Cinema Admits All

Mahler (2004)

It's Grimm Up North.
A wry fairytale about one man's release from prison into a strange and sinister world. Under the thumb of a local hoodlum, he must try to 'do the right thing' among the eccentrics, weirdos and monsters he meets.
Mahler (2004)

Once upon a time, there was a man called Mahler. He was imprisoned in the coldest, darkest jail cell in the tallest tower on the very highest of mountains. A prisoner to himself, adrift on a sea of melancholy was this man, as he had lost much through a dependence on wines and ales. All seemed futile, but then…

A weird sprite named Brogan limps into our story, adorned in garb of a gothic cowboy, to release him from his incarceration. On one condition… that he locates a woman known only as the Princess, who fled the iron grip of a local mob boss named Havelock. It is this dangerous hoodlum who had Mahler incarcerated… he who released him… he who will throw him back into the cold room, should he step out of line.

On his quest to discover the truth, Mahler will meet a host of unusual characters: Benny and Mitch, Havelocks feckless goons; his father, an eccentric bibliomancer, who directs him to the house of a local ghoul; a mysteriously prophetic vagrant called Robart; a wicked eater of children by the name of Jenny Greenteeth and a host of mythic creatures let loose in the everyday world.

With a dry wit and wry amusement, we follow Mahler as he makes sense of this bizarre world and stumbles, bewildered, towards a fairytale ending.

Our most ambitious student piece, this 42 min TV show pilot is a fresh take on TV drama. Odd in the extreme and combining expressionism with gritty realism, Mahler is a serious yet irreverent TV show - a surreal fairytale with forays into horror, Western, crime, art-house, and wry black comedy.

Weird… funny… intriguing… frightening…

Welcome to Mahler.


Daniel Chapman & Paul Roberts
Daniel Chapman & Paul Roberts
Sunday July 27th 2004 (UK)
  • Drama
  • Black Comedy
  • Horror
  • Surreal

Cast (in credits order)

    • Neil Armstrong
    • Neil Armstrong
    • Mahler
    • Jason Cook
    • Jason Cook
    • Brogan
    • Dave Smith
    • Dave Smith
    • George
    • Fiona Punchard
    • Fiona Punchard
    • Jenny Greenteeth
    • Lee Fenwick
    • Lee Fenwick
    • Havelock
    • John Cooper
    • John Cooper
    • Benny
    • Alan Renwick
    • Alan Renwick
    • Mitch
    • Steve Mobbs
    • Steve Mobbs
    • Robart
    • Andrea Clifford
    • Andrea Clifford
    • Princess

Additional Details

41 mins
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 Letterbox
Sound Mix:


    • Daniel Chapman
    • Producer / Editor
    • Jon McDermott
    • Camera Operator
    • Mike Hadfield
    • Visual Effects / Compositor


  • The central role was written with Neil Armstrong in mind, having met him at the screening for 'Only The Rocks'. Also, other characters such as Havelock, Benny, Mitch and Brogan were created with their eventual players in mind.
  • The Mobster getting clubbed by Havelock is Chris Frankland, who played 'Patrick Milton' in our first film 'The Last Day'. He wears the same brown suit he did in that film.
  • Despite being the longest piece we'd yet made, it was one of the fastest to edit. This was due to the long takes and slim shooting ratio.
  • Spoiler Warning: Click here to read
    A crucial scene was scripted, but never shot. Following Mahler's killing of Jenny Greenteeth, her twin children Raw head and Bloodybones (otherwise only seen as shadows during George's flashback), were to 'sake their insatiable thirst' by killing a young couple. This was to prompt the newspaper headline Robart (the tramp) refers to at the end of the episode.
Spiderhouse Productions Ltd
Mike J Hadfield
Look and code by Volicol