Description from Netflix:
When nerds Dennis and Noah crash a party thrown by the local jocks and hot girls in a remote cabin, they must combat a brainy serial murderer known at the Driller Killer, who uses power tools to rid the world of idiots, one clueless teen at a time.
Notable actors: Michael Swaim, Katy Stoll, Katie Willert
I have long been a fan of Michael Swaim's (and Katy Stoll's, and Katie Willert's) work at Cracked. So, when I heard Swaim was writing/directing a horror/comedy (and featuring Stoll & Willert in minor roles), I got kind of excited. It premiered in a very limited release late last year, and was finally made available by VOD fairly recently.
By the time I was able to see it, I had lowered my expectations quite a bit. I wondered how Swaim's humor - previously only seen in 5 minute intervals - would play for 90 minutes. It was his first movie, and it was made for $90,000. I've seen great movies by first time directors on a limited budget (Colin was made for about $150 and is one of my favorite modern zombie movies), but I've also seen a fair share of absolutely terrible movies fitting that same description.
My last concern had nothing to do with Swaim. Horror comedies are tricky films to make. A good one has to give a nod to the films that have inspired them, while making light of certain characters/plot inconsistencies. The best ones change the way you watch horror movies. A lot of others settle for easy jokes. Others settle for being flat-out campy. Others fail in every capacity and are just terrible.
While I wouldn't rank this among the best in that category (perhaps I'll put together a list of my favorite horror comedies at some point), it was still pretty good. The humor held up surprisingly well for the duration of the movie. The budget constraints were obvious from time to time, but it was never really a distraction. I've seen plenty of movies made with higher budgets that looked a lot worse than this one did. I liked the majority of the characters. I thought the douchebag jocks would get on my nerves after a while, but they really didn't. They were consistently amusing in their doofiness.
The villain was terrific. This was actually one of my favorite parts of the movie: instead of creating an anonymous killer, they decided that the killer would be The Driller Killer. The Driller Killer is an odd, grindhousey 1979 slasher. In that film, the Driller Killer (real name, Reno Miller) was an artist who is slowly (or not-so-slowly, I guess) being driven insane by the rock band practicing in the apartment above him. So, like any artist pressed to his limit would do, be began drilling bums to death with a battery-powered drill.
I saw The Driller Killer a few years ago, as it was in a pack of 50 movies (Chilling Classics, to be precise) I had received from my brother, and it had a catchy title (this is the same reason I watched Bucket of Blood and Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory. I am not to be trusted with those movie packs).
Maybe it's just because I had already seen The Driller Killer, but the fact that they reused that killer made me endlessly happy. After all,
was still alive at the end of The Driller Killer. It only makes sense that he continued on with
his killing ways. You know the old saying,
"Once you start killing bums with a drill, the only thing that can stop
you is the steady rain of a thousand bullets." Reno
Still, judging by his murder method in The Driller Killer, I would've assumed he would've been caught/killed by now. He wasn't overly cautious in his methods. Oh well. I'm certainly not here to nitpick continuity issues between The Driller Killer and Kill Me Now, or write Driller Killer fanfic that explains where he has been all this time. (I might be here for that, but not in this post. That story needs room to breathe.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Quite a few big laughs (if you can work a solid Oscar Wilde joke into a horror movie, chances are I'll laugh). Good characters. A good collection of actors (even if it was obvious that a lot of them weren't highly trained actors, I still thought everyone did a great job). This was a genuinely funny movie. Glad to see Swaim venturing into the world of moviemaking. I hope he ends up making another one.
My one complaint: could've used more Stoll, Willert, and Dan O'Brien. You've been put on notice, Swaim.
This is currently available by VOD. I rented it for $3.99 from Amazon, and am probably going to end up buying it at some point in the not-too-distant future. If you have an extra $4, I highly recommend checking this out. You’ll get a few laughs and support indie horror in one fell swoop.