B-movies have long been a staple of movie-going, dating back to the days of the Golden Age of Hollywood, when a low-budget, less-publicized film would accompany the main attraction on a double feature. The height of their popularity most likely coincided with the heyday of the drive-in movie theater. The Golden Age and drive-in days are long gone, yet the B-movie has endured. These frequently cheesy and outlandish flicks are alive and well in indie filmmaking and on critic/author Joe Bob Brigg’s informative and entertaining The Last Drive-In show on Shudder.
Writer/director Austin Frosch and co-director Paul Dale’s Killer Kites is a B-movie, if there ever was one, letting its freak flag fly proudly. This is a low-budget horror film, and most people will probably know if they’re in or out based on the title alone. The CGI is atrocious, the dialogue is crass and absurd, the plot is paper thin, and the acting is amateurish for the most part, but that’s the beauty of a B-movie. The story (if you can call it that) involves Nazis, communists, and the murderous kites being compared to great white sharks.
The official logline is: “Abby (Manon Pages) inherits an old kite, but not just any old kite. This one is a bloodthirsty killer!” At first, the community thinks that the killer kite, which was passed down to Abby from her conspiracy-obsessed brother Brian (Charlie Early) before the kite killed him, is a Nazi due to its World War II German origins. However, they later come to believe that it is a communist. How do they know this? They don’t know; it’s just an off-the-wall hunch. That’s about as much of a plot as you’re going to get from this movie.
“Abby inherits an old kite, but not just any old kite. This one is a bloodthirsty killer!”
Pages displays some good acting chops, and the Oracle (Zack Lee) is a funny Dude from The Big Lebowski-like character, but most of the rest of the cast look and seem like they just got out of a frat party. That probably works just fine for the filmmakers because this movie is bad, and they are obviously proud of it. Did I mention that the rampaging kite has an affinity for bread?
Killer Kites tries hard to be a B-movie, and that’s part of the problem. If you try too much, it shows, and the film is not as fun as it could be as a result. Let the awfulness come organically, like a Jedi allowing the Force to flow through them. There are still some fun and comical moments, such as TV news reporter Brock Peterson, played by co-director Paul Dale, having various silly texts underneath his name during the reports. It’s a fun visual gag. Plus, there are plenty of kite kills if you’re into that sort of thing.
Killer Kites is the type of flick to throw on in the background of a party. It’s the exact kind of thing that the drunk frat boys of this film would be at. As long as your expectations are not sky-high, you should be able to get some enjoyment out of the murderous kite show.
"…the type of flick to throw on in the background of a party."