Monday, July 27, 2020

Why Stop Now?

What one typically looks for in a genre film: suspense, good storytelling, compelling characters, visual intrigue.

What one finds in Killing Spree: 

Quick Plot: Tom is an airline mechanic with some deep insecurity issues regarding his six-month-old marriage to Leeza, a former flight attendant who left her job to tend the house and keep Tom's imagination from running wild. Things fo from uncomfortable to unbearable when he discovers a diary recapping sexual escapades with the variety of men Leeza encounters throughout her week at home: his best pal Ben, the electrician, stoner lawn mower guy, UPS delivery man, and more.

When Ben brings his Cyndi Lauper knockoff girlfriend over to the house for a quickie, Tom snaps, decapitating the girl and hurling it at Ben from a few floors up (a common method of murder in the '80s). This launches Tom's titular killing spree, a collection of wacky, pun-riddled attacks in the most literal, low budget of styles. The electrician's head is sliced off by the very fan he installed. The delivery guy gets PACKAGED. It's basically every death scene I wrote as a 16-year-old who'd seen too many movies like Killing Spree.

Shockingly, I'd never even HEARD of this film, which just feels like a failing on my part. Killing Spree is pretty awful in almost every way a movie can be, from its actors being directed to talk directly to the camera to the paper-mache body parts that get tossed around like hot potatoes.  Writer/director Tim Ritter ends his credits with a a dedication to Hershell Gordon Lewis, which couldn't feel more right. His leading man's stage name is Abestos Felt, for goodness sake!

Killing Spree is relic of a very particular time in horror, when Hard Rock Zombies and Microwave Massacre could sit beside The Exorcist on video store shelves. Its homemade feel and enthusiastic zaniness is truly something to behold.

Nothing good, but you's something. 

High Points
I'm a firm believer in sitting through the end credits of ANY movie, and Killing Spree offers one of the best rewards ever: closing on an awkward white guy rap that recaps the entire movie. Joy!

Low Points
I get that it's part of the whole nature of Tom's character to be a super toxic husband, but Leeza's so sweet and charming that it's kind of hard to accept why she ever fell for him in the first place

Lessons Learned
Layovers are so named because they're designed to get the pilots laid. WHO KNEW?

One of the easiest ways to kill someone? Climb a short ladder and drop a screwdriver on his head. Gravity is fun!

Karate training is where the real money is

Just in case you were wondering where they went, I found 'em:

Killing Spree is bananas, and probably best watched with a lot of liquor and wisecracking friends. Queue up Amazon Prime and enjoy.

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