Killing Diaz Image

Killing Diaz

By Alan Ng | February 10, 2020

Killing Diaz calls out the idea that we, as human beings, like avoiding conflict, especially direct conflict. Let’s just kill the person rather than talk to them. This then leads to the obvious question, why the gender-swap? This device is pretty interesting. It’s not that the swap occurs permanently. It only presents itself when the boys are together in a room and discussing the Diaz situation. When any character leaves the apartment, they’re men again. When the boys are on the balcony smoking, they’re men again. In short, the boys are girls whenever they need to gossip.

So, why this gimmick? I spent a lot of time thinking about it. When you have men playing women, you often run into the problem of men representing their perception of women as opposed to actually playing authentic women. Thankfully, the switch is not played as a joke. Their appearance is more Kids in the Hall than Monty Python’s Flying Circus. True, they are playing women and could have easily gone for cheap laughs, but the women become more heightened versions of their male counterparts. Why I think the swapping device is used, comes from the idea that women are more verbal than men (using more words during the day), and women speak in more emotional terms than men.

“The gender-swapping is an interesting way of digging deeper into the minds of the characters…”

What also becomes clear is that if the stereotype is true about the larger number of words and more emotional one, we still avoid conflict and that sometimes we conclude the worst choice becomes the best choice.

Killing Diaz is a fascinating thriller/satire…mainly because we don’t get many of these hybrid genre films. The underlying story is solid as the idea of the murder, its execution, and the aftermath are laid out well. The gender-swapping is an exciting way of digging deeper into the minds of the characters and see how easily dark thoughts can flourish in the mind. The story plays out at a good pace, and it holds your interest from start to finish.

If I could make one suggestion surrounding the gender-bending, it would be to make more clear the filmmaker’s reasoning behind it. Throughout the film, I kept wondering, “why?” This begs the question, was it necessary? Arguable. Was it worth the risk of appearing a little chauvinistic? Arguable.

Killing Diaz (2020)

Directed: Cameron Fife

Written: Cameron Fife, Tyler McGee

Starring: Sugar Lyn Beard, Bradford H. Benoit, Adam Brooks, Max Crumm, Andy Fischer-Price, Krysta Rodriguez, Josh Zuckerman, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Killing Diaz Image

"…it's here when the tables are turned, and a gender-swap occurs."

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