Monday, August 13, 2012

SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE

Rarely I have I been quite so surprised - and pleasantly so - by a low-budget movie as I was by director Jack Perez's SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (2011), an unexpectedly accomplished and strangely charming little genre oddity recently released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Ken Boyd (Kevin Corrigan, FRINGE) is a disturbed young man recently released from a mental institution, living with his acerbic mom (Karen Black, TRILOGY OF TERROR) and working in an ice cream parlor. As he tries to cope with normal life - and the eleven year-old daughter (Ariel Gade, INVASION) who has just come into it - the town sheriff (Barry Bostwick, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, 2010 MOBY DICK) investigates a series of brutal, bloody murders, the victims of which happen to be the same guys who tormented and tortured Ken years before....

What a difference a good script and a great cast can make. When I received this disc, I didn't expect much, as director Perez's previous films included MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS and 666: THE CHILD, neither of which had much impressed me. (Although, I admit, I found his MTV sci-fi spoof from a few years back, MONSTER ISLAND, rather amusing.) In any case, from the title, package art and Perez's previous credits, I expected a low-budget slasher with maybe some splatstick comedy inserted to justify its lack of suspense or thrills. Instead, what I discovered was a well made, phenomenally well acted, serio-comic character piece... with murders.

The script by Ryan A. Levin is witty, sharp, and engaging, with sympathetic and identifiable characters, surprising revelations, and a terrific twist or two. Jack Perez's direction is polished and professional, with slick videography and editing. I also like that the special effects were handled in-camera rather than digitally.

The cast is excellent across the board. Bostwick and Black, in particular, do some exceptional, devastatingly funny character work. Corrigan's performance as the troubled Ken is layered and thoughtful, and young Ariel Gade is utterly charming. The cast also includes a fine supporting cast, including Lucy Davis (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, the U.K. version of THE OFFICE) as the lead character's charming romantic interest.

The DVD from Anchor Bay presents SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE in a flawless, 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The movie was shot digitally, so this direct transfer is razor sharp, with no blemishes or artifacts whatsoever. The Dolby Surround 5.1. audio is clear and robust. Bonus material includes an entertaining audio commentary by director Perez and writer/producer Levin; a short film by Levin, "The Fifth," which is thematically similar to the feature; a Behind-The-Scenes featurette; and the original trailer.

It's difficult to pigeonhole SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE. It's got some bloody murders, but it's not really a horror film, nor is it strictly a comedy. It's occasionally dramatic, and there are some suspenseful scenes, but there are also some genuinely heartwarming moments, too.

I guess I'd just call it a good movie. Check it out.

BUYSome Guy Who Kills People