The Charliad

The strange tale of Charlie Sheen in Glasgow

Charlie Sheen in Glasgow
Charlie “Charles” Sheen filming on the streets of Glasgow

Albert Pyun is the prolific director of films such as The Sword and the Sorcerer, Dollman, Cyborg, Brainsmasher…a Love Story, and the 1990 Captain America. Matchbox Cineclub once screened a film of his, called Radioactive Dreams, and he graciously recorded us a short and charming intro for it, on his phone. Pyun is a sweetheart and a total workhorse who’s made many, many films, mostly low budget or direct-to-video. He’s one of those guys who’s always working, often wherever budgets and sometimes tax credits take him. And in the summer of 1997, between a film called Mean Guns (starring Ice T and Christopher Lambert) and another called Sorcerers, he made a wee movie called Postmortem, AKA Obit, which was filmed in Glasgow.

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How many people know Charlie Sheen made a film in Glasgow? It’s been suggested he took the role in Postmortem to attempt to get more serious roles, and that might explain why he’s billed as “Charles” Sheen. But of the four films he made as Charles Sheen, one was directed by Bret Michaels, lead singer of Poison, and collectively they don’t make a persuasive case for that argument.

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Postmortem was filmed in Glasgow,  but also set in Glasgow – unusual even now – with a mostly local supporting cast. Joining Charles was a just-pre-Rushmore Stephen McCole (later of Orphans, Neds and River City), Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot, Neds) and Ivana Milicevic, a Sarajevo-born actress with a flawless Scots-Irish-American-Yugoslavian accent. Here’s the blurb:

The only way to trap a serial killer is to know what he thinks, what he feels and… when he’ll strike again! James MacGregor (Charles Sheen) is a brilliant but burned-out forensic detective who travels to Scotland in a desperate attempt to put his life back together. However, his best-selling book detailing his experience tracking serial killers in the US brings him immediate and unwanted notoriety. When a woman’s body is found in his garden following a mysterious faxed obituary, MacGregor is unwillingly pulled into the investigation to find her killer. As more faxes are received and the brutal murders increase, can he track down the man responsible?

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It was filmed in around 10 days (maybe 9, maybe 11), and Sheen’s work was done in six. As Pyun has explained elsewhere, “Charlie really made Postmortem the success it was with his talent and heroism. He worked only six days and had to do eighteen to twenty pages and fifteen to sixteen scenes per day! Wow!” And if you work that hard, it’s understandable – predictable, even – if you need to blow off a little steam. So, one day, Charles clocked out and Charlie took the night off.

The resulting stramash reads like an odyssey – let’s call it the Charliad – across Greater Glasgow. Mr Sheen started in the infamous city centre club Archaos, enjoying a little cocaine while rubbing shoulders with Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne and other footballers spending a small fortune on VIP lounge drinks. It’s claimed Charlie also fell afoul of a number of prospective drug deals, leaving him wary enough of the locals to later look for the reassurance of a locally-purloined gun (the cocaine brain can house such contradictions).

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Archaos’ VIP Sky Bar in 1998

Charlie and his minder left the club at 2am, taking a taxi to the Hilton in Anderston, where he was staying. Sheen, however, refused to disembark, despite the protestations of his guardian. The star was determined instead to patronise the West End nightclub Cleopatra’s (affectionately known as Clatty Pat’s, but most recently as Viper), but – alas – it was closed.

Eventually, Sheen persuaded his minder to accompany him back out into the night, instructing the cabbie to “take us to the hookers”. He tried and failed to pick up several prostitutes, who refused him either because he was too drunk or because his abusive reputation preceded him. Finally, one of the women he accosted, Lorraine Brown, agreed to go with him, but brought her boyfriend (and alleged pimp), Billy McGeachin along. Sheen gave Brown £300, with a promise of three times that if she could get him cocaine.

