Awfully Good: I Know Who Killed Me
I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
Director: Chris Sivertson
Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Neal McDonough, Julia Ormond
Is there a plot?
Aubrey Fleming is abducted by a serial killer, only to later be found alive…except now she claims to be someone named Dakota Moss! Also, she has a robot hand.
What's the damage?
From the opening image of blood running down a stripper pole, you know you’re in for a classy time with I KNOW WHO KILLED ME. Sadly we’ve come to expect nothing less from poor Lindsay Lohan. The once fiery-haired child star is at her all-time lowest in this movie, playing a teenage exotic dancer suffering the world's worst identity crisis. And there's really no excuse for her presence here aside from the stinky cologne of desperation. I can’t imagine this script, a terrible mix of mystery, horror and mass confusion, seeming like a winner on the page. At least in MACHETE Lohan playing a slutty crackwhore had some sense of ironic detachment given her public partying persona. But when I KNOW WHO KILLED ME was released in 2007, LiLo still had a shot at rebuilding her career with the right roles. A slim chance, but a chance nonetheless. Instead, she clearly just wanted to rebel against her tween Disney image. And what better way to do that than playing a chain-smoking, foul-mouthed stripper engaged in torture porn?
The cast and crew meetings each morning always started out the same way.
I KNOW WHO KILLED ME manages to take soap opera-level plot devices and somehow execute them worse than daytime television. It’s really quite remarkable. Director Chris Sivertson, the visionary co-director of ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE, seems to think he’s attempting an exercise in artistic expression with an ever-changing color palette and striking visuals that pretty much fail completely. Perhaps with better writing, music, set design, cinematography and every other component of the film, he could’ve achieved that.
Oh, and the acting too! Aside from Lohan, you have former M. Bison Neal McDonough, who does literally nothing as Aubrey/Dakota’s dad until the last 10 minutes…where he continues to do nothing despite his character becoming mildly more important. Former model Garcelle Beauvais plays the worst FBI criminal profiler ever, coming to huge conclusions about the killer from absolute thin air. And I just found out that acclaimed French actress Julia Ormond played Lindsay Lohan's mom in this movie. Like I literally just saw her name on IMDB and am now writing this sentence with a sense of disbelief.
"Nuke it from orbit! It's the only way to be sure!"
Sadly writer Jeff Hammond has yet to produce anything since I KNOW WHO KILLED ME, so we cannot continue to reap the fruit of his clearly difficult labor. On a broad scale, the theme of duality is driven home with the finesse of a sledgehammer. By the end, people are pretty much just loudly yelling "TWO!" until you get the point. There’s also lots of "clever" meta-textual stuff where characters talk about being in a movie or one of Aubrey’s stories.
Don't judge. You would make the same face if you slept with Lindsay Lohan without protection.
However, it's the little stuff that makes this movie truly special. Like the inclusion of the ugliest cat in existence. A scene where we see Lohan being outfitted with a high-tech robot hand and leg, which promises some awesome cyborg action but only exists so they don’t have to do digitally remove her limbs the rest of the movie. (By the end she's running around chasing the killer as if she has all of her appendages, so it doesn't matter.) Gratuitous strip club performances to eat up running time, or a sex scene where Lindsay forcef*cks her new boyfriend loudly while her mom awkwardly cleans the kitchen right beneath them. And my favorite—Lindsay Lohan using Ask.com to search for “bleeding wounds unexplained.” Are we' supposed to sympathize with a character that uses Ask.com? Who the hell does that, even in 2007?
Lindsay brings in a specialist for Samantha Ronson.
I will now delve in to SPOILERS to discuss the film's hilarious and ridiculous third act turn. Ready? Okay. I KNOW WHO KILLED ME ends up being THE PARENT TRAP with pole dancing, as Lindsay Lohan once again plays identical twins separated at birth. But unlike the Disney version, this time one Lohan is adopted by a nice WASP-y family and the other is kept by a crackhead who raises her to be a stripper. The only connection the two share: the world's worst sympathy pains i.e. if Twin 1 gets her leg hacked off by a serial killer, Twin 2's leg will just fall off. (Yes, this happens.) The film attempts to use some real life science it made up to explain this (which is where Ask.com comes in!) but it's all bush-league stuff. And speaking of the serial murderer, he may be the most obvious killer of any whodunit ever. And his motive—a piano teacher pissed that his students want to quit their lessons, so he cuts off their hands and feet so they’ll never play again—is hilarious in how serious it's taken.
"Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We can make her better than she was. Sluttier...skankier...stupider.”
I KNOW WHO KILLED ME is so great it even tries to instill a couple messages while it entertains you with its badness. The first "Sometimes people get cut!" is a hilariously inappropriate rallying cry for emo kids everywhere. The second is shared from mother to daughter at a pivotal inspirational moment of the film: "You were a kicker in the womb, now you need to be a kicker again in life!" And just when you didn't think it could get any better, the writer works in the preposterous title as a line of dialogue for LiLo to say dramatically towards the film's conclusion. Not since "Stop or my mom will shoot!" has this technique been so effective.
1) Julia Ormond embarrasses herself and 2) Lindsay Lohan gets deep.
1) Lindsay Lohan realizes she is an amputee. Hilarity ensues.
2) A stripper puts her boobs in Lindsay Lohan's face.
3) Lindsay Lohan has awkward sex while her mom cleans downstairs.
4) Here's two and a half unnecessary minutes of Lindsay Lohan stripping.
You get a couple quick breasts in the strip club, but Lindsay keeps covered while she dances provocatively. There's also a sex scene, but considering her character is missing an arm and a leg, I think it counts as amputee porn.
Play Along at Home!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- The theme of duality is mentioned or seen
- A blue rose is on screen
- Somebody strips
- You spot cat balls
- Amputee porn happens
Double shot if:
- Someone actually uses Ask.com
Thanks to Victor, Anu, Marcey and Bede for suggesting this week's movie!
Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.