Revenge Is a Dish Best Served With Edged Weaponry
'Some Guy Who Kills People'
Lon Chaney's disfigured yet hopelessly, eternally romantic Phantom might well have been speaking for Ken Boyd, the equally smitten, equally problematic antihero of indie horror comedy Some Guy Who Kills People, when he shrieks, "Feast your eyes, gloat your soul on my accursed ugliness!" As wittily written by Ryan Levin and mordantly played by Kevin Corrigan, Ken, fresh out of his local asylum, spends his days scooping for his neighborhood ice creamery and his nights wreaking blood-drenched vengeance on the high school bullies who made his life hell once upon a homeroom.
Regularly reminded of his perpetual cuckoo status by the townies and tentatively embarking on a stop/start romance with Brit import Stephanie (Shaun of the Dead's Lucy Davis), Ken's life is either falling to pieces or just beginning. Even he's not sure which, although the pun-happy Sheriff (The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Barry Bostwick) investigating the recent rash of murders has some (none too bright) ideas. And then there's the sudden appearance of Ken's long-lost tween daughter (Ariel Gade), a genuine ray of sunlight in Ken's otherwise haplessly hopeless-seeming life. It's a comedy of terrors both fleshy and cerebral, a rom-com punctuated by sudden bursts of the red stuff, and a surprisingly sweet take on love, death, and family matters. Oh, and it's produced by John Landis.
"The first person we sent the script to when we were looking for a director was John Landis," Levin explains, "and he called literally the next day and said he wanted to meet for lunch to talk about it. Over the next couple of months, I worked with him. He gave me notes, I went off and did rewrites, and in the meantime, the producers were working on financing."
Which, of course, is the most difficult part of the filmmaking process. Ultimately, Landis went off to work on Burke & Hare (coincidentally enough starring Davis' Shaun ... co-star and future Scotty, Simon Pegg), leaving a director-sized void in the project. No hard feelings, though.
"He helped me take [the script] to the next level," Levin says, "and he gave me some good notes that I was able to address, and we agreed he'd get a producer credit on the film. Although I didn't mention it, he's smart enough to know that having his name attached would help us immensely down the road."
Enter some director guy, Jack Perez.
"I didn't know Jack prior to this, and I wasn't familiar with his previous [directing credit] Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, which was probably for the best. But from the moment we first met, he was very gung ho about the project. He'd already done storyboards in the margins of the script 36 hours after getting it."
All's well that ends well, even after such a rocky start. Some Guy Who Kills People has been receiving high praise from both the genre-centric and mainstream festival press, and Levin, just back from screening the film at the Sitges Film Festival, is obviously ecstatic about the finished film.
"We had very little rehearsal time; we just threw all these people together and crossed our fingers that there would be some chemistry, and it worked."
‘Some Guy Who Kills People’
Friday, Oct. 21, 11:30pm, Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz
Thursday, Oct. 27, 9:15pm, Regal Arbor Cinema