Some Guy who Kills People on the face of it is a horror comedy film about revenge and it does this quite well. But it is also a sort of coming of age story about a man recently released from a psychiatric hospital coming to terms with his traumatic past and attempting to re-integrate into society and his dysfunctional family life. It is this story of adjustment that takes the fore and the gruesome murders that gradually dispose of all his old enemies form an absurdist background. The story is often touching and funny with the gruesome murders nicely done and presenting a nice counterpoint.
The only complaint that I have is that the flashbacks that show the back story and explain why our main character hates the people who are getting bumped off are too frequent and are over done and the whole thing is recapped again at the denoument anyway.
Kevin Corrigan looks suitably detached from reality and uncomfortable in the society of others as Ken Boyd who has recently been released from psychiatric hospital and is back in his hometown. He works in an ice cream parlour and lives at home with his mother. Karen Black plays a wonderfully unsupportive mother who seems to care deep down but always lets her frustration at her son’s lack of communication interfere with their relationship. The family is rounded off by Barry Bostwick who is the slightly hapless local sheriff who is sleeping with Ken’s mother and has to investigate the murders which increasingly seem to have been committed by Ken.
This family group is later joined by a girlfriend and an estranged daughter and it is Ken’s struggle to adapt to these new relationships in his life that are really interesting in this film. The relationship with his daughter played by Ariel Gade is the most endearing and she plays the role of a troubled young girl from a broken home very charmingly.
The other aspect of this story is of course the murders. These are gruesome enough to keep the interest of horror fans but because they are not really the main focus of the film they are not over the top. Killings are often shown from a distance or obscured with just brief glimpses of detail and this reinforces to the audience that these events are secondary to the main story while being inextricably linked to it.
Finally there is the comedy aspect. The cops are bungling and make stupid jokes but are not incompetent buffoons like you would find in a more crass comedy film. The banter between the sheriff and the rest of his team is always amusing but remains relevant to what they are working on. Ken’s relationships with his friends, girlfriend and daughter are also very funny on occasions. Even the murders themselves offer some good laughs for those with darker senses of humour. Like the killings, the comedy aspect is obviously secondary to the main story and complements the story rather than forcing the plot into comedy set pieces. For me this makes the comedy much more real and funnier.
I really enjoyed this film. If only they had skimped a bit on the flashbacks it would have been perfect.