PLOT: Ken (Kevin Corrigan) is just out of the state mental hospital, and has to resort to living with his loony mother (Karen Black), and working a minimum wage job at the local ice-cream shop. If that isn’t bad enough, he’s haunted by the memories of an attack he suffered at the hands of several prominent townsfolk while a teenager. When a killer starts targeting his former attackers, all fingers point to Ken, who also has to contend with Amy (Ariel Gade); the ten-year old daughter he never knew he had.
REVIEW: SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE is a movie I desperately wanted to like. It’s produced by the great John Landis (who’s also at Fantasia with BURKE & HARE), and stars Kevin Corrigan- one of my favorite “that guy” actors, with recent parts in movies like THE DEPARTED and TV’s DAMAGES, in a rare lead role.
Whatever the film’s problems are, the acting certainly isn’t one of them. Corrigan strikes exactly the right ambiguous note as Ken, with him walking a tightrope that keeps us guessing whether he is or isn’t a killer. His relationship with Ariel Gade (also terrific), who plays his daughter is probably the most well-realized part of the film, and throughout the film, my sympathies were always with Ken, regardless of whether or not he was in fact a killer.
I also really liked some of the supporting parts, including an awesome, scenery-chewing turn by Barry Bostwick, who seems to be having the time of his life playing the small-town sheriff, who’s more amused by the murders than concerned by them. I also liked his relationship with the very funny (and super deadpan) Karen Black, with them carrying on an affair, even when the sheriff starts to think her son is his man.
Leo Fitzpatrick- from Larry Clark’s KIDS also has a nice role as Ken’s best-pal/ fellow soda jerk, although I didn’t buy his motivation towards the end of the film, which seems a little too convenient, and like a twist that was added in at the last minute. This also leads to a huge plot hole, which, to keep this spoiler-free, I will not reveal.
The biggest problem I had with SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE was the tone- which is way too broad for my tastes. I like black comedies, but there has to be stakes present that makes you take the film at least a little seriously. Here, there are none, and director Jack Perez (MEGA SHARK VS GIANT OCTOPUS) gives this a sickly sweet, sitcom vibe that just really didn’t sit well with me. As a horror film/thriller, this doesn’t work at all, and the comedy is too obvious for it to work on that level either.
Perhaps a re-edit, and a new soundtrack (I wasn’t crazy about the goofy music) might help improve SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE a bit, but as it is, it’s just a film I can’t really get behind, despite the good performances. It’s a missed opportunity, but regardless, I hope to see Corrigan in more leading roles soon.