Some Guy Who Kills People (2011 – No release date as of yet)
My Synopsis: There’s this guy right, we’ll call him Every-Guy-Who-Has-Survived Childhood-Prosecution But-Not-Without-Several-Years-of-Therapy; or Some Guy works too. More importantly, he kills people. No, really, it’s in the title and this movie title doesn’t lie.
I always begin these reviews with a little introduction where I address certain film trends that I either find enlightening or annoying. This movie is thankfully at the forefront of one of those ‘movements’ I have been delighted to see in action. It’s kind of an art-house/fringe thing that is fresh and exciting. Let’s look at the title – ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ – straight forward, blatantly obvious, and sums it up in five easy words. Another title I love is ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ (another brilliant movie that I will review soon); again, you know what it is about in four words. Or do you? In the film making business this ‘title’ is actually a logline. It is designed to represent the entire movie in a pitch to film execs. When I say designed I mean it literally “sounds” simple by “design,” but in contrast to what you actually get on page and screen the seeming simplicity of it suddenly gains a broader meaning that makes you slap your forehead for accepting it on face value and not being able to read between the lines. ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ is a movie that as you watch you keep asking yourself…“What guy?” “Who does he kill?” “Why does he kill them?” “How does he kill them?” “What other things does this guy do?” “Is he justified?” “Will they catch him?” “He’s the guy, right?” Well the last one, at least, is obvious.
So, if ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ is unreleased then how the hell did I get to see it? Funny you should ask, and as far as origination stories go I think it’s noteworthy. So it turns out that writer/producer Ryan Levin is a Creepercast fan. Who would have thought? Well it’s true and we have email proof to support this claim! Ryan Levin is one of those guys responsible for shows like ‘Scrubs’ and ‘South Park’ and even pitched jokes to Sascha Baron Cohen when he stormed America with ‘Borat’ et al. His foray into horror began with a short film called ‘Tour de Fright’ (2008) which is about some Americans who find out competing in the Tour de France is more than just physically demanding. He is reported to be creating dark comedic horror with the short and taking it to another level with ‘Some Guy.’ Now you would think that these associations alone would make us (my co-host Jason and I) interested in seeing the screener he promised. But pretending this isn’t enough for us lets look at other people associated with this film.
‘Some Guy’ is a literal whose who in art/fringe players. Starting with Some Guy himself Kevin Corrigan (as Ken Boyd), who credits reaches from Stone’s ‘True Romance’ (1993) to ‘Grounded for Life’ to, off all shows, ‘Fringe.’ Then we have Leo Fitzpatrick as Some Guy’s best friend Irv. He’s one of those guys you’ve seen in every popular crime drama and probably don’t even realize it. But his co-starring roles have been limited to Sundance masterpieces. I have a feeling he can add cult classic horror comedy to that list soon. The last two of the big names I will mention is… Ariel Gade as Amy Wheeler or Some Guy’s daughter. She’s only appeared in NBC’s ‘Invasion’ and ‘Alien vs. Predator-Requiem’ (2007) and… Lucy Davis, aka Stephanie (Some Guy’s girlfriend), who was once in this silly little movie called ‘Shaun of the Dead’ (2004) as Shaun’s girlfriend.
I’ll jump through the cast quickly to some lesser know actors on the roster like Mother Firefly… I mean Karen Black. This woman has been in more B-rated/underrated horror than most actors today. From Hitchcock’s ‘Family Plot’ (1976) to, as previously insinuated, Rob Zombie’s “House of 1,000 Corpses” (2003). Though she will always be Mother Firefly to me (not Leslie Easterbook, that’s right, I made a stand) she was perfect as Some Guy’s mom Ruth Boyd. Then of course the least known actor of them all is Brad Majors… I mean Barry Bostwick, as the small town deceptively bumbling Sheriff Walt Fuller that is hot, so to speak, on the trail of Some Guy’s murdering spree. I know its unlikely you know who Mr. Bostwick is so I will just mention ‘Spin City’ and ‘Scrubs’ for you television watching folks and repeat the name Brad Majors to the rest of you! (Dammit Janet!) Google him if you’re going to be thick about it! (Oh Brad!)
Yeah, yeah, you’re right, all that previously mentioned stuff shouldn’t be enough to get us all excited over a silly movie with a title that actually tells you what it’s all about. But it is directed by Jack Perez (‘The Big Empty’ (1997) and ‘Mega-Shark Vs Giant Octopus’ (2009)) and Executive Produced by John Landis (someone I shouldn’t have to introduce but in case I do does ‘Animal House’ (1978), ‘The Blues Brothers’ (1980) or “An American Werewolf in London’ (1981) ring any bells?). Yep, we were way over sold on seeing this screener. Then they sent it to us…
Ken Boyd is a depressed fellow just released from an insane asylum of sorts where he was treated for severe depression and suicidal tendencies. His loving mother (said with some sarcasm) takes him in. As part of his release and reintroduction to society his best friend, Irv, gets him a job at the hometown ice cream parlor. Now no one has ever said that reintegration was easy, especially when you go back to the same town that made you insane to begin with. Flashbacks cleverly link to new taunts by old bullies, a mother learns to cope with her troubled prodigal son, and a town ruled by rumors and labels struggles to accept one of their own back into the fold. Fortunately he still has his main coping mechanism the graphic art novel which bridges his troubles in the past to those of the present. Ken’s life is further complicated by his daughter by an old flame (or should I say flicker?) that didn’t know he existed but is un-relentless in her desire to learn more about him and make him a part of her own troubled life. There’s also this blonde that for some reason finds him interesting enough to date. To top it all off Some Guy in a ski mask is killing off all the old bullies and Boyd’s new artwork reflects their demise in accurate detail. As you can see, there is a lot more going on here then some guy killing people.
