Review: Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)

A man who’s just been released from a mental hospital gets a job at an ice cream parlour in Some Guy Who Kills People

A man who’s just been released from a mental hospital gets a job at an ice cream parlour. With a bitter mother and a life that is destined to be forever mundane things don’t look very exciting, but then one by one his old high school basketball team mates are found murdered.

Kevin Boyd (Kevin Corrigan) is a bit quiet (if you’d just got out of a mental hospital after treatment for attempting suicide, so would you be). His mother (Karen Black) is clearly bitter about the whole experience and Kevin’s only escape from the mundane is working in a 50’s style ice cream parlour in the centre of their small home town. Life is slow, life is boring.

Things start to get a bit more exciting though as one by one we are introduced to Kevin’s old basketball team mates, who all seem to be arseholes, and then they are subsequently found dead, brutally murdered in a way that is typical of dark comedies. Plenty of blood, an axe left in the head or no head at all.

We’re treated to occasional glimpses of Kevin’s memory of each of the now departed showing us why they may have been a target. We see scenes of teenage boys bullying and beating up Kevin, and it’s not long before small town Sheriff (Barry Bostwick) suspects Kevin is behind the murders.

Not the most original premise, but then again revenge stories hardly ever are anymore, but with a wonderful current of dark comedy running throughout you are prepared to forgive. The laughs are provided by the small town America characters, who are close enough to the type you’d expect to see in a David Lynch story to be interesting, but normal enough to not make them too weird. Kevin too is loveable character, we found ourselves also wanting anyone who’d made his school life hell dead, as we see more and more flashbacks of what caused him to attempt suicide in the first place.

There are a few sub plots too. The Sheriff is dating Kevin’s mum, making everything that little bit too uncomfortable for someone in Kevin’s shoes, and his spritely and almost over-the-top happy 11 year old estranged daughter, played brilliantly by Ariel Gade, turns up. If that wasn’t enough, Kevin also embarks on a slow romance with Stephanie, a new girl in town, played by Lucy Davis. You’ll recognise her from the UK version of The Office. You’ll recognise her not just because of her face but because she seems to be playing office receptionist Dawn, again, just like she did in Shaun of the Dead and just like she has in everything else she has ever done.

All in all Some Guy Who Kills People is not a bad film, it’s enjoyable to watch, the characters are fun, with occasional lines that did make us laugh out loud, and the story too is not too hard to get on with. Director Jack Perez leaves out any deep plot twists knowing that would detract from the dark comedy; all along you know it won’t be Kevin who’s behind the murders, that’s too obvious, but it’s good to give your brain a mild work out as you tick off the list of suspects.

Best scene: Each of the murders, they’re over the top brilliant.
Best lines: Sherriff Fuller explains what he does to relax: “for me it’s chess. I don’t actually play the game, but just thinking about it, for some reason, really relaxes me.”

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