DVD Review: Some Guy Who Kills People
Review by Annie Riordan
The severe psychological scars inflicted upon us by the bullies who made our K through 12 lives a living hell have inspired some of the best horror films ever made: Carrie, Let The Right One In, Ginger Snaps, etc. The success of these films really isn’t difficult to fathom. We’ve all been bullied at some point during our lives. Even I, the incredibly cool Annie Riordan, was the victim of some pretty mean girl bullies during my educational incarceration. And honest to god Stephanie and LeAnna, if I ever see one of you fish-lipped, pug-nosed bitches again, I will shove that volleyball that you lobbed at my face so far up your tight little hoochie asses… well, you get the idea. I can’t really exact bloody revenge on either Stephanie or LeAnna, so I content myself with graphically violent fantasies involving them both stripped naked and covered with fire ants, and live vicariously through revenge films such as this one.
Kenny Boyd leads a stunningly pointless existence, living with his sour, ciggaretty mom (Karen Black, who is starting to resemble a softly browning apple core) and eking out a living slinging ice cream at the local parlor following his release from the loony bin after an aborted suicide attempt. High school was difficult for Kenny. He really wanted to be a cool jock and join the basketball team but his hoop skills just weren’t up to par, a fact that the assholes who DID make the cut never let him forget and which eventually led to an ugly incident which broke Kenny’s spirit past the point of repair. Kenny is little better than a hollowed-out shell of a man at the age of 34, shuffling from home to work and back again, barely speaking more than two words to anyone during the course of a single day. There are several thousand Romero zombies with more personality and ambition than Kenny Boyd.
But then suddenly, two women enter Kenny’s life. One is a hot English blonde with an ego almost as wounded as Kenny’s. She’s also played by Lucy Davis from Shaun of the Dead, SCORE! The other is an eleven year old girl named Amy who looks exactly like Kenny. As a matter of fact, she’s his daughter, the result of a one-time fling between him and some girl he dated for, like, a week. Kenny would just as soon keep his distance from both girls, assuming he’s truly such a loser that he couldn’t possibly make any positive impact on their lives. But Amy wants her real dad, not the goony Jesus-freak yabbo that her mom ended up marrying, so she moves in with Kenny and Grandma Ruth, uninvited, for a week. Just to test things out, you know?
Turns out she picked a bad week for her visit, though. There’s been a string of grisly murders in the small town where Kenny lives, brutal slayings that have Sheriff Barry Bostwick (aka Brad “Asshole” Majors) and his pun-cracking deputy stumped. All the men killed turn out to be the same douchebag jackholes that tormented Kenny in high school. Kenny himself had both motive and opportunity to commit the murders. The Sheriff is banging Kenny’s mom, which doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but just produces a really icky mental image, amiright? Anyway, as the cops close in on Kenny, Kenny closes in on himself, forced into choosing between his comfortable, established routine of unemotional solitude or a future with his daughter and his new girlfriend.
It’s impossible not to like this movie. I haven’t talked to anyone yet who did not like this movie. Usually, when everyone likes a movie, I am determined to NOT like it. But goddamn it, this movie is just so fucking likeable! It’s cute. It’s sweet. It’s fucking adorable. I could sleep with it under my pillow, it’s so goddamned awesome. A pallet load of lollipops and teddy bears couldn’t possibly be cuter or more huggable than this movie. And yet, you won’t gag on the sugary aftertaste. Its cuteness isn’t terminal or glittery. It’s sprinkled with Greek sailor worthy profanity and geysering gore, poignant without being maudlin and not terribly unlike the mismatched sundae that Amy dishes up for her dad: full of contrasting flavors that shouldn’t work together but do anyway, defying all of the established laws of physics.
Kevin Corrigan as Kenny…dude. I dare you not to fall in love with him. It’s im-fucking-possible. Girls cannot resist the vulnerability in those puppy dog eyes; guys will develop mighty man-crushes on his totally normal and accessible guyness. Kenny is the guy that every guy thinks he is but whose simple cool Guy-ity few can achieve. If Corrigan had been any less loveable, he might have had the film swiped out from under him by Barry Bostwick, who channels both the late great Andy Griffith and Clu Gulager into his existential-art-loving, pop-song-singing, Karen-Black banging, dipshitty Sheriff Fuller. Had his role been played by anyone other than him, I might have mourned the moments when the film shifted from Kenny to Fuller. However, this film never lags or lets down. It twists and turns, leads astray, slingshots dialogue, channels a little Abbot & Costello, pops some bennies and dances naked in your living room, and then suddenly, out of freaking nowhere, pauses to take a breath and delivers Shakespearean moments of tragic beauty that have no seeming business in such a film, but which somehow fit perfectly into the mix regardless.
I’m lucky. I got a screener for this flick and I’m not giving it back. However, it’s a disc I would definitely have bought at full price and the hell with my dismal budget. It’s worth every penny.