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The first question that would come to mind would be whether Carol Kane
could play a psycho successfully. And after seeing this film, I would
have to say I still don't know because the very tame screenplay didn't
allow her to be a well developed psychotic, nor did it allow any other
sort of development for any other aspect of this film.
The storyline here is very typical. It involves Carol Kane (with very odd penciled in eyebrows) as an awkwardly mousy, hardworking magazine editor in a drab and depressing looking office building where she gets picked on daily. Then, without any time wasted, the inevitable psycho switch gets flipped and she starts killing off her coworkers.
I know that may sound to most like your typical fun slasher, but in fact, it can't even be considered a slasher. Actually, I really don't know what genre to categorize this film in because it dips it's toes in a couple different sub-genres without ever fully concentrating on any one area, therein lying the problem. The resulting film just doesn't quite work. At the start, it seemed to be heading into satire territory with office politics and such, but quickly falls flat because of a major lack of humor. As it went on, it then seemed I was in for a slasher, but all of the murders take place off screen, giving us no chase sequences, creative deaths or gore. Then I expected it to take a turn into suspense, but was left with no tension or any sort of character development whatsoever, so I never cared for anyone or anything enough to ever get involved in the storyline. The writers just didn't seem to know what they really wanted, which kind of left the final product in limbo. And it's pretty disappointing because the photographer turned director, Cindy Sherman, seemed to have talent and would have benefited greatly if it were a straight up thriller.
So what were we meant to feel during this film? It wasn't smart, funny, thrilling or even bloody. Were we supposed to hate and fear Kane? Or were we supposed to root for her? The whole film felt just as awkward as she looked and felt just as drab and boring as the office building looked, which leaves us with no reason to ever want to visit. I would compare this to later films, such as Love Object and the Willard remake, both of which used the same plot techniques, yet executed them in a much more entertaining fashion. Office Killer isn't a terrible film. I give the director and cast credit for trying. But it's just so lifeless that I can't recommend you wasting your time with it.
This is a great horror/comedy.Its got a great plot,a great cast who gives great performances including Molly Ringwald(Teaching Mrs.Tingle,The Breakfast Club),Carol Kane(Jawbreaker,Adams Family Values)& Jeanne Tripplehorn(The Firm,Waterworld).This Movie is funny and a little scary if you watch it in the dark.See this Movie!
I was impressed to see this film had so many bad reviews, both from critics and viewers. I saw it and I actually think it is a very good inside joke, it is only necessary to get the "spirit" of it. Director Cindy Sherman uses gore and some very curious camera positions to make you a little bit scary and also laugh once or twice (not out-loud, though). The performances from Carol Kane (totally crazy) and Molly Ringwald (in a very against-the-type turn) are very good. The supporting cast (German actress Barbara Sukowa and The Soprano's Michael Imperioli) is also interesting. I think this film makes a perfect midnight video snack with some friends.
Don't ever fool around with Dorine Douglas! She will make sure you will
pay for whatever you do to her!
"Office Killer" is a film, judging from most comments submitted to this forum, that deserved better. Cindy Sherman, the director, shows she can deliver a good movie. The film was written by Ms. Sherman and it appears Todd Haynes, a good director himself, helped with the dialog, although he is uncredited.
We don't understand, at the beginning, what is Dorine's motivation for doing what she does, but the key to comprehending what's wrong with her is revealed in flashbacks that shows her as a teen ager when some traumatic events occurred involving her parents. Dorine has been dealt a bad blow from life and her reactions, although extreme, seem to be typical of someone that has been deeply scarred.
The film works because of the wonderful Carol Kane who does some of the best work of her career. Ms. Kane transforms herself into this weird Dorine, who is the butt of all jokes at the magazine where she works. What triggers her spiral unraveling is the downsizing the company is going through that will render her a part timer, losing, no doubt, a good deal of her earnings.
The supporting cast is up to task under Ms. Sherman's direction. Molly Ringwald, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Barbara Sukowa, Michael Imperioli, David Thornton and Alice Drummond, among others, respond well to the director's instructions.
One wishes good luck to Ms. Sherman with future films because she is not afraid, to show it all for the viewer's enjoyment.
In the mid-90's, there was this weird trend where 80's New York art
stars were all given the chance to direct feature films. The
less-than-impressive results: Robert Longo's "Johnny Mnemonic," David
Salle's "Search and Destroy," Julian Schnabel's "Basquiat" and finally
Cindy Sherman's "Office Killer." That only Schnabel moved on to direct
a second feature says a lot about these poor directorial choices.
Surprise - just because you can paint a picture or take a photograph
doesn't mean you know how to make a movie.
