By the title alone "Some Guy Who Kills People" is either going to raise eyebrows or induce eye rolls. For me the eye rolling was quickly replaced by a very intrigued eyebrow upon seeing a lead billing by Kevin Corrigan. The film has a very simple premise: a burnt-out ice cream shop employee finally snaps, years after a horrific night of torture by his high school basketball team and an ensuing stay in the local mental hospital. Where "Some Guy Who Kills People" quickly diverges from the straight-to-DVD set-up is by attempting the tall order of using the horror as a relatively minor catalyst for some decidedly dark comedy and genuine introspection into the mind of a tormented mind pushed too far, not to mention the sudden inclusion of some father-daughter bonding. It's far from original, but the film almost pulls it off...key word: almost.
Corrigan is single-handedly the sole reason the movie works as well as it does, bringing Ken Boyd to life in a very toned-down performance in comparison to the rest of the film. Boyd's character, despite his mental demons, lot in life, and violent proclivities is truly a sympathetic character. As the viewer witnesses his daily woes, living with his mother, an abusive boss, being surrounded by often cartoonish personalities and the revelation, a one-night fling resulted in an eleven-year-old daughter who shows up at his doorstep, it's hard to make a case why someone wouldn't go crazy. Making this sentiment all the more easy to stomach is the film's comical, rather restrained handling of the creatively brutal ways Boyd's former foes are dispatched; the emphasis in the film, within the first twenty minutes, is that this is a film about Ken Boyd the man, not Ken Boyd killing people, despite the title.
The misleading title is a good example of the film's biggest problem: inconsistency. Even running a relatively short 97-minutes, the movie on a number of occasions grinds to a halt and the earnest sentimentality becomes almost as saccharine as a Family Channel TV-movie. The abrupt transitions from these via cringe humor or, well, murder, are more than a tad embarrassing, not to mention outright frustrating at times. The fault lies both on Ryan Levin's script and Jack Perez' direction, no one element is solely to blame, although both creative forces obviously deserve a lot of credit for what does work. Still, if one can have faith in the film's intentions, the end result is either truly satisfying or a very clever cheat; either way, the raw brains of the story are definitely there, a more thorough execution would have been vastly appreciated.
Provided one doesn't expect outright horror, nor a pure horror-comedy, "Some Guy Who Kills People" is worth an investment of your time. Corrigan as well as co-star Barry Bostwick, who is an outright scene-stealer as the seemingly dimwitted, wisecracking sheriff, who just happens to be engaged in a relationship with Ken's mother (a pitch perfect Karen Black), mask some of the more clunky story developments and less than fresh lines of dialogue. The film just tires to do far too much, in too limited a scope, but a creative and earnest (semi) failure is always more enjoyable than a tired and soulless one.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer sports a mild amount of digital noise/grain as well as a very hot, not-so-natural color palette; contrast levels and overall detail are above average, with no additional digital tinkering affecting the image. By and large, the transfer is what one would expect from a lower-budget film such as this.
The English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track is a little weak in terms of atmosphere, but overall is an ear-pleasing track. Dialogue is clear and balanced alongside effects that pack a punch for dramatic effect when necessary.
Extras include a feature-length commentary by director Perez and producer/writer Ryan Levin. Rounding things out are a "making of" featurette, the film's original trailer, and the 12-odd minute short film that inspired the movie, "The Fifth."
Make no mistake, "Some Guy Who Kills People" is definitely worth checking out; it's a refreshing entry in an often haphazardly handled genre, but it's not without some pretty glaring faults. If you can get past the inconsistent tone and wonky pacing, it's a moderately engaging film that benefits from a strong sympathetic performance from Corrigan and an unsung, supporting part from Barry Bostwick. Recommended.