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Posted November 20, 2009 to photo album "Mersey Movies"
FilmInFocus’ Nick Dawson picks out 10 films made in Liverpool that demonstrate the city’s diverse cinematic history.
Slide 9: Formula 51 (2001)
Known as The 51st State when released in its native UK, this was a truly unlikely fusion of talents. Written by gas station attendant Stel Pavlou and directed by Hong Kong helmer Ronny Yu as his follow-up to The Bride of Chucky, Formula 51 was a high octane comedy thriller that starred Samuel L. Jackson as a kilt-wearing pharmacist called Elmo McElroy who travels to Liverpool to sell a killer new street drug and Robert Carlyle as the ex-hitman who he teams up with. The movie's supporting cast features Meat Loaf and Pirate Radio's Rhys Ifans as drug dealers called the Lizard and Iki respectively. As well as having the distinction of using the streets of Liverpool as the setting for a (pseudo-)Hollywood thriller, Formula 51 also set the pulses of Scouse viewers racing by having a derby game between Liverpool F.C. and their dreaded rivals Manchester United as the backdrop for one of the film's pivotal scenes.