They drove on to Easterhouse (which Sheen decided looked “like the Bronx”), where McGeachin had primed a local drug dealer for their arrival. Unfortunately, McGeachin later recollected, he’d let slip who was coming. “They wanted to get Charlie out the taxi and tie him up,” he told the Daily Record. And, worse, there were no drugs. Brown and McGeachin, both addicts in need of the promised cash, ground £30 worth of speed into sugar from a bowl. “We acted fast,” McGeachin remembered, “because the guys in the house were building up the courage to go down and kidnap him.”

Back in the taxi, Charlie handed them a mix of currency amounting to around £4,000 in 2018 money. Charlie then asked McGeachin to get him a gun. Sheen explained he’d feel safer with one, while his bodyguard ruefully shook his head. According to Brown, Charlie “kept calling everyone ‘n****r’ and saying he didn’t care if he got shot, and didn’t take any ‘n****r shit’ from anyone.”

Sheen and his entourage then voyaged to a 24-hour shop on Argyle Street (the now-closed Mo’s), intending to buy baking powder, spoon and tinfoil to make crack. Thwarted, Charlie grabbed a packet of biscuits and walked the aisles eating them. Asked to pay, he reportedly retorted, “Where we come from, we kick the shit out of guys like you.” If you’re struggling for a visual, the taxi driver remembers Sheen wearing a green baseball cap and a Hawaiian shirt under a beige tweed jacket. They returned to the hotel.

What happened next is lost to history, though we can assume Charles was back in charge the next day, and production on Postmortem concluded without further incident.

As a Hollywood film that lets Glasgow play itself (albeit with some imaginative geography), Postmortem remains a rare curiosity and completely enjoyable on its own terms. Albert Pyun is still making films, often taking on several crew roles at once, a vocation which helps offset his early onset dementia. Billy McGeachin, at last notice, was sober and a full-time carer. Lorraine Brown sadly died in 2002. Charlie…well, it’s very easy to find out what Charlie did next. He’s never returned to Scotland, though. Not yet.


Albert Pyun’s Bad Ass Angels and Demons is currently in production. Check out the GoFundMe page here: gofundme.com/badassangelsfunding

Going Full Cage: Exploring the Enigma of Nicolas Cage

Tara Judah and Ti Singh bring their sell-out show to Cage-a-rama 2019

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We are beyond thrilled to bring Going Full Cage, the extremely popular, sell-out event from Bristol’s Watershed, to Glasgow for Cage-a-rama 2: Cage Uncaged. In January, two of the UK’s foremost film experts will explore the phenomenon of Nicolas Cage and debate the case for and against the best/worst actor of our times.

Nicolas Cage has been nominated for more Razzies than he has Oscars (The Golden Raspberry Awards recognise the worst in film), and yet he remains an Academy Award winning actor, thanks to his outstanding performance in Leaving Las Vegas. But just how can one man be recognised by both the industry’s most esteemed and most mocking award ceremonies? As fascinating as he is baffling, who is this enigmatic man? Is he utterly brilliant – in on the joke – or is he an overrated actor taking whatever pay check comes his way?

Whatever your opinion, we can say for sure that this member of the Coppola clan has worked with both the best and the worst in the business. From the Coen Brothers to the Kaufmans, with David Lynch and Neil LaBute, Nic Cage has entertained cinema audiences for almost forty years. Famous for his outlandish purchases, including oddities as wide-ranging as a castle in Bath (where he used to live!) and an illegal dinosaur skull, it’s no wonder he’s earned a reputation for eccentricity.

Nic Cage super fans Tara Judah (Watershed Cinema Producer) and Timon Singh (Bristol Bad Film Club Founder), will be diving deep into the bottomless abyss of the enigma. Presenting their cases for and against his brilliance in back to back presentations with clips, quotes and context, before discussing and debating their findings. Join us on Saturday 5th January as Tara and Ti dare to go Full Cage.

Whether you’ve seen the best or the worst of his career, this session will equip you with the tools, anecdotes and arguments to understand the curious career and big screen allure of one of Hollywood’s most unconventional A-listers.


