Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Monday Morning Massacre: Kill Keith (2011)

Kill Keith (United Kingdom, 2011)
Rating: ***
Starring: Marc Pickering, Susannah Fielding, David Easter

A few years back, I took up Journalism as a college major and one of the many activities we did as a class was visit media stations to see the on-goings behind radio and TV shows. Fortunately, none of them involved lovelorn misfits and murderers armed with cereal boxes.

As the morning show program Crack of Dawn readies itself to bid goodbye to its arrogant co-host Cliff in order to swap in a celebrity replacement, young dim-witted newbie runner Danny aspires to be the show's next presenter in order to work with the other co-host half, Dawn, who he's in love with. This is easier thought than done as his attempts to earn his way to the top are not only hampered by Cliff himself, but also Danny's own stupidity and other weird encounters and mishaps around the studio. 

One of these mishaps, unfortunately, involves a mystery loon who starts targeting the potential replacements, threatening comedians, radio DJs and titular on-the-road co-host Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin with an early grave courtesy of various food products and then some. Could Danny find a way to stop these murders in time to save his awkward clutter of a sappy love life before it gets messier? Or will he face a grisly soggy end at the hands of a demented Breakfast Cereal Killer?

Kill Keith (2011) is, in the whole of it, simply weird; from the marketing alone, it has little reference to Kill Bill (2003) in the actual movie despite the title alluding it for some reason, nor has it anything in common with Saw (2003) plot-wise in response to one of its tag lines. It does have the Richard & Judy shtick right in a way that it tries to satire early morning programs and the industry behind it, albeit clustering along a nutty sense of black comedy, a mad murder mystery and a hit-or-miss romantically cheesy subplot with a bumbling fool as a lead. It doesn't mix entirely well as the direction can get too over-the-wall in occasions, but the sheer absurdity of its tone and atmosphere does warrant a genuine chuckle and a fair intrigue from our part.

A few highlights include a gag wherein the audience are given the multiple choice questions to answer in exchange for cash prize, only no one ever gets it right despite the incredible easiness of it all. (The guy who writes them, Mr. Stokes is also a gem for how he curiously finishes one's sentences and how he eventually breaks into this adorkable feller who really values his job) Danny's daydream bits also have their little case of wonderment for how child-like they can get, which can be randomly amusing. And then there's the absurdly hilarious scene of one of the replacements, fearing for their safety, hiring a supposed look-alike that looks nothing like them (Like, really. The guy has grey hair and looks suspiciously like Tony Blackburn...), only for it to actually work as the killer starts targeting them!

The horror elements, in turn, are mostly pushed aside for the cheesy, low-brow comedy elements and I do have a feeling this may turn away audiences who are looking forward to a more slasher-centered story. I personally find little to argue about this as whatever kill scenes we do get have a decent splash of gore in it and the comedy it breeds still caters to my impish taste, but I wouldn't hold it against anyone who just doesn't get Kill Keith's brand of weirdness or its lack of promised solid horror. (Again, why compare this to Saw?) It's more or less a low-budget yet effortful, faux Edgar Wright-esque B-flick of varying genres, romantic exploits shining brighter compared to the slasher murders and tongue-in-cheek mystery on that sense and if that's something you can get by, then feel free to try this out! Not overly good, but entertaining enough especially when paired with a nice cold one by a pint.

1 male force fed with milk and porridge until he explodes
1 male had his head shredded with a cereal box full of razors
1 male electrocuted to death
1 male blown apart by a bomb
1 male caught on explosion
Total: 5

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