Telluride Horror Show reviews: Some Guy Who Kills People
|REVIEWS - MOVIES|
Kevin Corrigan, assisted by a devilishly-good script and strong supporting cast, makes SGWKP a festival stand-out...
During the weekend of October 14-16, I was given the rather happy duty of co-hosting the 2nd Annual Telluride Horror Show in Telluride, Colorado. The following review is one of a selection of film features and shorts that I had the opportunity to screen during my tenure as co-host. Keep an eye out for more reviews from the Telluride Horror Show!
Being an enthusiastic film reviewer can be a dangerous business. The temptation is always there to create contacts in writers, directors, and the like that will inevitably skew your perception of their films. To put it simply, it is difficult to slam a movie when you come to find out that the cast and crew who created it are incredibly nice and grounded people. So when I had the pleasure of having a few cyberspace conversations with writer Ryan Levin regarding his film that was making the festival rounds, Some Guy Who Kills People, I was ever aware that the possibility existed that I would be forced to eventually and politely explain why the movie just didn't work.
Happily, after watching it for the first time at the Telluride Horror Show last weekend, I can report that said moral and social conundrum never materialized. Because Levin's brainchild is a hell of a great flick.
Directed by Jack Perez (Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus), and Executive Produced by Hollywood legend John Landis, Some Guy Who Kills People (or SGWKP, for short) follows Ken Boyd (Pineapple Express' Kevin Corrigan), a social outcast and loner quietly slogging away at his demeaning job at a diner/ice cream shoppe in his small hometown. With ample use of the handy flashback, the film reveals that Boyd had been the victim of a brutal attack by the local high school basketball team years ago, which left an ugly scar on his cheek and an uglier one on his psyche. The attack was so severe that it led to a long stay at the nearby mental hospital, from which Boyd has recently been released. In a town where everybody knows everybody, Boyd's reinsertion into society goes unnoticed by no one.
On the 'outside', Boyd is alternately humiliated by his smarmy, independently-wealthy boss (Lou Beatty Jr.) and pushed around by his domineering mother (a hilariously-crass Karen Black). Stress builds upon stress as his 11-year-old daughter Amy, who was conceived before his committal to the nuthouse (played by impressive newcomer Ariel Gade), tracks him down to precociously insert herself in his life. Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead) plays Stephanie, a Brit import that sees something in lonely Ken and slowly tries to bring him out of his shell. All of this new attention finally becomes too much for introverted Boyd and members of the basketball team that tormented him all those years ago begin dropping like flies.
Throughout it all, Ken's fellow diner employee Irv (Leo Fitzpatrick) provides what moral support that he can as Boyd's only real friend in the world, but Ken's tortured soul appears to find little solace in that. Not helping matters is 'The Sheriff', a scene-stealing Barry Bostwick, who is on the case of the murdered b-ballers. Mugging and rambling like Matlock after eight beers, Bostwick's Sheriff pursues Boyd across the landscape of several brutal murders until a shocking twist in the case turns the film's narrative on its head.
SGWKP was a personal highlight of my tenure at the Telluride Horror Show. Corrigan proves that he can carry a film on his own and shows great depth as a fractured man in the midst of a slow burn trying to turn his life around. Bostwick is incredible as an apparently-buffoonish rural lawman who turns out to know quite a bit more about solving crimes than initially supposed. Black is a guffaw-inducing nightmare as poor Boyd's chain-smoking and grouchy mother, who alternately mocks him for his stay at the looney bin and shows a gruff compassion towards him and her newly-discovered granddaughter. And Gade is a delight as Ken's daughter, whose forceful, but loving, attempts at understanding her father's complicated life ring sweetly and true.
If you're a horror fan who is worried about my heretofore brief mentions of the film's bloodletting aspect, fear not. Once the despicable former basketballers begin facing their murderer's wrath, the blood flows fast and furious. Axes to the head, surprise knife attacks, and a particularly-brutal decapitation will satisfy gorehounds and those rooting for Ken's retribution.
Overall, Some Guy Who Kills People is a very good film, with a copious amount of bloody kills for horror lovers and ample laughs throughout. The interactions between Boyd and his daughter and new romantic interest Stephanie work well, and are a touching and occasionally sad reminder of Ken's difficult life. Eventually, the town's multiple murders put a strain on these relationships and the film's surprise twist at the end (which DID genuinely surprise me) happily points towards a resolution that should please the vast majority of viewers. SGWKP is still traveling along the festival circuits, and if it ends up playing at a theater near you, do yourself a favor and give it a look. Movies like this deserve all the success that they can get. Some Guy Who Kills People doesn't fall into the oft-mentioned horror flick trap of being "so bad that it's good" - it's simpler than that. It's just plain good.
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