The horror comedy has seen its ups and downs over the past decade. Highs would include our generation’s magnum opus, Shaun Of The Dead. Other gems such as Black Sheep and Dead Snow made a splash, as well as some lesser known flicks (see the Australian movie Undead or the VERY black-humored Animalada). Then, there’s the not-s0 great. This category is bursting at the seams with shitty movies. Stan Helsing, Vampires Suck, etc. Embarrassingly bad “comedy” masquerading in scary costumes. The winners always master the balance of scares and laughs. Knowing this is such a fine line to walk, filmmakers delving into this territory enter quite cautiously. In doing so, they make a better movie, but short change the key components. So, considering how much people love the mix but hate poor execution, it’s crucial that you master both sides of this coin. Some Guy Who Kills People (Available now from Anchor Bay) not only masters both, but adds the often misused gamechanger; heart.
Ken Boyd (played by brilliant character actor, Kevin Corrigan) is a quiet, maladjusted 30 something living with his mother (horror GODDESS, Karen Black). Ken works at an ice cream parlor that pays minimum fuck you and has a boss who just as soon spit on him as to say hello. Sure, his lifelong best friend works there as well, encouraging him all the way (weirdo go-to actor Leo Fitzpatrick) but Ken is miserable. His only solace comes in the form of his drawings. Those drawings are filled with a lifetime of violent rage. They came to be after being viciously attacked by a gang of high school thugs. Years later (and following a stint in the looney bin), Ken’s attackers start dropping one by one in the most vicious manner possible. With each death Ken’s confidence increases. He meets a woman (Shaun Of The Dead alum, Lucy Davis)and finds out he has a daughter whom he has a lot in common with. With each grisly murder, Ken’s outlook improves. As he gets a life, his attackers lose their’s. Is this vengeance or something deeper?
Some Guy Who Kills People, I can say with great confidence, is one of my favorite horror films so far in 2012. Every piece of this puzzle works for me. A superb cast (aforementioned actors but also throw in Barry Bostwick and newcomer Ariel Gade), great story, and excellent direction have this one firing on all cylinders. Kevin Corrigan is the IDEAL actor to play a role like this. For a guy who’s been a part of so many high profile films, it’s refreshing to see him tackle a role like that of Ken Boyd and do it with such conviction that you are left with zero doubt as to who this movie belongs to. Along those same lines, my hat is off to the casting director on SGWKP. The people pooled together to create this ensemble are all literally the perfect individuals for their jobs. Karen Black, who plays the mother of Ken, is flawless. There are exquisite moments where she and Corrigan’s back & forth as a dysfunctional family unit is painfully (and hilariously) believable. Ken seems fucked up and it’s because his mother DID fuck him up. When his daughter enters the picture, we’re given the sense that she’s the salvation of a family waiting for time to take them. Her surprise entrance into the family is the bright light into a world of darkness. Think of a reverse version of the movie Hesher, basically. Despite all these heinous murders, Ken’s daughter brings a smile to his face. That sentiment is the winning ingredient to the movie. Heart. There’s plenty of big laughs, awkward moments, and nasty kills but the emotion that the movie is able to zero in on is pure. Screenwriter Ryan Levin appears to have tapped into some personal memories and made them a part of this stalk n’ slash flick. The concept may sound odd, but I assure you, one view of this movie and you’ll see that everything you love about horror and comedy is there. It just has a strange bedfellow along with them.
Because there are elements of this movie that I do not want to spoil for the viewer, I am avoiding digging too deep into certain aspects of the story. However, on the technical end of things, you won’t be disappointed either. The setting seems very mundane but will have random bursts of color. In the first act, the color is associated with Ken’s job and the blood of the victims. BUT, as time goes on and we see Ken’s life improving, more color is added to the pallet of this story. It may seem like a small trick, but in the context of the story it serves as a method to gauge the emotional fluctuations. It’s been done a million times, but SGWKP makes a more relevant use of the color with lots of peaks and valleys. The movie’s director, Jack Perez , was long overdue for a movie to really pop for him. With Some Guy Who Kills People, Perez was able to put a personal stamp on the performances, look, and overall feel of the story. Hey, if John Landis is your executive producer then you’ve figured SOMETHING out! The man is responsible for one of the best genre crossover movies of the last 30+ years, so he must’ve seen something special in this movie. He was right.
Some Guy Who Kills People is going to end up in the cheapo bin at Wal-Mart and probably in late night rotation on movie channels for the next few years. That’s not meant to be an insult nor deter you away from seeing it. It’s just an unfortunate facet of the business. That being said, if you allow that to cause you to pass up this movie, you’re missing out on an excellent experience. You get a personal story that is driven by great performances, an entertaining setting, and of course, all those things you love about slasher movies. Don’t pass over Some Guy Who Kills People. Snag a copy and be pleasantly surprised…or else!
Tags: barry bostwick, Black Sheep, Blood, horror-comedy, Indie, John Landis, karen black, kevin corrigan, leo fitzpatrick, Shaun of The Dead, slash, some guy who kills people, stalk, stan helsing, Undead, vampires suck