by B.S. Brown
Greetings fellow movie buffs and cinematic connoisseurs. I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you my humble opinions of some of the latest theater releases. Remember, three years of film school doesn't make me an expert, it just makes me more qualified than you.
I Will Kill You Many Times
Directed by Charles Chinook; Screenplay by Randomword Choyce; Produced by Mickey Battaglia. An I Will Kill You Productions release. Running time: 80 minutes. Rating: R; language, sexual situations, decapitations.
Jennie McFarlan...............................Jeannie McDugan
Bobby Baker................................................Ryan Judd
Joey Baker..................................................Peter Thane
Brenda Sue.............................................Peggy Jackson
If you only see one movie this summer, please, take my advice and avoid I Will Kill You Many Times. It's long, it's gaudy, it's overdone, tasteless, poorly directed, poorly acted and very overrated.
It wasn't surprised to be disappointed in this film. I was surprised to be disappointed in the actors (the director, Charles Chinook, is consistently disappointing so this came as no surprise). Jeanie McDugan, who plays the role of Jeanie McFarlan, has always been a fine actress. I have been following her career since it began five years ago with her first role in I Will Kill You. However, in this particular film (tenth in the series) her character came off as weak and tired. The name she carved out for herself in the Hollywood horror industry as the quintessential "helpless and submissive female" has been shamed by her current work in I Will Kill You Many Times. I used to think that Jeannie was the best screamer in the business. In her second feature role (I Will Kill You Many Twice), she screamed and shrieked so beautifully, it sent shivers down my spine. Her performance in this flop was truly embarrassing. When Frankie, the demented and mutated mass murderer, stabbed Jeannie in the eye with the fondue fork, she gave such a half hearted, luke warm yelp of pain that the immortal Freddy Krueger would have laughed his face off.
Frankie (who play himself) was equally disappointing. No one but Jason could wield an axe like Frankie could back in the day, yet in this movie I almost got the impression that he didn't even want to kill those school children. He even looked remorseful at having decapitated that elderly woman. I fear that our blood thirsty amigo may be getting a little soft.
I once felt that Jeannie McDugan and Frankie were the best acting duo in cinematic horror. These two thespians had the power to create big screen magic that both appalled and involved their audience. They were truly, and I say this without pretension, the Bogey and Bacall of low budget horror films.
As for the directing, jeeeeesh! I'm sure Charles Chinook was stewed to the gills for the majority of the filming. I went to undergrad school with Charles back East in the late 70s and believe me the only talent that man has is for sucking down whiskey sours until last call.
More bothered me about this movie that just the bad acting and directing. I got the feeling from this movie that it was rushed through, that they were on a tight budget and that the money just ran out. I got the impression that the producers only goal with this film was to compete in the sequels war and focus more on producing high qaulity horror movies that provide educational as well as cultural and philosophical ideals, and not just another splatter flick. Remember this is just one crusty old movie critics opinion (if you can call thirty-five old) but I think that filmakers today, more than ever, have not just a cinematic responsibility to their audiences, but a social responsibility as well. Horror films are excellent vehicles for promoting the kind of "Say NO to Drugs and Sex" values that we want to inflict upon our children (even though they never worked for our generation). Maybe I am getting old, but I don't appreciate the gratuitous sex scenes in this latest I Will Kill You film. I have a two year old and a three year old and I have to admit watching that rape scene with my kids in the theater was a little embarrassing. I think three or four scenes of full frontal nudity and kinky sexual situations is more than adequate for an eighty minute film. Anything more detracts form the plot and send the wrong message to our children. And the references to drugs? They have no place in 90s cinema. Cheech and Chong went up in smoke years ago. Sure, it's funny when Freddy asks Bobby Baker (Ryan Judd) if he wants to get "stoned" right before he drops a two ton rock on his head, but is this what we are trying to teach our children? Drugs are funny? Just drop the rock, Frankie, and save the snappy one liners for Andrew Dice Clay.
Hopefully, the next I Will Kill You film tentatively titled: I Will Kill You Many, Many Times will regain the integrity and pride lost in this film, but as Frankie once advised one of his drowning murder victims, "Don't hold your breath."