• Review: Killer Party (formerly Shower) (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Mon Aug 22 18:09:34 2016
    KILLER PARTY (formerly SHOWER)
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: A group of Los Angeles young professionals
    is having a baby shower for one of their number.
    And wouldn't you know it, just when the party is
    getting going a zombie outbreak spreads to the party
    neighborhood and nobody knows who will be the next
    to zombify and turn on the others. Freshman writer
    and director Alex Drummond manages some unusual
    touches, but overall the film does not have enough
    fresh ideas to justify itself. Rating: low +1
    (-4 to +4) or 5/10

    Comedy usually does not mix well with horror. Almost always one
    detracts from the other. Usually it is both. Some of the very
    earliest horror films used comedy to be sure nobody in the audience
    could take the horror elements in the film too seriously.
    (Credited as the first horror film is Georges Melies's LE MANOIR DU
    DIABLE, which was full of humorous editing effects.) Comedies such
    as WORLD'S END start humorous and end going grim. The filmmakers
    overcome the pleasant feeling the audience had from the jokes. And
    zombie horror is an inexpensive addition to a film. The expense of
    putting zombies in a film need not be very much. Put a prospective
    actor in old clothes and have him/her limp a little and you can
    probably get it right on the first take. So it is not surprising
    that there are a lot of films around that are not much different
    from KILLER PARTY. Where DAWN OF THE DEAD satirized commercialism
    before slipping into horror mode, KILLER PARTY pokes fun of the
    young professionals living in Los Angeles under the shadow of the
    "Hollywood" sign.

    We are at a party for young professionals or people who want to be.
    About everyone we meet is connected to the entertainment industry
    in one capacity or another. Most characters are introduced with
    wording on the screen to tell what they are professionally. The
    names come thick and fast. But not to worry as here is no quiz
    later and you get to know who is who by their looks. This group of
    under-30s are getting together for a baby shower for one of their
    numbers. In fact, until just recently the film was titled SHOWER.
    KILLER PARTY is not a very unique title--in fact it was used by at
    least two other films--but it has more marquee interest value than
    does the title "SHOWER." The party is fairly fancy and even has a
    clown for the children of the attendees. And the conversation is
    not amazing, but it is reasonably whimsical and shares some of the
    unpleasant aspects of being in the entertainment business.

    Then reports of mayhem come in from all parts of the city and we
    start seeing people drenched in blood. Is there a lot of blood in
    the film? Yes, there certainly is. Is there violence in the film?
    Well, yes, quite a bit. But the blood and the violence seem to
    never be shown in the same scene. That makes it a good deal less

    The one image that will probably stick with you is the hired clown
    as one of the first victims of the zombies. A lot of children and
    perhaps a few adults in the real world find clowns a little scary
    for some reason. The image of a zombie clown plays off of that
    fear. The clown sort of reminded me of Heath Ledger's Joker from
    THE DARK KNIGHT (2008). If you want an effectively scary clown see
    Alex de la Iglesia's small masterpiece THE LAST CIRCUS (2010).

    We have repeated images of zombies coming to the yard where the
    party was taking place. They just stand there with their backs to
    the house. It never was explained what that was all about. I
    suppose leaving some mystery unexplained is a good touch. Drummond
    does not give a good idea of how much time is passing. It seems
    like it is all taking place in an afternoon--there are no night
    shots--but before long the people in the house are running out of
    food and water. The premise of the baby shower gives a reason for
    all the people to be present and for the presence of the clown, but
    is never used beyond that.

    In spite of a few humorous moments, this film does not really stand
    out in any way, watching it is an amiable pastime. IMDB lists
    three films called KILLER PARTY. There is no strong reason to
    search for this one. I rate it a low +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or
    5/10. Killer Party was released August 16.

    Film Credits: <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2461262/combined>

    What others are saying:

    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

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