Review: Some Guy Who Kills People / Cert: 15 / Director: Jack Perez / Screenplay: Ryan A Levin / Starring: Kevin Corrigan, Barry Bostwick, Lucy Davis, Karen Black / Release Date: October 5th (Limited Release) / DVD Release: October 15th
You’d be forgiven for being a bit apprehensive about the prospects for Some Guy Who Kills People, given that its director Jack Perez has achieved a certain notoriety courtesy of previous offerings such as cheesy stop-motion TV movie Monster Island (starring 1960’s TV Batman Adam West as one Dr Harryhausen) and the cult classic Mega-Shark Vs Giant Octopus. So prepare to have your preconceptions and your low expectations blown out of the water; Some Guy is a dazzling, brilliant and oddly heart-warming lo-fi indie movie which crosses genres with a dizzying confidence, leaping from comedy to charming life-affirming character study via a few - but not too many - grisly set pieces involving graphic decapitation and lovingly-filmed throat-slashing.
Jack Perez has described Some Guy Who Kills People as “exactly the film I had been searching to make for many years” and it’s not hard to see the attraction. Levin’s script is a gift for any director. Meet Ken Boyd (Corrigan), small-town loner, loser, comic-book geek working at an ice-cream parlour and fresh out of “the loony bin” (the film’s words, not ours) after going off the rails following terrifying torture ordeals he suffered from high school jocks. He’s now living with his mother with whom he endures a love/hate relationship. Ken is forced to confront himself - and his past - when his estranged eleven year-old daughter Amy (a charming performance from one-to-watch Ariel Grade) seeks him out and he drifts into an awkward, stumbling relationship with disenfranchised Brit Stephanie (Davis). Life’s on the up… until the meatheads who ruined Ken’s life start turning up dead, slaughtered in gruesome and spectacular style.
Oddly enough it’s not the killing or the violence that makes Some Guy so beguiling - in some ways the murder mystery gets in the way of our genuine fascination with Ken’s slow rehabilitation, his lack of faith in himself and the journey he accidentally finds himself undertaking. The script is subtle and naturalistic; Perez’s direction just lets the story tell itself with no need for artifice or gimmickry. Corrigan, reminiscent of a younger Paul Giamatti, makes Ken a ‘hero’ to root for, a guy we want to see come good; we want to see his triumph over not inconsiderable adversity. His mother (Black) clearly loves him even though she undermines and demeans him to shake him from his torpor and Barry Bostwick owns the screen every time he turns up as the sardonic, laid back but ultimately razor-sharp Sheriff Fuller.
With its intriguing, twisty storyline, and a script full of characters the audience can really invest and believe in, Some Guy is at best borderline ‘genre’ material but it’s another cherishable triumph for the low budget indie sector and it gives yet another bloody nose to Hollywood as it demonstrates how it’s possible to tell a good - no, make that great - story without filling the screen with hours of sound and fury.