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Tara Judah is Cinema Producer at Watershed in Bristol, and has worked in programming and editorial for the cinema’s archive, classic and repertory film festival, Cinema Rediscovered since its inception in 2016. Tara is also a freelance film critic and has contributed to Senses of Cinema, Desist Film, Monocle and Sight & Sound. Tara is a director on the board of trustees at one of the UK’s longest continuously operating cinemas, Curzon Cinema Clevedon. Tara’s favourite Nic Cage movie is Wild at Heart and her least favourite is City of Angels. (WHYYYY?) She especially loves it when Nic Cage sings.

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Timon Singh is Campaign Managers for Film Hub South West and also runs Bristol Bad Film Club and Bristol Sunset Cinema in… well, Bristol. He has previously written for Den Of Geek UK and Cineworld Magazine and his first book Born To Be Bad: Talking to the greatest villains in action cinema is out now. Timon is also the writer/producer on the upcoming documentary film In Search of the Last Action Heroes. His favourite Nicolas Cage film is Wings of the Apache. His worst is the first Ghost Rider. At the least the sequel had the decency to go Full Cage…


Going Full Cage, Saturday 5th January 2019, CCA Glasgow, part of Cage-a-rama 2: Cage Uncaged. All tickets on sale via our online store, here.

Cage-a-rama 2: Premieres, Guests and Going Full Cage

Matchbox Cineclub present the UK premiere of Nicolas Cage’s newest film, Between Worlds, with director Maria Pulera in attendance

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Nicolas Cage in Between Worlds (Maria Pulera, 2018)

Between Worlds is the film where Nicolas Cage makes love to women while reading aloud from a book entitled “Memories by Nicolas Cage”. That’s to say, it’s the perfect closing film for Cage-a-rama 2: Cage Uncaged, our second annual Nicolas Cage film festival. We’re delighted to welcome writer-director-producer Maria Pulera to present her film at Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, on Sunday 6th January, 2019.

Nicolas Cage is Joe, a man obsessed by the death of his wife and daughter. At a way station on a lonely highway, Joe meets Julie (Franka Potente), a spiritually gifted woman who enlists him in a desperate attempt to recover the lost soul of her comatose daughter, Billie (Penelope Mitchell).

The full Cage-a-rama 2: Cage Uncaged film programme features Mandy, Army of One, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The Wicker ManMom and Dad, Zandalee, Vampire’s Kiss, Wild At Heart and Between Worlds.

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Confirmed guests/contributors include: Maria Conchita Alonso (actor, Vampire’s Kiss, The Running Man, Predator 2), Skype Q&A; Lindsay Gibb (author, National Treasure: Nicolas Cage), video essay premiere; Barry Gifford (author, Wild At Heart, screenwriter, Lost Highway, Hotel Room), pre-recorded interview; Tara Judah (Bristol’s Watershed) and Ti Singh (Bristol Bad Film Club), Going Full CageCasper Kelly (Too Many Cooks) and Shane Morton (Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell), creators of Mandy‘s Cheddar Goblin sequence, Skype Q&A; Maria Pulera (director, Between Worlds), live Q&A; Brian Taylor (director, Mom and Dad, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Crank), Skype Q&A.

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Film experts Tara Judah and Ti Singh bring their sell-out Going Full Cage live event from Bristol’s Watershed on Saturday 5th January. Canadian Cage academician Lindsay Gibb will also premiere a brand-new and exclusive video essay at the festival.

With 11 Nicolas Cage films and events over three days, a counter-Cage cool-off area will be provided for those who need a break – this VHS “Hanks-a-rama” station will loop the reassuring presence of America’s Dad Tom Hanks throughout the festival weekend.

Local brewers Innis and Gunn sponsor Cage-a-rama for the first time this year. The annual Nicolas Cage Birthday Quiz will run on Sunday 6th, with prizes provided by Arrow Video and a huge pile of Cage merchandise up for grabs. A wide range of Cage-related publications and merchandise will also be on sale in the festival pop-up shop.

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Cage-a-rama weekend pass holders get a personalised Blockbuster-style membership card. All tickets are on sale via our online store: matchboxcineclub.bigcartel.com.


Cage-a-rama 2: Cage Uncaged takes place Friday 4th to Sunday 6th January 2019 at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.

Keep up-to-date with the Facebook event page here.