Monday, June 29, 2009

I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (2009)

I’ve been looking forward to I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer ever since I heard about this satirical Australian slasher a few years ago! The concept of a killer cricket player combined with the promise of plenty of slapstick screwball comedy really had me eager to check it out! Well, now it is finally hitting DVD stateside on June 30th, 2009 and I finally got to see it. I gotta say, though, this film was a bit of a let down for me.

While IKHMRYSLS is clearly meant to be a horror comedy along the lines of Shaun of the Dead and Black Sheep, it fails to deliver. It is seriously lacking in the comedy department and its threadbare story is dragged out over its feature-film length while its unlikable characters don’t do much except look like the thickest bunch of blokes I’ve ever seen in a film.

Twenty years ago, a young cricketer was bullied so much by his teammates that he was hospitalized. Now, he’s all grown up and out for bloody revenge with an arsenal of razor-sharp cricket gloves, sharpened stumps, nailed balls and a sturdy cricket bat.

After gruesomely offing his first few victims, the police become involved and move the remaining teammates to an isolated “safe” house in the middle of nowhere…where one by one victims are brutally (and hilariously killed).

Despite the film’s awful “comedy” falling flat and the thin storyline stretched beyond its breaking point, I have to say that the deaths are pretty darn entertaining. Though they are pretty much the only entertaining thing in this film, they are reason enough for a rental. Sharpened cricket stumps are shoved down throats and through bodies, a ball stuck with nails is thrown at someone’s head, a Freddy Krueger-esque razor-fingered cricket glove is used to disembowel victims, a cricket bat is used for several pummelings and (my favorite) a nail-spiked sports cup is forcibly shoved into some guy’s privates. While the deaths are entertaining, they barely make the rest of the film worth watching.

The story, written by Doug Turner (who co-directed with Stacey Edmonds), just didn’t have enough humor and barely squeezed a few weak laughs out of me. When the best jokes are about gay hairdressers you know you have a problem. The dialogue was inane and downright annoying at times. The film also suffered from poor pacing or maybe it was just lack of story to fill the time between kills. Though it starts right off the bat with a kill, from there the film just meanders and the story never fully develops. There was so little story and character development that I found myself not engaged by the story, but just waiting for the next kill.

The characters are just kind thrown into the story without any character development and while I understand that many of them are just fodder for the killer, it would have been nice to have someone to root for. As it was, I didn’t really have anyone to care about except for the killer since he was the only one offering me any kind of fun in the film. I also thought that the police characters weren’t all that necessary (except for the twist at the end) and the film could have easily been made without them hampering the story. The inclusion of the police just felt like padding. I will say that I enjoyed the mainly male cast. Slashers usually feature a mostly female cast, so it was nice to see the victims being males for a change.

Speaking of padding, the scenes between the kills felt exactly like that – just fluff in between the only interesting bits. I didn’t see anything to prove that this film is “satirical” in any way…unless you count the out-of-nowhere gratuitous shower scene featuring Miss Nude Australia that spoofs the random shower scenes that appear in many slashers. The kills were pretty over the top, but they didn’t exactly spoof slasher flicks. I just felt that with few exceptions that IKHMRYSLS missed the boat on the comedic aspect of horror films.

I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer is a missed opportunity at a good horror comedy. It seemed to have so much potential, but this indie flick left me infinitely more disappointed than satisfied. The only thing that this film scores are fouls.

Available from Amazon!

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