(out of 5)
Joe’s new boyfriend is pressuring him to have sex which he is not ready for, while his social circle make fun of Joe for not knowing the answers to their pop culture-themed party games. Thankfully, Joe is a serial killer, and chopping up a person to bits who is rude to him is a great way to feel like he fits in with society. In this ridiculously fun horror comedy that functions admirably well as pointed social satire, Joe then meets George (co-writer Jeffery Self), who reacts to this handsome man’s honest claims of being a killer like it’s a funny come-on. Joe discovers that he might finally have found someone whom he can truly love, but gets to know George’s friends and, one by one, reacts to their off-putting personalities by doing away with them in increasingly gruesome ways. Many of the violent scenes are actually quite graphic, some of them even having dark tinges that almost forget that it’s a comedy, but what makes the film so delicious is the fact that George and company let a serial killer remain in their midst because they are too wrapped up in their own superficial ideas of themselves to notice him. Self is too smart a writer to point fingers, however, and refreshingly takes a chunk out of the overdetermined glamour of West Hollywood culture as celebrated in these movies while also implicating himself as beneficiary (and manufacturer) of said glamour. Director Jim Hansen employs a lot of creative visual energy to a film whose low budget could not have made that easy, faltering only in the last third when the pace lags a bit more than what preceded it but, thankfully, the witty dialogue does not. The terrific cast, which also includes the always affable Bryan Safi, Jack Plotnick and a cameo by Mindy Cohn, keeps the proceedings solid throughout.
Directed by Jim Hansen
Screenplay by Jim Hansen, Jeffery Self
Cinematography by Janine Sides
Produced by Jim Hansen, Jeffery Self, Ross Tipograph
Production Design by Orlando Soria
Film Editing by Michael Frost