That said, "Office Killer" has a unique look to it: Sherman's photographic eye makes for some nice creepy compositions, even if her philosophy about using a camera cinematically is of the bolt-it-to-the-ground-and-maybe-pan-a-little school. And she works well with cinematographer Russell Fine, though the whole film is shot through a murky lens that had this viewer crying out for the occasional bright exterior just to add a little contrast.
So what went wrong with "Office Killer"? Well, pretty much what you'd predict would go wrong with a photographer director who had never made a film before: uneven pacing; more attention paid to the setup of a shot than to what's going on in it; a lack of tension; and a cast who, with the exception of the ever-willing Carol Kane, don't seem to know what to do. Aware that they're working for a famous photographer, they quietly obey, even while Sherman clearly has little experience in working with actors. Michael Imperioli and Jeanne Tripplehorn have been far better elsewhere, Barbara Sukowa is flat-out bad, and Molly Ringwald is her usual depthless self. The script is also somewhat leaden, given its dark comic potential.
"Office Killer" is still a curiosity, interesting mainly for aficionados of Cindy Sherman's work (and you've got to admire those cool opening credits), though horror fans who enjoyed the better-received "May" (which I personally didn't care for) might like this movie's look and mood. As for me, I couldn't shake off the feeling that this is the product of a bunch of chuckling New York hipsters who thought they were doing something "postmodern" and "ironic" but only churned out something uninspired and limp... albeit artsy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One day, my friends and I wanted to watch a "thriller" or something
and we rented "Office Killer". Big mistake.
This movie is anything but scary. It's a bit gory and disgusting, yes, but
it's mainly HILARIOUS!, and not in the parts that are supposed to be funny!
(The "I don't care!" line kept us laughing for days!) you cannot take it
seriously for one second! It's the kind of movie you can make fun of. The
performances are ok, as well as the direction, but the special FX makes you
wanna cry, or laugh, as in my case. What is that blood made of? ***POSSIBLE
SPOILER*** And at the end when the house burns down? It looks like they lit
a match between the camera and a picture of the house. Come on, you people,
I've seen better FX's in class B movies from the 50's.***END SPOILER*** A
small budget is not an excuse, it's a matter of imagination, the corpses
guts were ok.
Something else: the characters were underdeveloped. You don't care about
them one bit. Go and get them!, kill them all! Who cares?
To summarize, this movie has: good actors (what happened to you, guys? you
have talent!), average performances, average direction, bad special effects
and a lame plot: it makes you feel you are watching a parody or something
like that. A bad movie that could have been good. My advice is: go and rent
Se7en or Scream, never mind if you already saw them.
I give it 4 out of 10.
Crossing Over from Her Highly Successful Career as a Still
Photographer, Cindy Sherman Directed this Lifeless, Lame, and Limp
Horror Parody that is Boring and Bland and Except for a Couple of
Interesting Scenes, Utterly Unwatchable.
A Doctoral Thesis could be Written, maybe it has, about the Similarities and Differences between Still Photography and Cinematography. After All, Film is Literally "Moving" Pictures, thats why Initially they were Called "Moving Pictures".
But what Sherman has done here is Demonstrate that it is a Different Aesthetic. It is Quite Surprising that a Renowned Photographer could make such a Murky Looking, Uninspired, Movie. It just Appears Flat and Vacuous. The Color Schemes are Dull, the Lighting Cloudy, and for the Most Part it is Styleless.
The Acting is All Over the Place with Each Actor Giving a Performance that is Unconnected to the Other Players and the Film Itself. No One Seems to have any Direction and are Left to Their Own Devices. The Girl Scouts are Unsettling and Aside from the Opening Credits is just about the Only Time the Movie Rises Above Awful.
A mousy office worker (Carol Kane) accidentally kills one of her
coworkers, then proceeds to bump off a few others.
Besides Carol Kane, the "star" of this film is Molly Ringwald, who shows us that she is no longer America's sweetheart. Her adult acting ventures have not panned out so well for her. And I am not saying she is a bad actress, but after her John Hughes years, she will have to do more than appear in one or two disposable films to re-create herself.
And does Carol Kane age? I had always believed she was older in "Princess Bride", but now know she was only 35 (and therefore 45 here). I am not sure if I am impressed by her lack of aging or dismayed that she has always looked 60 years old...
But, as far as the film goes, I just did not think it was that great. There was some humor, but nothing that really hit me (I have seen other comments from people who think it is funny, but I disagree). The dead body effects are decent, but there is just something about the film quality that gives off an "amateur" effect and makes the whole thing seem poor. And I do not mind independent films if they are done right, so it is not just the cheap look but something about how it comes across here. Not my cup of tea.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Office Killer" is a disappointing and not very worthwhile slasher.
