FILM REVIEW: Some Guy Who Kills People

Ken is just some guy.  A loser, really.  He’s in his thirties, lives with his mum and works a dead-end job in an ice-cream parlour.  He’s had… problems and had to go away for a while, but he’s all better now.  The doctors said so.  He can even cope with wearing The Most Humiliating Ice-cream Costume In The World (TM)  on a daily basis.  He could probably do without the bullies that have hounded him since childhood, but nobody’s life is perfect.  Things are looking up actually because, one by one, those bullies are being horribly murdered.  Huh.

And he’s met a girl, which is nice.  Even better, his estranged daughter has turned up on his doorstep and she think’s he’s just the bee’s knees.  If only he can hold it together everything will be fine.  Just fine.  Now if the Sherriff would just stop coming round…

In case you haven’t twigged by now, this is a black comedy with a ragged bloody edge to it, somewhat in the vein of Gremlins or An American Werewolf In London.  It’s a film with real heart, full of frustrated emotion and genuine warmth.  It’s also hilariously funny throughout.

Kevin Corrigan is outstanding in his portrayal of Ken.  In posture he is downbeat and passive, yet held (just) in check behind his eyes  is a bubbling cauldron of emotion.  It is a character crying out to be understood and he wins our hearts immediately.  The relationship he has with his mother is spot on, filled with a blend of cynicism and shame, whilst the mother herself (played with caustic glee by Karen Black) is full of sarcastic digs, bitter smiles and repressed grief.

Rounding off the cast are Ariel Gade (Dark Water) as lovable and chatty daughter Amy and Lucy Davis (The Office) as quirky but tentative love interest, Stephanie.  They are both completely charming and have a nice line in character humour.  Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror, Spin City) is an absolute scream as the small town Sherriff on the trail of the killer.  He effortlessly steals every scene he’s in; a persistent galoot with just enough brains to be dangerous. “You don’t just cut off a man’s head unless you’re one angry fella,” he proclaims.  Understatement of the year.

In many ways it’s the bottling up of emotion that forms the core of the film.  The fear of (and desire for) connection between people features heavilly in the make up of all the main characters.  The story is really how they navigate their way to accepting themselves and each other, and what can happen to you if you fail to take that journey. (Hint – Blood, lots of blood.)

The murders are great, the pacing is perfect, the gags are laugh out loud and the emotions are real.

I cannot recommend this enough.

5/5

GS Reviewer: Dion Winton-Polak

You can hear me blather about books on Scrolls, the podcast for literary geekdom here on the Geek Syndicate Network.
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