Film & TV

Review – Some Guy Who Kills People

Some Guy Who Kills People (directed by Jack Perez, the mastermind behind such classics as Mega Shark VS. Giant Octopus) depicts the vendetta which Ken Boyd (Kevin Corrigan), an ex-mental-hospital-patient, has against a group of jocks who bullied him in high school. This back story proves to be the exhausted example of teenaged exclusion, an idea that is as popular as the bullies themselves. However, the combination of dry humour and unabated massacre spawns a black comedy to contrast the painful high school origins with an entirely new approach.

The title alone gives rise to significant intrigue and questions such as ‘Who is the guy?’, ‘Why is he killing?’ and ‘Is he justified in doing so?’ On the surface, we rapidly discover that Boyd is a loner who lives with his mother, works in an ice cream parlour just to get by, and has but one friend called Irv. Deeper into the plot, the psychotic masked man travels around sneakily murdering each member of the school basketball team, and readily displays the victims for the police. Any fans of bloody humour will revel in this film as much as I did; with the slick camera angles and thematic but simplistic special effects, it delights the audience in a particularly Fargo-esque manner. Although it’s not quite up to the Coens’ standards, the sheriff (Barry Bostwick) does uphold the off-beat comedy to a T throughout. But these revenge killings are evidently not the focus.

Perez purposely stifles and makes awkward many of the character interactions, which highlights not only Boyd’s personal and psychological issues, but also the incompleteness of his relationships (be it with his mother who labels him a screw up, or his daughter Amy who enters the plot mid-way through and Boyd’s life 11 years late). If there is a flaw to be pinpointed it is the lack of character development, as regardless of Amy’s high school drama, the audience is left with heartstrings not pulled and mysteries such as the whereabouts of Boyd’s father, or details on the life of his mother (Karen Black, sorely underused as an actress) mean stones are left unturned. We cannot empathise with anyone but Boyd and this does isolate us from many potential greats in the cast. Yet we become increasingly aware that this does not hinder the unfolding of the small town story.

SGWKP acts more as a soliloquy by Boyd with some unwelcome interruptions by the women in his life: mother, daughter, the unexpected addition of a girlfriend, and that lady at the ice cream parlour who always expects an extra scoop for free. Of course it is a challenge to have a soliloquy when Corrigan, in actuality, has very few lines as the protagonist, but he carries the plot magnificently.

Looking at Perez’s previous work of Mega Shark VS. Giant Octopus, it is imperative to note how the director has continued to exercise this stupidity in SGWKP, while cleverly allowing maturity in a concise story with improved effects. It is refreshing to find a film that does not take itself seriously, but can be enthusiastically appreciated with regards to direction, cinematography and acting. In this self-conscious feature there are twists (expect a big ’un), there is blood, a bucket of trauma and a heavy sprinkling of puns: I recommend it, not as having something for everyone, but you most certainly do not have to be interested in mental health or the dark repercussions of high school bullying to explore the funny and twisted depths of some guy who kills people.

Julia Lazenbatt

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