As the company begins downsizing, Dorine Douglas, (Carol Kane) is sent off to work at home, while Norah Reed, (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and her friend Kim Poole, (Molly Ringwald) are concerned over what the move will do for the morale of everyone else in the company. As a hectic new workload starts up and everyone suddenly starts to begin disappearing, she seems to think that someone is on the inside causing all of it, only for everything to still turn out fine when required. When she tries to get rid of her, she ends up losing her job instead, and when that leads to more people on the staff going missing, they finally figure out that she's a killer and race to stop her before it's too late.
The Good News: There wasn't much to this one. Really, the only thing about this one is the slashing and it's kills. Despite their not being a whole lot of kills , the few in here are pretty graphic, with their being a neck sliced open with a metallic food processor, an impaling with a knife in the stomach, a really severe electrocution that burns major parts of the body and a great burning alive when set on fire. These are pretty much all the kills anyway, and they're the bloodiest and most brutal ones. The only other part to this is a few mildly interesting stalking scenes. The confrontation in the hallway, with the choking and being unable to see the stalker makes it come off nicely, and the finale in the basement is fine, gets a little better when the lights go out and overall is pretty tense and bloody. These few moments give the film it's only good points.
The Bad News: There wasn't a whole lot wrong with this one, since there wasn't much to it. The mere fact that, outside of the gore and the aforementioned stalking scenes, at all really happens. This one here is pretty dull and boring, as most of the time is spent on running the magazine and everyone reacting to the ranting and raving of the boss, which is not all that interesting or leads to anything which produces any excitement. This mostly comes because this one doesn't really seem all sure whether or not as a comedy, which several scenes tend to throw out, such as the gathering of corpses in the basement or the treatment at the office missing only a laugh-track to signal the humor. The black humor in here hardly gives us any big laughs. There are a couple of scenes which are mildly amusing but nothing in here manages to really evoke the laughs it was going for and it utterly fails as a comedy. These failed attempts at humor only succeed in making this one even more dull and boring than it already is.
The Final Verdict: Without much about it that really stands out for this one and a couple flaws, there's not a whole lot to this one worth mentioning. This should really only be for those who understand or enjoy these kinds of slashers, while those who prefer other types of slasher should heed caution.
Rated R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence
***SPOILERS*** Hard to take black-comedy that grosses itself out long
before the ending credits. Mousey and introverted magazine proofreader
Dorine Douglas,Carol Kane,is the most effective worker at the office.
When it comes down the grapevine that there's going to be a major
change-over at the magazine Dorine as well as most of the staff are
sent home to do the work and e-mail it in via a new computer system
that being installed.
Dorine looking harmless and nerdy has a deep seeded and unstable violent streak in her and it's this event that eventually bring it out to the surface with murderous results. Not wanting to be at home with her infirmed mother Chalotta, Alice Drummond,and away from her job and fellow workers at the office slowly turns Dorine's sick thoughts into violent actions and it's a quirk of fate that sets it all into motion.
Quietly and secretly killing off her fellow workers at the magazine Dorine hides their bodies in her basement to keep her company. While all this was going on Kim, Molly Ringwald,a writer at the magazine becomes suspicious of Dorine not really knowing whats she doing but that she's somehow trying to get her fired from the job.
Dorine besides murdering her fellow workers is greatly disturbed with Kim who, besides being more popular, seems to be on to her and about to uncover what Dorine's really up to. There's also office manager Norah Reed, Jeanne Tripplehorn who Dorine feels has been embezzling the magazine coffers and is responsible for what's been happening there.
Trying to murder Kim in a dark and empty stairway Kim gets away but is later fired for accusing "sweet and innocent" Dorine of trying to kill her. Norah who befriends Dorine, because her timely article saved the magazine from folding, invites her out to lunch. It's then when she's knocked out in the parking lot by her and brought back to Dorines basement and locked in with all the other stiffs.
Kim getting in touch with Norah's boyfriend Danial, Michael Imperioli, to warn him about how unstable Dorine is as well as Norah being alone with her that afternoon. This has has him driving to the Douglas house looking for her only to find that Kim was right about Dorine, dead right, and that he and Norah were soon to pay the price for not listening to her.
Strange but interesting and not for everyones tastes "Office Killer" takes a while to get off the ground but once it gets going you can't really take your eye off it.
Carol Kane as Dorine is her usual quite and passive self at first but slowly goes postal as the pressure of her job, and putting up with her nagging mom, gets to her and drives Dorine over the brink. We also get an insight of Dorine's relationship with both her mom and dad Peter Douglas, Eric Bogosian,in a number of flashback sequences. The flashbacks indicate that she not only was sexually abused by Peter when she was a young girl but was also responsible for the car accident that took his life, and ended up crippling her mom for life. Which may have well been the reason for her distorted mental state as an adult.
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