Ken (Kevin Corrigan) is 34 and works in an ice cream store. Heís often required to dress up as a life-sized ice cream cone on the street outside. His boss treats him like shit because he knows he can: Ken is fresh out of an asylum for the criminally insane, and lucky to have found work anywhere.

He lives in a small American town with his sardonic mother Ruth (Karen Black). Itís the type of town where itís commonplace to invite local sheriff Walt (Barry Bostwick) round your house for tea Ė as Ruth often does.

This doesnít really sit well with Kenís out-of-office-hours pastime, a nocturnal way of exorcising the memories of being tormented by college mates in his youth - as illustrated in sepia-tainted flashbacks throughout the film.

On an evening, Ken dons a balaclava and hunts his former tormentors down one-by-one. Decapitations, limb-severing and multiple stab wounds are all left on the carefully placed corpses for Walt and his equally dim deputy Ernie (Eric Price) to mull over. If they can get beyond making puns over the dead bodiesí predicaments, they may just be able to fathom a pattern to the killings.

But for a while the killer definitely has the upper hand and the police are baffled Ė despite his taunting clues which they receive through the post following each murder.

Kenís focus is compromised when Amy (Ariel Gade), his 11-year-old-daughter from a long-passed relationship, learns of his existence and flees her puritanical mother to move in with him.

Amy is bright, an ace basketball player, outgoing and smartly presented. Sheís the polar opposite of dowdy, slobbish Ken, in fact. At first, he struggles to relate to her but, with Ruthís typically acerbic form of encouragement, he gradually grows close to her.

So much so that he lets her persuade him into going on a date with admirer Stephanie (Lucy Davis). The date goes well, Ken obviously finding her engaging and attractive; she doesnít run a mile when he tells her of his spell inside an institution.

So, Ken has a home with his mother, a doting smart daughter, a job, a new girlfriend and Irv (Leo Fitzpatrick) - a close mate who he works with. He becomes more sociable and things seem to finally be looking up for him.

But he also still has the compulsion to draw graphic illustrations depicting the slayings of those who made his life Hell years earlier. And his psychotic thoughts arenít tempered any by locals taunting Stephanie for dating him, or the discovery that his daughter is being bullied at school Ö

Funny, intelligent and unpredictable, SOME GUY is an excellent low-budget genre piece that manages to find a near-perfect balance between humour and horror. Even murderers are people with lives, loves, concerns etc Ö yíknow?

The murder scenes achieve real tension at times, director Jack Perez working off-kilter camera angles and gory kills into each set-piece to complement David Kitchens and Ben Zaraiís impressively comedy-free score. The finale is gripping, and even throws in a preposterous but workable twist.

Then thereís the comedy. Smart dialogue works well throughout. And whenever the cops turn up at the scene of each crime, they provide genuinely amusing comic relief from what has just occurred.

In truth, as good as Corrigan is at making you feel empathy for his character, itís the bungling cops who get all the best lines and scenes. Theyíre often hilarious in a satisfyingly unforced manner. When they finally get their act together and start piecing their puzzle together, the transition from incompetent to semi-professional isnít too difficult to accept.

Gade impresses as the troubled pre-teen who provides the filmís heart. Itís her performance, along with Perezís keen sense of tonal balance and Ryan Levinís superior, insightful screenplay that really help elevate the film from being just another mildly entertaining diversion.

Those wanting criticisms could argue that the pace flags a little in the mid-section, or that the excellent Black is underused in its latter half. Consistency is sometimes at fault too.

Itís always nice to see Davis on screen. She has a pretty smile and a warm persona, bringing light to anything she appears in. Unfortunately she seems to have misread the tone of the script and behaves like sheís in something like NOTTING HILL.

But these are minor qualms. They hardly seem relevant by the time you get to the point in the film where, having witnessed Kenís blossoming relationship with the truly likeable Amy, you realise you really want a happy ending for these characters Ö

Koch Media & Grimm Entertainment are releasing the film uncut on UK DVD.

The screener disc provided was bereft of menus or bonus features, but did contain the film itself in a stunning 16x9 presentation. Colours, blacks, details, texture: they all looked superb.

Audio came in a rousing, well-balanced 5.1 mix. Made on a low budget of just $300,000.00 but boasting John Landis as its executive producer, SOME GUY THAT KILLS PEOPLE is a most refreshing take on the serial killer genre, and comes highly recommended.

Also available on blu-ray.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Koch Media & Grimm Entertainment
Region 2
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review