Tuesday, February 13, 2007

KillerKiller (2007)

KillerKiller is a great low-budget film from England that piles on the tension to an already engaging plot and interesting characters.

A group of incarcerated mental patients awake one morning to find themselves alone with all their cell doors wide open. The mental institution they are housed in seems to have aged overnight – the paint is peeling off the walls, there are bits of trash everywhere and the whole place is decayed. There are no guards, no doctors and no other patients around, so their first thought is to just walk out the front doors. It’s not that easy, though, as an impenetrable mist surrounds the mental institution. They are now stuck in the institution until they figure things out. They better hurry, though, as someone or something begins killing them off one by one…

The opening scene alone started things with a bang. When it starts, you think it’s your typical slasher flick – a masked psycho is stalking a blonde babysitter in the house. The babysitter decides to take a shower (doesn’t everyone take a shower when they are supposed to be watching someone’s kids?) and undresses. The psycho creeps into the bathroom, shiny knife raised and ready to strike…only when the babysitter whirls around, she herself is holding two very big butcher knives and repeatedly stabs the psycho to death (as her naked body becomes covered in blood…ya, thought you guys might like that). Not only that, but it appears she is some kind of demon as her eyes go all crazy-like! This first scene alone grabs you by the titties and doesn’t let go. It pokes fun at the slasher genre a bit and then turns it on its head! If this opening doesn’t grab your attention…well, you must already be dead!

The story is fresh and original. The pacing is just right as more and more is revealed about each violent serial killer as the story progresses. Character development, funny dialogue and scenes of carnage all seem to be in balance here, with director Pat Higgins not relying on one or the other too much. The dialogue is witty and clever. There’s even a great exchange between two men about what constitutes as going too far with an analogy of butt plugs used to illustrate a point. These great moments of dialogue populate the film and add to the already engaging storyline.

The characters themselves are all played to manic perfection by the cast. The two leads, Dutch Dore-Boize and Cy Henty, stand out. Dore-Boize plays Lawrence, a regular hot-head and self-appointed leader of the group. Dore-Boize crackles and sparks on screen, giving Jason Stratham (whom he resembles) a run for his money. Henty plays Rosebrook, the supposedly wrongly convicted man, who appears to be the most stable in the group. The rest of the cast includes Richard Collins as child-like Perry, James Kavaz as Harris, Rami Hilmi as Wallis, Scott Denyer as Samuel and Danny James as Victor as two killers who worked together to kill cheerleaders, Nick Page as the hulking Nicholas and Danielle Laws as the demon Helle. All of the cast do a wonderful job with their roles and I can’t say a bad thing about any of their performances.

As the killers are killed one by one, we are treated to some neat flashback scenes of their crimes. When the demon Helle decides to kill someone, she takes them back to the scene of their last crime and plays the part of their last victim. Only this time, she’s in control and kills them as they killed others. There are stabbings, drillings, knifings, an operation and a great number of other bloody ways to go. The film wisely stays away from turning into a gorefest, but instead features a lot of blood splatter.

The direction by Pat Higgins is really terrific…every shot is well done, clean and professional looking. This guy definitely knows what he is doing, and it shows in his film. Per Higgins’ direction, the atmosphere of foreboding and dread seeps into every frame. The music used throughout the film should also be mentioned here, as it adds to the tension as well.

KillerKiller is a great indie film from England that deserves some attention here “across the pond.” The tension is so prevalent throughout the film that by the end my fists were clenched with my fingernails embedded into my palms.

Available on Amazon!

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