A cocky and amusing riff on the serial killer genre from the man who put his name to the now-legendary Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.
"I used to to look forward to taking out the trash – in the loony bin."
Meet Ken Boyd (Kevin Corrigan), a man who perfectly matches the profile of an archetypal cinematic serial killer. Yes, he has spent time in an asylum. Yes, he says innocuous-seeming things that come with an ambiguous underside ("taking out the trash" indeed). Yes, he lives with an overbearing, undermining mother (Karen Black). Yes, he is literally scarred by a traumatic experience from his high school days that still gives him nightmares. Yes, he sketches bloody revenge scenarios in his comicbook journal. Yes, he goes out late at night on mysterious errands even though he does not have any friends. And yes, his one-time teen persecutors have suddenly started dying violently one-by-one.
When he is not porking Ken's mum, Green Oaks' local sheriff Walt Fuller (Barry Bostwick) investigates this string of bizarre murders, with his potential future stepson soon falling under suspicion. Meanwhile, Ken's lonely, depressed life is suddenly being filled with the unexpected arrival of perky 11-year-old daughter-he-never-knew Amy (Ariel Gade) and endearingly awkward love interest Stephanie (Lucy Davis). Is life looking up for Ken, or will the murder spree bring him down?
Some Guy Who Kills People walks a fine line between horror and comedy, leaving us unsure whether to cheer its protagonist on in his romcom escapades, or to recoil from his slasher tendencies – although, despite some gorily giallo-esque kills, comedy definitely comes out on top. Ken may lack self-confidence and basic interpersonal skills, but he comes across as sweet as the ice-cream he peddles, while his relationship with Stephanie is an unmitigated quirkfest, and his developing bond with Amy is almost sickening in its charm.
The film's most hilariously surreal dialogue is left to the Sheriff Fuller and his put-upon Deputy (Eric Price). "It's like his eyes follow you," says Fuller of a victim's severed head in the morgue, and later he will describe an elaborately staged crime scene as "an impressive tableau", and openly admire "the killer's use of abstract expressionism and dada."
This incongruous line has decidedly dada qualities of its own, in a film about a dada of a different kind – but at the same time the sheriff's use of art appreciation registers to critique actual atrocities chimes neatly with a broader concern in the film (as well of course as in the horror genre as a whole) with art as a cathartic outlet for darker human impulses.
Cutesy and slight, but also at times very funny, Some Guy Who Kills People sees director Jack Perez advancing in leaps and bounds from his previous feature Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, while scaling monstrous mayhem and murder back down to a very human level.
That title kills me.
Slight but savvy, and as sweet as bananaZ ice-cream.