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January 31, 2012

FMWL Indie Spotlight - Some Guy Who Kills People

(2011, Dir. by Jack Perez.)

It's time for us to talk about another one of those movies that will turn you and your expectations upside down and shake you like a Yahtzee tumbler.  The film? Some Guy Who Kills People.  That's a pretty simple title.  Sounds like your average horror movie, right? WRONG.

In fact, Some Guy Who Kills People has more in common with a film like Rushmore than it does with a film like Saw.  The film follows Ken Boyd, a 34 year old man who's just been released from a mental institution - or, as he calls it, a loony bin.  The film establishes quickly that there are many factors that led to Ken's institutionalization, but focuses primarily on one instance of bullying that evolved into torture, a scene that still haunts the rehabilitated ice cream vendor.

Ken is played by Kevin Corrigan, who's been bouncing around big budget and indie films since the early '90s, a recognizable face who has never quite been as personable as he is here.  Sure, he's playing a character who is deeply disturbed, but it's incredibly easy for the viewer to relate with the man, particularly in the current social climate which condemns bullying as a cardinal sin.  Most of us have dealt with bullies at some point in our life - aggressors who truly seem to be one-dimensional pains in our collective asses - so we can feel part of what Ken is going through as he tries to keep his life in order despite the troubles he deals with every day. 

When Ken's life isn't filled with the pain of his past it is filled with the awkwardness of his daily routine.  His estranged 11 year old daughter (Ariel Gade, of the American remake of Dark Water) walks into his life with desires to reconnect, while his mother (horror legend Karen Black) has a relationship with the Sheriff (Barry Bostwick) and he starts to see a woman himself (Shaun of the Dead's Lucy Davis).  This is the stuff of post-Y2K independent drama, except for the fact that some guy is killing people.

While the film offers plenty of character development and a few gruesome murders, everything hinges on Corrigan's marvelous performance in the lead.  The actor gives a simple performance as the everyman lead character, and makes it incredibly easy for viewers to relate to the lead character.  His uneasy performance offers a lot of laughs, and - most importantly - they're the good kind of laughs that come when the viewer recognizes that the jokes are focusing on some good old fashioned human truths.  No, there's not always a guy running around killing people in reality, but people who struggle with their lack of direction in life and their ability to be a father and all that stuff is incredibly real.  Corrigan and Wade do a fantastic job of creating two incredibly real characters, which gives a lot of power to the film.

In the meantime, the murderous side of the story features some more blatant comedy, mostly thanks to the bitter performance by Black as the mother/grandmother who has to deal with everything around her and Bostwick's hammy turn as the Sheriff.  Bostwick provides plenty of comic relief as the bumbling lawman, but late in the film he seems to hold the key to building power in the final act.  In fact, it was one of his revelations during an interrogation scene late in the film that had me clapping my hands and nodding my head, because it was then that I realized just how well Some Guy Who Kills People really understands what it's doing.

And that's what makes Some Guy Who Kills People one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.  The film - as scripted by Ryan Levin, who cut his teeth on Scrubs, and as directed by Jack Perez, whose last "big" movie was Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus - really gets it.  It gets what makes a victim of bullying so mad.  It gets what goes on inside the mind of someone who can't deal with the difficulties in their life, and who has to find a way to deal with these issues.

Of course, it might not "get it" in the way you expect it too, and the final act just might surprise you.  And that just adds to why I love the heck out of Some Guy Who Kills People.  It's a truly one of a kind indie horror film that doubles as a commentary on how we all deal with those who keep us down in our life.  It sounds like I'm condoning violence here, which is not my intention.  Unfortunately, I can't really explain just what happens to take Some Guy Who Kills - which was already an interesting character study and a wonderful dark comedy - to the next level in the final act.

But the point is that you need to find a way to see Some Guy Who Kills People. I'm running out of ways to say it, but it's been the only thing going through my head all day.  This really rules, people.  I absolutely can not wait to see where the film goes from here.

If you want to keep up with the film, make sure you head on over to the official site, which is full of links to Twitter and Facebook and a trailer and all that good stuff.  And if you don't want to keep up with the film at this point....well, then I obviously suck at my job here.  Because I'm really serious when I say this is an incredible piece of genre-bending cinematic awesomeness.  Just see it already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love that you loved this film as much as I did. That is all.