Thursday, 11 April 2013

REVIEW: SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (DVD)



When you’re presented with a movie called ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’, a film directed by Jack Perez, the man behind Wild Things 2 and Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, hopes (quite naturally) aren’t high. From executive producer John Landis (American Werewolf in London), Some Guy stars Kevin Corrigan, Barry Bostwick and our very own Lucy Davis (The Office).

Low expectations can be a blessing in disguise, but I should’ve had more faith because Some Guy is a darkly comic, ever-so-slightly stupid horror comedy with emphasis very much on the ‘c’ word. Ken Boyd (Corrigan) is a small-town loner who likes to draw, making ends meet at the local ice-cream parlour. Fresh out the loony bin, where he spent several years recovering from the horrific torture he suffered at the hands of the high school basketball jocks, Ken just wants to be left alone.

The rage is hard to control though, especially when you have a condescending mother to come home to each night. Things start looking up when Stephanie (Davis) appears on the scene, taking a shine to his distant, awkward, loner shtick. Stephanie’s ex was a Harvard educated paediatrician. He turned out to be an alcoholic cocksucker who videotaped her sleeping and cheated on her through their sham of a marriage – so she tries not to judge people.

Life gets even more complicated – not to mention normal – when Ken’s 11-year-old daughter shows up in the ice-cream parlour. Amy’s mother wants her to have nothing to do with Ken, and it’s not like he needed an excuse to stay away, but Amy is the inquisitive type and it sure beats staying at home with your mums bible-bashing partner. Especially when the bodies start piling up and Ken becomes chief suspect in the murder case.

It soon becomes obvious that Ryan Levin’s script isn’t taking itself too seriously. Smarter than a spoof but far from sophisticated, Some Guy makes its intentions clear when the local sheriff turns up. Barry Bostwick (who caught my eye in the 2010 TV movie Moby Dick) is spectacularly funny here, with impeccable comic timing and a performance to die for; Barry’s sheriff is in serious need of his own spin-off. Bostwick starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as Leslie Nielsen’s Spy Hard, an actor he seems to share much in common with here.

Ariel Gade impresses too, reminiscent of Ellen Page’s breakthrough performance in Juno, bringing sassy streetwise cool to the role of Amy. The relationship that forms between Amy and Ken is handled well, adding layers of soul to a movie that has no right to go there. Throw Lucy Davis into the mix (occasionally lost in a busy script but always engaging) and you have a movie with characters you can care about; less of a slasher movie and more of a kooky family drama. Even if the horror is predictably played, I certainly didn’t see that one coming.

Maybe I should mention the horror elements now? With well-orchestrated, gruesomely bloody death scenes, SGWKP isn't remotely scary because of the films breezy nature. Thankfully, at times it is laugh-out-loud funny, and the strong performances, moving relationships and sparkling script dig far deeper than any bloodstained hatchet ever could.  Not a great horror movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a lot of fun, and if anything other than a serial killer sneaks up from behind and touches you, it has to be a good thing, right? AW


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