One minute he's at a buzzing club, then bang! The action cuts to a remote farmhouse and Stephen Lord's character, Ross Hadley, is held hostage in a dank room with no clothes, no food and no explanation. For what seems like ages, you're in there with him, feeling the claustrophobia as his captors attempt to deconstruct him and his drug and drink addled psyche.
Desperate Measures is not very merry or festive, in fact it's the perfect antidote to Christmas frivolity. Would Stephen Lord agree?
"Ah the perfect get away for xmas?" he asks "Well it's hardly a barrel of laughs but certainly an alternative, especially for a hangover. Watching somebody else go through the wringer can possibly make you feel better…"
Stephen's character goes totally through the wringer, beaten up, brutalised and subjected to harsh rules by the bruisers (Ricci Harnett and Max Beesley Snr) who hold him captive. But why is he there? Who's arranged it? What do they want? You'll have to watch it, as the plot twists and turns like your stomach after too much Christmas pudding.
Filming Desperate Measures in a disused farmhouse in the North Yorkshire hills was no fun for the actors either…
"The first day of getting kicked and punched naked outside was pretty brutal, and cold soup and a bread roll for lunch was a bit of a sobering experience too" recalls Stephen, who's starred in EastEnders and loads of other films and tv series "I knew I was in for hard bit of graft, no feet up in the trailer. It was claustrophobic filming it, and some days we never moved out of the stone cell. Driving oneself around the bend proved a bit of a workout mentally and physically too.
"To get to the farmhouse in the morning we would trek up a hill for half an hour and only came down at the end of the day, filming as much as we could against the elements" he adds "It was filmed on a shoestring budget, so it was all hands on deck and no time for being precious. I was hoping it could only get better but it was all good for the work, and we all kept up morale."
It's obvious from viewing the movie that the small cast of well established actors have put everything into their roles. Desperate Measures is a film that doesn't rely on special effects, fancy sets and gimmicks to unveil its energy. The power of the performances and the writing and the realism keep you glued.
"I love working with other actors unless they are egomaniacs and then you have to box really clever" says Stephen, who's currently filming for the next series of Shameless
"I never like to work in a negative environment, and enjoyed working with Max Beesley senior in particular, we built up a really nice rapport" he adds "The crew were amazing too with lots of young people getting involved to gain experience in the industry which was cool. The writer, Chris Green, is now a good mate as he cracks me up due to his proper Salford humour. We clicked from the off and his writing, for me, fits like a glove."
Indeed, since Desperate Measures, Stephen and Chris have stayed in touch and next year will be working on a new project together. We've got a full interview with Stephen Lord coming up in the New Year which will reveal all about both the new film and his Shameless role.
In the meantime, turn off the tree lights, break open the sherry and enjoy Desperate Measures. Afterwards, every day will feel like luxury…
For a trailer and more details on Desperate Measures click here
To buy Desperate Measures from Amazon £5.99 click here