10 Gangster Movies That Mess With Your Brain

10. Performance (1970)

A whacked out, unsettling and vaguely occult curiosity, Performance was the result of Warner Bros executives deciding to make a film starring Rolling Stones€™ frontman Mick Jagger, on the basis that The Beatles€™ A Hard Day€™s Night had raked it in. As anyone who has seen Performance realises, that€™'s like trying to cash in on One Direction by reforming the Mahavishnu Orchestra. A study in transgressive identity politics, Performance was co-directed by Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell, two men who would become famous for their surreal artistic visions in years to come.

James Fox plays Chas, a violent gangland figure on the run, and Jagger plays Turner, the reclusive rock star that takes him in to better understand him, hoping to revive the €˜demon€™ that fueled his art, knowing that it€™s likely that Chas will simply murder him.

Initially indifferent to the mystically inclined Turner and his lifestyle, Chas finds his sense of self disintegrating as he slowly begins to merge with Turner. The film€™'s climax sees Chas€™ criminal associates locating him and bringing him home, the implication being that he will be killed. Before he leaves, Chas does in fact pull the trigger on Turner, who seems to accept his role in the drama being played out.

However, as the car pulls away, Chas is shown to have Turner€™'s face.


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.