DIRECTOR Jack Perez WRITER Ryan A. Levin STARS Kevin Corrigan; Barry Bostwick; Karen Black DVD & BLU-RAY Now

Despite having John Landis’ name heavily attached to it, he is only the executive producer; Some Guy Who Kills People is directed by Jack Perez — better known for Megashark vs Giant Octopus. The central premise is fairly standard, and thus the main arc turns out to be. Set in small-town America, the story centres around Ken, a nerdish ice-cream parlour employee, who is haunted by torment from local bullies. His persecutors start dying one by one, necessitating that the sheriff turn his attentions from Ken’s mother to investigating the rising body count.

The surprising element of this film is the genuine tenderness and efficacy of the subplot between Ken and his 11-year-old daughter, Amy, who was hitherto unaware of her father’s identity. The interaction between the two is engaging and the performances, even from the child actor, are well executed; their characters’ progression together was the most compelling aspect here. This facet of Ken’s existence, and his other dysfunctional relationships with his mother, his boss and life in general, might have elevated the movie — had his character been properly developed. Instead, Ken is presented as a cliché that the viewer is intended to immediately recognise and is only fleshed out via exposition, motivated by repeat flashbacks to the inciting incident at the hands of the bullies.

Herein lies the problem; this wants to be a comedic horror film with hidden depths, but the horror is scarce, the humour largely average, its dramatic elements working much more effectively. Saying that, when the horror is present it is refreshingly 1980s in its delivery. Much like the Friday The 13th and Halloween films each kill is heavily foreshadowed with the anticipation being the primary mechanic — the actual kill is stylised but swift, with none of the lingering gore of the current vogue.

As an amalgamation that just about pulls itself into a coherent whole without excelling at any one aspect, Some Guy Who Kills People feels less than the sum of its parts. Overall, the film has a nagging sense of B-movie festival fodder; it is entertaining enough, but falls disappointingly short of its potential.

Posted by Ed Pope