Redemption / Kino
In the TV series Dexter, Dexter’s adoptive father recognized the boy’s homicidal tendencies from an early age. Rather than trying to curb them, Harry opted to create a safe outlet for Dexter’s compulsions; a set of rules that would allow him to kill bad people without getting caught. A similar strategy is taken in Killer’s Moon, except that the safe outlet comes in the form of a drug-induced dream-state, in which maniacs are encouraged to satiate their darkest desires.
Pity that the drugs don’t quite work, and the mental patients are left wandering the British countryside believing themselves to be in a dream.
It’s a nice setup for a movie that plays out as a fairly typical, though pretty, slasher film. A group of schoolgirls are stranded in a small town when their bus breaks down. They and their teachers find refuge in an old hotel which is closed for the season. Its not long before the killers arrive, and start picking them (and assorted townsfolk) off one-by one.
Meanwhile there are two young men camping in a small tent together at the edge of town; but they’re not gay, apparently. They take it upon themselves to save the girls from the killers, though they do it at a leisurely pace, to makes sure there’s plenty of time for murder, rape, and forced cooking. If anything, the two ‘heroes’ are a little creepier than the actual killers. There are these horrible atrocities going on, and they don’t seem all that bothered by it. I half expected throughout the entire movie a surprise ending where it was revealed that the two were also escaped mental patients, but it turns out they were just kind of dicks.
Speaking of out-of-tone characters, there’s a running gag in the movie which involves one of the teachers continually fainting. She sees the killers and faints. Wakes up and finds a body and faints, etc. It’s just another thing that kills the tension.
The violence and nudity are sparse and non-graphic, which given the schoolgirl theme is probably for the best. The actors playing the girls are all pretty good. They’re convincing as dopey innocents. At times, they seem a little withdrawn, but it works in the context of the film, making them look traumatized.
The killers aren’t very scary; which is odd seeing as they are psycho-sexual murderers. Part of it is that they talk and act like cartoon villains. I think they were trying to play up the mental patient angle, but ended up with antagonists that were just too silly to take seriously.
It’s not as graphic as I would like a slasher movie to be, but Killer’s Moon has an imaginative set up, and the British countryside makes for a lush, and visually pleasant setting which contrasts very nicely with the killing. The content isn’t too original, but it is packaged very nicely.
Politician: In my dreams, I murder freely, pillage, loot and rape!
Doctor: You do?
The Blu Ray from Redemption / Kino looks good. The film print is old, and contains many scratches and marks, but the encoding is very nice, making up for the faults. If anything, the film scratches give the movie that ‘drive-in B-movie’ feel.