First off, who immediately got that song “I’ll be There For You” stuck in your heads? Anybody? Just me? Come on, it’s a FRIENDS reference. What? No, I wasn’t a fan of the show, but I was alive in the 90s. How can you NOT get that reference? Ross? Chandler? Monica? You know, FRIENDS. And this movie is called KILLER FRIENDS! It’s so obvious! Okay, fine. We’ll just move on, then. Spoilsports.
I’ll begin this review by getting the negative stuff out of the way. Not that there is really that much in the way of negative stuff. KILLER FRIENDS is only a little over ten minutes long, and it’d be hard to squeeze in TOO much suckiness in such a limited space of time—not that some people haven’t managed it. I’ve seen a couple of short films where ten minutes felt like an excruciating eternity. More than a couple. Okay, forget what I just said; it ISN’T that hard to make an intolerably bad movie with a running time of ten minutes. Thankfully, KILLER FRIENDS doesn’t fall into that category. It is quite enjoyable. Ah, but I said I’d cover the bad stuff first, didn’t I? Okay, here goes:
No, wait. I’d better set up the premise first, or the rest won’t make any sense. KILLER FRIENDS tells the story of a group of friends, Bryan (portrayed by Dave Racki), his girlfriend Jill (Jenna-Lee Towers), and Heather (Peggy Sinnott), who decide to take their annoying roommate Scott (Zach Noe Towers, who also wrote, directed, and produced the film) on a camping trip and do him in. Why? Because he’s so annoying. If you’re wondering why they wouldn’t just kick him out of their apartment, stop associating with him, block him on Facebook, etc., you’re overthinking it. We have to take it as a given that Scott has generated enough ill will by this point that murder seems the only reasonable option for this group. Their motivation—that Scott has driven them literally to murder—is the only real weak spot in the production. Basically, Scott isn’t THAT annoying. Not to say that he isn’t annoying; he is. He really is. But so much so that they’d want to kill him? And honestly the other characters aren’t much more likeable. In fact Scott was my favorite among the cast, precisely BECAUSE he was such a clueless ass. (Maybe that’s why he doesn’t seem all that bad; I’m not convinced he ever realized how obnoxious he was being. I’d categorize him as more stupid than malicious.) As far as negatives go, though, that’s it. That’s all I got. And I will concede that it would’ve been challenging for Towers to pack much more annoying-ness into the ten minutes allotted. The weak point, then, in KILLER FRIENDS is that Scott, the intended victim, isn’t such a bad sort. Otherwise the script is funny, the narrative never drags—it never failed to keep my interest—and the acting is pretty damn excellent, as are the production values, especially considering that this is an “amateur” (i.e. non-studio) creation. There really is no violence in the film, only attempts at violence, so it qualifies as a Horror piece only tangentially, but so what? A good genre piece doesn’t have to be sopping wet with blood to satisfy, does it?
Zach Noe Towers says that the film “was created as a showcase for myself. I wanted to show the world (especially Hollywood) what I could do.” I’d say he has succeeded admirably. I don’t know if Hollywood will notice—Hollywood can be pretty stupid and clueless, too, and typically keeps its sparkly head up its gilded ass—but KILLER FRIENDS impressed ME. Surely that counts for something, right?
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