Peace Arch Entertainment // 2008 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Dylan Charles (Retired) // February 4th, 2009
Jake (Paul Wesley) is a reality TV show director who is sent to White Plains, North Dakota, to cover a rising high school hockey team. Complicating matters are his obnoxious producer Lee (Cyia Batten), his snarky sound guy Mike (Jason London), and demanding starlet Blanca Champion (Kaley Cuoco). Oh yeah, and there's a bloodthirsty killer going around killing the locals and crew. You know, the usual kind of problems experienced on the set of a TV show.
Killer Movie is a lively, if ultimately unsatisfying, blend of horror and comedy. The horror, obviously, comes in with the killer who's running around lopping off people's heads and running them through table saws. It's not terribly scary, and most of the kills are fairly mundane. If I had to choose twixt the two, I'd have to say that the horror element is the weaker of the two halves. There's just nothing particularly interesting about the killer, in spite of his spooky mask. I also had a hard time buying his motivation after he was unmasked, but considering the fact that he's supposed to be out of his gourd, I guess that's not too surprising. The kills are also fairly bland, nothing that could really shock a jaded, cynical, desensitized youth, which I am.
Meanwhile, the comedy succeeds on a greater level. Kaley Cuoco's Blanca Champion (great name, by the way) hits all the right notes as a coarse and loud actress who's out of her element in the middle of North Dakota while a killer runs loose. She pulls off sexy, crude, and funny all at the same time. Paul Wesley has, perhaps, the least interesting job as straight man in the middle of a circus of loonies. He just lets the insanity roll right off him, which is probably what every director in real life has to do. Their success is also impressive given that they really have two moods to juggle, comedy and horror.
Director Jeff Fisher, who has a good deal of experience with reality television, has framed the movie as though it were itself a reality TV show, with the characters giving interviews throughout about their experiences on the shoot. It's a format that works fairly well and ups the humor factor, especially whenever Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight) comes on as the indifferent agent.
There are a few extras on the disc, including a behind-the-scenes featurette and a photo gallery. Photo galleries aren't really my thing, especially ones that don't let you control the speed at which you go through them. The behind-the-scenes short was decent as far as that kind of thing goes. It was the usual bit of fluff with everyone being nice to everyone, but it was also funny and gave a few insights behind the idea of the movie.
Killer Movie is just an average film, funny at times, but not so scary. Thus, it's only a partially successful attempt to blend two very disparate genres. I would be interested to see what Fisher has to offer in the future, but for this film I'd have to say rent it before you buy it.
Sort of not guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Peace Arch Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Theatrical Trailer
* Photo Gallery
* Digital Copy
* Official Site