Where Is Kevin Smith’s KillRoy Was Here?

Kevin Smith’s horror anthology KillRoy Was Here was released as an NFT a year and a half ago, but very few viewers have said anything about it

The concept of the Kevin Smith horror movie Tusk came out of an episode of Smith’s SModcast podcast in which he and his co-host Scott Mosier started out joking about the idea of a walrus-themed body horror movie and then, in the midst of the banter, Smith was inspired to actually make the movie. (And I’m very thankful that he did.) Smith’s horror anthology KillRoy Was Here started out in a similar way. It has its roots in an episode of the Edumacation podcast, where Smith and co-host Andy McElfresh “accidentally brainstormed a Christmas horror anthology” that would revolve around the child-eating creature known as Krampus. Smith and McElfresh wrote a script and were moving ahead with the film, which was first called Comes the Krampus! and then re-titled Anti-Claus, but then it got abandoned when Michael Dougherty’s Krampus movie was released. It only sat dormant for a few years before Smith decided to rework it into something else: KillRoy Was Here.

The script was rewritten. The Christmas element was ditched. Smith had revealed the names of the Anti-Claus stories (The Krampus vs. The Third Grade, Hitler’s Krampus, Mask Masker, The Proposal, and wrap-around The Bad Babysitter), and judging by those, it appears most of the stories were replaced. Krampus was swapped out for a new character called KillRoy, inspired by the “Kilroy was here” graffiti that became popular during World War II, showing a long-nosed man peeking over a fence. In this case, KillRoy started out as a Florida man named Roy Huggins, who was a soldier in the Vietnam War, not World War II, and when he was captured by enemy soldiers he got loose, killed a whole lot of people, and cannibalized one of the corpses. He had to be locked up in a mental institution, and when the place caught on fire Roy was left to burn. Now he’s a supernatural being who stalks the Florida swamps, and his burns have left him looking a lot like that figure in the Kilroy graffiti. They say he has a psychic connection to kids, and if someone says his name three times he’ll show up with his machete and start hacking away at anyone who has wronged a child.

With a cool, original character to build his movie around, Smith went into production on KillRoy Was Here, which was made on a minuscule budget as a project with film students at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida (thus the Florida setting). The budgetary limitations could be spotted in the trailer, but it was a promising project, a horror anthology that was likened to Creepshow. Smith fans and genre fans alike were intrigued to check it out… But very few would have the chance to.

KillRoy Was Here is famous (or infamous) for being the movie that Smith decided to release as an NFT, and it’s not clear how well that release worked out. The investors might have gotten a nice amount of cryptocurrency out of it, but releasing the movie as an NFT seems to have been the equivalent of dropping it into a void, as far as viewer engagement online is concerned. Although there are 1000 NFT copies out there, only a few reviews have shown up on sites like Letterboxd and reddit, and the single review currently on IMDb was written by someone who saw it at a film festival in the theatre Smith owns. There’s a chance that over a thousand people have seen KillRoy Was Here, and yet only maybe ten have said anything about it. Clearly, there’s little overlap between those who are into NFTs and those who enjoy discussing films online. Although the movie was officially released a year and a half ago, there has been so little said about it, there are probably many fans who aren’t even aware that it was ever released at all. For some of those who are aware, the concept of NFTs is so off-putting and/or incomprehensible, they’ll never have access to it anyway. Unless it’s released in another format someday, KillRoy Was Here is practically a “lost film” at this point. The Kevin Smith movie that only a fraction of his fans have seen.

Even for those who have the NFTs, there’s a piece of the film that hasn’t been seen in full. It’s a deleted segment called The Lost Chapter, and it was split into ten parts that were dropped randomly throughout the various NFTs. It’s likely that no one will ever see this segment in its entirety, unless they go on a KillRoy NFT buying spree or the movie gets a more traditional release someday, where the segment could be included as a deleted scene or reintegrated into the movie. I have my fingers crossed for the traditional release option, because I would gladly add a copy of KillRoy Was Here to my physical media collection, to keep the Kevin Smith Movie section complete. I’m a Smith fan and a horror fan, so this movie is right up my alley. But I’m also a collector, so I would love to have a copy of KillRoy Was Here that I could hold in my hands. If that’s not feasible, at least drop it onto a streaming service so more film fans can check it out. That’s not only bringing entertainment to a wider audience, it’s also a bit more profit for the investors.

It’s a shame that KillRoy Was Here has been locked away, as it was a fun concept with franchise potential. I’m sure it would find a following among fans of Smith and the horror genre, if only more people could see it.

While we wait to see if there are going to be any further, more traditional releases of the film, the only way to see KillRoy Was Here is to purchase an NFT (now on the secondary market) or get an NFT savvy friend to show you their copy.

KillRoy Was Here

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.