AIDS, Simon (Thomas Arklie) his ex-lover, now carer, who has moved on to new relationships. After Mark’s death, Simon hits the town but finds that while Mark may have gone before, he’s on that spiritual plain that allows him to meddle with earthly affairs (and in particular, Simon’s!). Meanwhile, scatty upstairs neighbour Siobhan (Dillie Keane) is pursuing a doomed love affair with the monotonous Terry (Tony Slattery), whose idea of fun is a good political discussion.

Like Ghost, To Die For is about expressing repressed feelings and letting go of the past. While the plot is not as thriller-led, it still moves with enough dramatic pace and the Keane/Slattery relationship acts as almost a Greek chorus on events. There are also appearances from John ‘Nick Cotton’ Altman and Jean Boht (Nellie Boswell in Bread).

production details
UK | 101 minutes | 1994

Director: Peter Mackenzie Litten
Script: Johnny Byrne, Peter Mackenzie Litten, Paul McEvoy,

Thomas Arklie as Simon
Ian Williams as Mark
Gordon Alexander as Drop Dead Gorgeous (as Gordon Milne)
Dillie Keane as Siobban
Nicholas Harrison as Siobhan’s First Lover
Ian McKellen as Quilt Documentary Narrator (voice)
Sinitta Renet Malone as Quilt Documentary Narrator (voice) (as Sinitta)
Caroline Munro as Mrs. Pignon
Paul Cottingham as 1st Poxy Shirt Lifter
Lloyd T. Williams as Bodybuilder (as Lloyd Williams)
Robert Sturtz as Chris
Benjamin Sterz as Man in Gym
Tony Slattery as Terry
Brian Carter as Leather Man
John Altman as Dogger