In a world that is ruled by such self-aggrandizing obsessions as selfies, the ridiculous “selfie stick,” and social media websites that love to promote what we are eating for every meal, it feels inevitable that a film like Capture Kill Release would appear from amongst the frackas. Coming to VOD March 7th, 2017 via Midnight Releasing, Capture Kill Release all begins with an incoherent 911 call.
The latest in the Found Footage trend, Capture Kill Release tells the story of married couple Jen (Jennifer Fraser’s acting debut) and Farhang (Farhang Ghajar: Something To Hide 2012, Uncle Brian 2010). Enamored with her shiny new toy, Jen begins to film every mundane moment of their lives: from her husband attempting to read in bed to her own ridiculous poses.
Just when the audience may think the pair might become porn stars, the story quickly spirals downward as Jen begins to fantasize aloud about the perfect murder: its components and plotline, and how to literally get-away with it. Viewers will not soon forget a scene in a hardware store where Jen giddily brandishes hammers, axes, saber saws, rope, and the like, all while discussing their use in the artistically-filmed murder she wishes to commit. Her husband, the slightly more moral portion of this duo, clearly has other things on his mind, as he is looking to purchase caulking supplies to fix their home.
As it becomes abundantly clear that Jen did not just wake up a sociopath one morning, it also grows clearer that Farhang is not quite as enamored with the idea of whacking an innocent citizen. As he videotapes Jen in the park, musing over the veritable cornucopia of victims strolling past their vehicle, Farhang expresses his desire to spare women, children, gay men, and minorities; he’s concerned with how his actions will ultimately be judged. For her part, Jen merely salivates: “Look at them, it’s like a buffet; it’s like pick your lobster out of the tank.” We move from this to the couple debating if their bathtub is large enough to accommodate a body and fantasizing about exsanguination. What gives anyone with any moral compass whatsoever the chills leads these two to a randy romp, bent over the bathtub o’ horrors.
A chance encounter with a homeless local named Gary (Jon Gates: Something to Hide 2012) and a nasty, yuppie douchebag (Rich Piatkowski: Dead Rush 2016, The Fine Art of Falling Apart 2013) decides the fate of Jen’s self-made Horror flick. Though, when it becomes abundantly clear that all signs are not pointing to “go” for Farhang, Jen decides to kidnap and drown the neighbor’s cat just to prove to him that, hey, murder is simple. Stop taking it so personal, Farhang!
Directed by Nick McAnulty (Uncle Brian 2010) and Brian Allan Stewart (Annie and the Dog 2012), Capture Kill Release clocks in at 96 morally-appalling minutes. Here is the thing about this film, audiences will either love it or hate it, there is no middle ground to be had here. Those who can stomach saber saws slicing through human flesh, drowned cats, and hammers to the noggin’, good for you. If not, then this is probably not going to be the right movie to watch. Oh, and PETA members? Do not even bother!
In all fairness, the acting in Capture Kill Release is superb: Fraser and Ghajar have a chemistry that is believable as they lie in bed together, filming one another like so many countless other couples. In a film that is shot hand-held, there is no hiding for actors: you can either cut it or you cannot. These two can!
In fact, in the role of sociopathic Jen, Fraser is not just believable: she is downright scary. Considering this is her first starring role, Fraser clearly has a great future ahead of her. That is, if she can stop drowning those poor kitties! Ghajar presents the opposite side of the coin, as far as morality: he is perfectly hesitant, questioning, doubtful. He presents his character beautifully: a man who loves his wife, wishes to keep her happy, has his own morbid thoughts, but yet clearly questions his partner’s sanity (Perhaps not soon enough, but that is an entire other issue).
Also worth noting is the grotesque script, written by McAnulty, that has moments of clear irony and wit. As Gary climbs unwittingly into Jen’s vehicle, she proclaims: “Don’t forget your seatbelt, we don’t want you dyin’ on the way there.” In a separate scene, Jen clinks glasses for a toast with her victim and husband, and explains to Farhang that, “Cheers is a show of faith that you’re not actually poisoning someone.” The ultimate irony? As Farhang mops up blood, Jen shrieks, “Don’t use paper towels, you’re wasting trees.” The humor is perverse, but perfectly timed throughout the entirety of the film. That is, if you can make it through.
Capture Kill Release might as well have been entitled “Honey, I Married A Sociopath” and probably should have never been made. Do we live in a disgusting society where people lack moral values? Without a doubt. Do we often times play-along with our loved ones merely to keep them happy? Sure. Are you going to humor your wife when she brandishes an axe and goes after the postman? Let us hope not! For its appalling spin on Found Footage and for that poor, poor little cat, but for its superb acting, CrypticRock gives Capture Kill Release 2 of 5 stars.