Side note: As I mentioned earlier, the title is ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ by “design.” The part of that I want to focus on is the killing. There is this amazing juxtaposition between literal and metaphorical killing at work that I find both exhilarating and cathartic. In my synopsis I called Ken Boyd “Every-Guy-Who-Has-Survived Childhood-Prosecution But-Not-Without-Several-Years-of-Therapy” because I have no doubt there are a billion geeks, or nerds, or outcasts of whatever sort that can feel for, nay identify with the mentality that lead to his murdering of these bullies on the page. As a fiction writer I have murdered hundreds and the first twenty or more were my parents (don’t worry, its still an inside joke between us today). In high school I killed so many that the school counselor was sure I was going to do it for real. So the idea of years later actually exacting a blood thirsty revenge on those who helped make you the screwed up mess you became is more than attractive don’t you think? It doesn’t mean it’s justified, don’t get me wrong, and it’s just a movie after all. This reminds me I need to ask Ryan Levin which one, if not all, of the bullies represented those kids that tormented him as a child. Now of course this isn’t a new concept, at least I’m pretty sure. It’s too easy of a concept to not have been exploited before. But the fact that I’m not sure tells me that Levin and Perez did a fantastic job at making it seem so real I’ve blocked out all those that may have come before, if there even were any.
A greater portion of the comedy accolades go to Barry Bostwick and his “seemingly bumbling” portrayal of the Sheriff. One of the greatest strengths in Levin’s writing and Perez’s directing is the depiction of an ignorant and self absorbed middle class American society. Sheriff Walt Fuller is the epitome of that image. He has all the great one liners that are delivered with such self absorbed ignorance they don’t feel at all forced or contrived. When you watch the trailer I dare you not to laugh when he exclaims.. “Where’s the head? We have a body but there aint no head! You can’t have a body without a head!” When the head is being examined he remarks on “how the eyes seem to follow you.” You can tell that murders like this don’t happen in his town very often, or at all. Also the Keystone Cop like pairing between his unknowingly or even trying comedic element and his deputy that thinks all the one liners are planned and joins in with horrible puns only adds credence to this realism. I think my favorite line, and Jason has agreed, is… “We’re going to find this guy, and we’re going to skin him. Then we’re going to make him wear his own skin!” (Oh Brad!)
There is very little about ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ that wasn’t delightfully designed. It builds in pace with cleverly sprinkled death scenes (though a bit to fast, it quickly became known that the death itself, though entertaining, was not the real focus of the film) and Boyd’s struggle with normalcy (and everyone else is normal, of course). As I already mentioned, this film deals with real, and oft times pathetic, issues that truly exist in middle class America. The damage that is caused to children in adolescence carries over to adulthood. ‘Some Guy’ is a fantastic study of these issues and as an adult what better way to deal with them than with sardonic humor? During the flashbacks of Ken’s torture I kept asking Jason via text “and they locked him away?” Well I suppose a guy who kills people through drawings is far more dangerous than those that dump gas all over him. The daughter story line immediately made me think of ‘Jersey Girl’ probably because Ariel reminded me a lot of her, eloquently balancing humor and depression. As Jason said “I think the person that really stole the film was Ariel Gade. She was funny and brash, but came off so sweet.” I originally felt the daughter and girlfriend storylines seemed to drag the middle of the film. But upon reflection I realize it was there for discovery, daughter/father and vice-versa. The audience, a long with the daughter and Sheriff, discovers more about the killer. The Sheriff discovers he’s sweet on Boyd’s mother (a delightful interchange of one liners during these moments) (oh Brad), and Boyd discovers his place and love in this strange society. Then the last twenty minutes hit you like disembodied head (well played Mr. Levin). Though minimal, the blood and gore were perfect. Each kill is quickly pulled off with creative shots and still held a level of dark comedy that makes the Cohen Brothers proud. To say I liked the film would be an understatement. All the actors were superb in their roles and the cinematography, hell even soundtrack was dead on awesome (I’m pretty sure it’s something I have to add to my collection). This movie is a must see for fans of slashers that have heart, style, comedy, and thought provoking interaction. I know, such a slasher flick doesn’t exist, the whole idea is an oxymoron! Well let me introduce you to a living, breathing, working oxymoron!
As I have said before in prior reviews, if there’s a movie I feel passionate about, love or hate, I’m going to give it the attention it deserves. “Some Guy Who Kills People’ is a movie that deserves your attention! So, though it doesn’t currently have distribution there is a sure way to help its chances by telling everyone you know about this review! Also, be sure to visit the ‘SGWKP’ official site where you can read more about the cast and crew (keep score as to how many ‘Scrubs’ or crime series connections you find. There’s also one guy who was in a movie Jason and I raved about on an episode of the Creepercast, we might have a prize somewhere for the first person who emails us and
tells us who that is) @ http://www.someguywhokillspeople.com/index.html. You can also find the links to the official trailer, an amazing look at what may have started the whole Two Girls One Cup phenomenon, and a delightful dark comedic short called ‘The Fifth’ @ http://www.youtube.com/user/someguywhokills#p/u/1/8YAnfBdImSk.
Here’s a few more links you’re going to need in order to be a rabid stalker…
Be sure to listen for our upcoming 2 part podcast on ‘Some Guy Who kills People.’ In part 1 we will discuss the movie in great detail and in Part 2 interviews and discussions with Ryan Levin and Jack Perez! Look for them here or via your iTunes feed later this summer!
Farewell for now from the beasts and I,
The Creepercast Podcast (www.creepercast.com)
Sayviors Sermons (www.sayviorssermons.blogspot.com)