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
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.