DVD Review: Underbelly: Razor

By Craig Nicholson

There's something very addictive about the Underbelly franchise.

And I'm not talking about the drugs, prostitution or sly grog either.

Right from the first series the producers developed a storytelling format that was hard to ignore.

Watch one episode and you were hooked, eager to know how it all ended.

Underbelly: Razor goes back to the 1920s and focuses on two women who ruled the underworld in Sydney - Tilly Devine (Chelsie Preston-Crayford) and Kate Leigh (Danielle Cormack).

Tilly (an expat Brit) and husband Big Jim Devine were into the prostitution scene while Kate was more about illegal drinking establishments.

One thing they did have in common was a loathing for each other.

Both considered themselves queen of the Darlinghurst underworld and went to whatever lengths were required to prove and enforce that.

Those who chose to challenge their authority either fled or were killed.

The late 20s and early 30s was also the era of the razor gangs in Sydney.

With the carrying of guns was a crime, gangsters chose to arm themselves with barbers' razors and slash their way to the top.

With the arrival of cocaine as the drug of choice the scramble was under way to capture that new market.

There's almost 10 hours of captivating viewing in this series but it is not material for the faint-hearted.

It is very raw, very real and very fascinating.

Underbelly: Razor

(M), Roadshow Entertainment

Stars: 4/5

- Hamilton News

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