Killer Movie (2008)
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A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, the slasher genre was a reliable source of entertainment. Sadly it has devolved into a breeding ground for the most shallow, talentless people in the film industry. It seems there is no room to make a movie that's actually, well, GOOD, just profitable. Every "creative" decision is borne from the desire to make money. And of course, throngs of people flock to the theaters and eat it up.
Against such a grim backdrop, it is a cause for celebration when a movie like "Killer Movie" comes out. Here's a slasher film that adheres to all of the conventions of the genre without pandering to the lowest common denominator. Horror fans will love this, and I predict it will do extremely well commercially.
The story is of personal relevance to its director (a former reality TV director), and the results are funny and scary, often at the same time. Fisher had previously worked on shows like The Simple Life and Real World, and it's easy to see how the experience affected him. I guess the best way to segue from reality TV into the film industry is to make a film about a reality TV show crew being MURDERED.
"Killer Movie" is an impressive debut, and I look forward to whatever Fisher does next.
Attempting to mix a poorly thought out take on reality television with the same sort of generic violence you can see in a thousand other cheap horror flicks, Killer Movie is about a TV crew from Hollywood that's taken up residence in a small North Dakota town. They're supposed to be making a reality show about one thing, but the producer (Cyia Batten) wants to change the focus to something more tawdry and sensational, causing friction with the show's newly hired director (Paul Wesley). There's also an out-of-control celebutante (Kaley Cuoco) who's signed up to be a production assistant on the show as research for her next film and, of course, a masked killer who appears to be shooting his own reality show.
I'm sure you know the drill. People get slaughtered, there's a mystery about who is responsible and blah, blah, blah. In this case, however, the phrase "blah, blah, blah" is especially appropriate because it accurately describes at least 50% of this movie. Characters are constantly explaining things, both to each other and to the audience though the use of reality show style "confessionals" where they talk directly into the camera. A movie is supposed to show, not tell. All Killer Movie does is tell and tell and tell and tell and none of it is smart or funny or insightful. Imagine a Kevin Smith script written after Kevin Smith had suffered a very serious head injury. That's what this film is like.
There are only two halfway decent characters in this tale, but they aren't the main hero or the masked killer. The main hero is good looking and generally concerned about other people. That's the sum total of his personality. The masked killer is defined by a wristwatch and eyeliner. No, you didn't read that wrong. The masked killer has a wristwatch and wears eyeliner and that's everything there is to him. The interesting characters are the relentless bitch of a producer and the foul-mouthed starlet, nicely portrayed by Cyia Batten and Kaley Cuoco. They're not exactly Shakespearean in their complexity, but they have strong personalities and understandable agendas. Pretty much everyone else in the cast is just waiting around to get killed. I supposed you can give writer/director Jeff Fisher some credit for coming up with at least two intriguing characters. Not much credit, though, because he does nothing at all of interest with either of them.
I also couldn't stand the editing of Killer Movie and a film's editing has got to be really atrocious for me to even notice it, let alone be annoyed by it. The persistent and superfluous use of establishing shots is what got to me. You know how when scenes change in a movie, the next scene will start with a shot of where it is. A scene on a boat will end and then you'll see a building because the next scene in that building. Well, this film takes that principle to ridiculous lengths. For example, if the next scene is in the local high school, we won't just get a shot of the high school to establish things. No, first there will be a shot of the countryside to, I guess, remind us the story is taking place in North Dakota. Then there will be a shot of the school. Then there will be a shot inside the school, but NOT of where the next scene is taking place. Only after all that will we get to the next scene.
And even though this movie sucks, writer/director Fisher still sticks an open-ended conclusion on it that's so blatant, he's essentially getting down on his hands and knees begging for the chance to make a sequel. It's like going to a restaurant and eating a meal that makes you sick to your stomach, then getting a coupon so you can eat for free on your next visit.
As terrible as Killer Movie is, there are plenty of attractive actresses in the cast and if even some of them had gotten naked, that would have at least been something nice to look at. The essence of slasher movies leans toward crap, which is why nudity is so commonly added to the mix to distract from the overall crumminess of the product. Without it, a slasher movie needs to be especially intelligent and thoughtful just to make it to average. Killer Movie is dumb, shallow and nobody takes off their clothes. Rush right out and watch something else.
A killer is on the loose, stalking cast and crew members one by one.
As past suspicions, betrayals and secrets inexplicably come into play, the nightmare of shooting this reality show becomes all too real for Jake, the show's director, his crew and Hollywood starlet Blanca Champion.....
So it's basically Scream for the big brother generation, with the one from The Big Bang Theory who decidedly ugly, playing a big star who everyone lusts after.
One of the crew is a little bit strange, Scooby Doo strange, and once you see him, you think to yourself 'the makers couldn't be that stupid to make him the killer'.
Guess what, they are, and then some...
None of the cast are likable, the editing and narrative are awful, and the last five minutes of the film literally has more shots of the sidekick dog than anyone else.
The final reveal features the killer wearing some eye make up, and even the makers get fed up by the end and just have shot in a maundering way.
It's even depressing to write about it, I wouldn't bother, even if you had nothing to do, sitting and staring the abyss would be a better choice than seeing this excremental excuse for a film...
A small town that has never had a decent ice hockey team is about to win it big. Hollywood decides that this story would be perfect for a reality show. As the director arrives he finds out that the producer has other plans- to unmask all the towns dirty secrets, of which there are plenty as the former hockey coach just got out of jail after killing is ex wife accidentally. But then, more gruesome killings begin. The crew which doesn't get along entirely tries to just do their work. Eventually they too will be affected by the town's darkness.
Much is made of a celebrity character that takes the job of a PA to advance her career. But it's Hollywood that is also a principal character in this movie and the way it operates, through deception and manipulation. And that aspect of the movies is the most interesting and entertaining.
We don't really get a sense of the town and it's people because the crew is at the center. A masked killer starts killing random people and filming it all. Strangely, no one bothers to call the police but as always, the script requires a bunch of teens to start investigating things on their own in the middle of the night.
There are a lot of attractive ladies in Killer Movie. Even though we have no hint that this will turn out to be a whodunit, the identity of the killer turns out to be a surprise, it's an insignificant one because at no point are we asked to wonder about his identity.
As a slasher movie, this one lacks scary moments and gory killings. There are a lot of characters and few too care for, so the deaths don't have any impact. The main storyline of the making of the reality series isn't all that interesting really. But it's the intrigue that keeps things going.
"Killer Movie" has an interesting concept and competently made and could have easily been great if it didn't fall apart too many times. It is watchable but yet it is quite poorly executed, like the death scenes lack any imagination at all and are mostly off screen and generally comes off as an easy-going piece of work that's simply unable to engage the viewer on any real level virtually from start to finish. But the good aspects that I liked are the characters that ultimately save this movie in my opinion like Blanca played by Kaley Cuoco, okay her performance wasn't perfect but she was the best thing about this movie, and the fact that I'm a big fan of Kaley I loved her in The Big Bang Theory, In this she plays a bitchy Paris Hilton type and unlikely final girl. Paul Wesley the male lead I found him likable and engaging and one of the more interesting characters in this movie and Al Santos who plays the camera man was also fun and likable.
All in all Killer Movie is fun with some witty dialogue with some interesting stalking scenes, but as a whole this movie is quite forgettable.