October 22, 2018 Killer Kate! (Movie Review)
She failed at being Cool Kate and everyone just laughed at the idea of Kinky Kate, but Killer Kate? You don’t mess with that! The tale of one pissed-off sister of the bride, Killer Kate! comes to select theatres, as well as VOD and Digital HD, on Friday, October 26, 2018, thanks to Freestyle Digital Media – just in time for Kate’s least favorite holiday.
We open with a very bored Kate (Alexandra Feld: Oliver, Stoned. 2014, Slate Your Name series) hoping to avoid attending her estranged little sister’s bachelorette party weekend. Attempting to ignore that pesky invitation at all costs, she begins flirting with her co-worker Trent (Hunter Smit: The Gift Off short 2014, Real Heroes 2014), and divulges the fact that she is the sole living individual who does not love Halloween. Unfortunately, soon afterward, a visit to check-in on her ailing father (Larry Cedar: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 1998, Constantine 2005) leads to a massive guilt trip, which culminates in Kate accepting her sister’s invite.
Bright and early the next morning, lil’ sis Angie (Danielle Burgess: My Brother’s Keeper 2015, The Sinner series) arrives to pick Kate up for the weekend. Along for the trip are her two friends and fellow teachers – bubbly Sara (Amaris Davidson: Disaster Movie 2008, Insidious: Chapter 3 2015) and argumentative Mel (Abby Eiland: Pure Love 2015, Cassidy Red 2017). The ladies head up into the mountains outside L.A., to an Airbnb-type rental in the wooded highlands. Here, Mel hopes to get drunk and party hard, while Sara’s plans involve board games and a patio party.
What none of the ladies know is that a blood-thirsty family of five, led by Briskman (Robert Donavan: The Black Room 2017, Sunset Society 2018), are working out of the Motel California, lurking in the shadows and waiting for their moment of gory glory. There is the cautious and awkward Jimmy (Grant Lyon: Don’t Feed the Yuppies short 2010, Interview Date short 2011), gung-ho Terry (Brandon Bales: Vessel short 2012, Matt and Dave Are So Depressed series), sobbing Tino (Preston Flagg: The Final 2010, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series), and their badass sister Christine (Tiffany Shepis: Tales of Halloween 2015, Victor Crowley 2017).
When the rag-tag family arrive to tango with the bachelorettes, chaos – and a pizza delivery – ensues! Clocking in at 80 minutes in-length, Killer Kate! is a feature-length debut for Director Elliot Feld (Pull to Pieces short 2010, Slate Your Name series) and was written by Feld with Daniel Moya (He Says, She Says short 2012, Rental 2017). Billed as Horror, Killer Kate! reads like a Slasher-Comedy, and if the comedic elements were not intentional, oh boy, we have a problem!
In fact, we might have a problem period: because no matter how you slice it, Killer Kate! is largely just boring. Though it has a fairly standard runtime, the action does not begin until roughly halfway through the film, leaving the first forty-minutes to be largely composed of four women, none of whom is particularly likable, arguing with one another – first in a car and then in a nice house. This is not the wild, campy, sexy bachelorette weekend that you might imagine, no: this is two estranged sisters and two tagalongs arguing over everything from antacids to, well, who cares.
Instead, the best moments of Killer Kate! come from its comedic elements, which often arrive thanks to Lyon’s Jimmy. He’s awkward and cautious, hesitant but insistent, and his character provides some of the best lines of the film. Though nothing is a full-throttle belly laugh, he definitely lightens the mood of a mundane production. Similarly, Ashton Jordann Ruiz (The Chase series, InAPPropriate Comedy 2013) makes a short appearance as an amusingly annoyed pizza delivery boy. There are a few yuks to be had from his arrival, and for that he is a shining spot in the film.
In the lead role, truthfully, Feld isn’t given much to work with. She’s a bitter older sister holding onto a grudge based off her sister’s absence for the past five years. Ultimately, when the poo hits the proverbial fan, she’s the gal in the group who harnesses her inner-badass to defeat her would-be murderers. Splashed in blood for half the film, Feld wields a razor wire covered baseball bat with proper finesse, but otherwise, it would be hard to say that her performance is good or bad: it simply is. In their supporting roles, Burgess (Angie), Davidson (Sara), and Eiland (Mel) are given less to work with, the latter two ladies being mostly just cannon fodder.
In short, Killer Kate! amounts to a simple miss: the script has more holes than Swiss cheese, the characters are barely likable, and the deaths have all been done before ad nauseum. So, while this is certainly not the worst thing you will see this October, it is definitely not going to be the best either. Which, it’s important to note, is not the fault of the cast, who do a solid job in their roles and never over or under-act; instead, they are left to merely tread water thanks to a flimsy and boring script. A few lines are worthy of a snort, CrypticRock give Killer Kate! 3 of 5 stars.