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KILLER BY NATURE
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Douglas S. Younglove

Starring:
Ron Perlman
Armand Assante

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A teenager has horrific dreams about murdering women, only to wake up to find out said women were actually killed in real life. Because heís freaking out and doesnít know whether his dreams are real or not, he seeks help from his shrink who finds help in an expert psychologist. Meanwhile, the countdown is on for a serial killer on death row to be executed in a few days who may or may not have affiliations with said teenager.
Is it good movie?
There was a time when the great Ron Perlman wasnít a household nameóhe was just the dude with the giant noggin from the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TV series from the 80s. But then he rocked the lead role in HELLBOY and people started to take notice of what a badass and talented actor he is, casting him in more and more movies and even scoring the lead of a kick-ass TV show. In 2011 alone, the dude starred in SEASON OF THE WITCH, a season of SONS OF ANARCHY, the stylized BUNRAKU, and rocked the role of a badass gangster in the best film of the year, DRIVE. So what does Perlman have for us next? How aboutÖ KILLER BY NATURE? Whaaaa???

At least on DVD, anyway, and even the timely release of this little mystery thriller is suspicious, as the release date is 2012 on Amazon and 2010 on IMDb, and yet it looks like a straight-to-DVD turd from the mid-90s. Whatís the real story on KILLER BY NATURE? We may never know, but what we do know is that itís quite the slightly below average psychological thriller that doesnít do Perlmanís awesomeness any justice whatsoever.

On the one hand, itís a flick that essentially presents the age-old argument of ďnature versus nurtureĒ, posing the question of whether killers are bred by their environment, or if theyíre simply born that way due to genetics, their family tree, and so on and so forth. Thatís where Perlmanís Dr. Julian comes into the picture, being an advocate of the nature side, and using the latest case of a teenager with a sleepwalking problem to prove his theory. But is this teen, who has nightmares of killing women only to find them actually dead in the morning, the real killer, or is there something (or someone) else doing the dirty work? And how does the death row inmate nicknamed Mean Gene, played by Armand Assante, fit into this whole thing?

I put all those questions in the description here because thatís what the film tries to do, craft a story thatís full of twists, turns, and mystery. Unfortunately, KILLER BY NATURE isnít executed as well as it likes to think it is, delivering a film that has a lot of questions, but none of which you actually care about answering. Who is this guy and is this other dude actually killing people? MaybeÖ I donít know. And I donít care. And because I donít care, whatís the point? Oh, thatís right, there really isnít one.

Perlman does a decent job I guess (from what he has to work with) and long-lost star Assante manages to pull off his role quite well, delivering probably the best performance out of anyone else in the whole movieómaybe itís those damn crazy eyes of his, or because heís locked behind bars the whole time. Either way, he does a damn fine job. The teenager aka the filmís lead, played by Zachary Ray Sherman, shouldnít have ever been cast as the lead as he doesnít have the charisma or screen presence to lead a film and to make the audience give a crap about him. Heís just a whiny kid who overactsómaybe thatís the scripts fault, maybe itís his fault, all I know is that itís just bad.

The thing thatís the most striking about KILLER BY NATURE, besides it being released some 15 years after it was made, is that it sort of draws you in enough to pay attention and hold most of your interest all the way up through the end. The twists are spotted miles away and the way the story finishes up isnít all that surprising, but much like the crappy STD flicks from the Ď90s, thereís an odd sense of watchability at play here. Itís still not a good movie by any means, but still, itísÖ watchable.

Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic widescreen fills the TV, but for a 2010 movie, the filmís picture quality oddly looks like a straight-to-DVD crapfest from 1994.

Audio: 2.0 Mono rocked this puppy, but itís a SCREENER, so Iíd assume the audio would be fuller when itís the real McCoy.

The Extras
N/A [screener]
Last Call
Fans of the great Ron Perlman may get a kick out of seeing him here, but as he has nothing to do, it certainly doesnít provide the kind of Perlman awesomeness one would expect. At the end of the day, KILLER BY NATURE is a forgettable and far below average psychological thriller that does nothing more than pass the time the most boring way possible.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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