Every once in a while, a film comes along that reassures me that real filmmakers are actually still out there. It just fills me with a warm feeling that I equate with hooking up with a new girlfriend or cutting a rank fart in church. The things in life that just make you feel good. “Killer Me” gives me that warm feeling. However, this is in no way a “feel-good romp” or a “laugh-a-minute thrill ride”. This film’s along the lines of “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.” Now, I’m not going to say that “Killer Me” is a better film, but I will say that it definitely packs a more effective punch.
Criminology student Joseph makes his own kind of homework. Plagued by murderous visions and voices in his head, Joseph hunts people down and kills them. Or at least, that’s what we’re led to believe at first. We’re actually never really shown Joseph committing any of these murders that he obsesses over in the papers. It would be easy to point that finger at Joe as he’s not the most stable person in the world, he fantasizes about killing people when not plagued with flashbacks of his father killing his mother and he takes to carrying around a razor. But like one of his professors says – one should never assume until all of the facts have been presented.
Now, even though we’d know to cross the street if we saw Joe comin’ our way, but that doesn’t stop Anna, a shy new girl on campus, from citing him as the object of her affection. The two hook it up and their dates wind up being the most intense scenes of the film. Watching Joe’s mental collapse is pretty engaging, but watching these two quiet characters squeeze conversation out of one another is rough…in a good way. After all, this is the intent and the incredible performances from both actors help to kick up the tension to critical mass.
Along with the excellent cast, the sound design for “Killer Me” helps pull the audience into its cold world. The dark score is made up of warped industrial noises. Some of it even sounds like manipulated jack in the box music. Joseph’s world proves to be quite a noisy one. The guy never gets a moment of total silence. Between the voices in his head and the thin walls of his apartment, the poor guy probably doesn’t even know the meaning of the word SILENCE. But this is good news for us. Very creepy and creative soundtrack.
“Killer Me” and “Henry” are similar in that they both allow us to follow around a homicidal maniac in a very cold and cruel world. The reluctant attraction between our psychos and an unwitting doe eyed female is also similar between both films. But the reason that “Killer Me” packs a nastier punch is that there simply aren’t any goofy scenes. As much as I love “Henry”, it dismays me to admit that repeated viewings have magically transformed this once disturbing film into the Henry Lee Lucas Comedy Hour. Goofy interaction between Henry and Otis is the main cause for riotous laughter. “Killer Me” has no laughs, unintentional or otherwise. It does what in sets out to do and that’s to paint a very bleak picture of a man and his damaged brain. Keep your eyes open for this one!
I’m looking for an older Henry Lee Lucas film with Bruce dern. And I think autism?