From director Jack Perez (the man behind 2009 creature feature Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus) and executive producer John Landis comes Some Guy Who Kills People (2011), an evocative if slightly misguided attempt to explore mental illness via the medium slasher/comedy generic hybrid. Starring Kevin Corrigan and The Office’s Lucy Davis, Perez’s latest is likeable enough – and a vast improvement on his previous outing – yet still fails to do anything more than brush the surface of its difficult chosen subject matter.
Former asylum patient and town loner Ken Boyd (Corrigan) is finding it hard to re-adjust to life on the outside. A mundane job at a local ice cream parlour keeps him occupied during the day, but at night Ken – who still leaves at home with his overly-frank mother (Karen Black) – is haunted by dark memories of the brutal torture he suffered at the hands of some high school jocks.
However, his sadistic plans for bloody vengeance are put on hold following the discovery of his estranged daughter Amy and a blossoming romance with British ex-pat Stephanie (Davis), who both threaten to inject some much-needed warmth into the life of this deranged individual. Both redemption and revenge are on the cards for our lowly protagonist – but which will he ultimately plump for?
A mish-mash of far too many other films to mention here, Some Guy Who Kills People struggles throughout to find a voice of its own. There are elements of Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America (2011), but also suffers from the same flaws – antagonists are entertainingly offed, but the violence is all too cartoonish to ever feel relevant. Furthermore, dramatic moments are often clumsily handled, with only Davis capable of evoking empathy out of awkwardness.
Numerous flaws aside, Perez should be commended for finding his way out of the made-for-cable monster movie market, with Landis clearly convinced of his cinematic potential. Some Guy Who Kills People is undoubtedly a patchy effort, as likely to puzzle as it is to entertain despite a number of imaginative execution scenes, but there are at least shoots of invention lurking within this tangled tale of cold-served vengeance.