#23 -- Serial Killing 101 (2004)

Director: Trace Slobotkin
Rating: 4 / 5

I'm not sure if this one is technically classified as horror because it'll make you laugh more than anything, but I'd feel wrong if I left it out. The characters are ridiculous, the situations unbelievable - but you can't help but love it.

Casey, a high school senior, wants to be a serial killer. Why? Not because of family troubles. Not because he's crazy, but because he wants to impress a girl. Sasha is interested in serial killers like Charles Manson (who wasn't a serial killer at all but a pansy ass who had to get others to do his dirty work; but that's another topic completely). To get her attention, Casey does a project stating that he wants to be a serial killer. It definitely works as planned, and she offers to help him on one condition - she wants to be his first victim. She says it is because she wants fame, to be like Sharon Tate (the first victim of the Manson family), but we find out later it is because she is depressed and can't quite get suicide right. 

They study books on criminal psychology and serial killer profiling. Sasha tells Casey that most serial killers start out killing animals, and she tells him to kill the neighbor's dog. But he can't because, quote, "It was too cute." He decides on old ladies as his victims of choice. They're old and almost dead as it is, so he'd be doing them a favor. He scouts out the local retirement home and chooses his prey. When he returns to kill the old woman, she believes that he is her grandson. She introduces him to all her friends, and he tells them that he's an undercover detective and then goes through all the things he's learned. In the end, instead of killing her, he kisses her goodnight and says, "I love you, grandma." 

So, since he's failed in all other aspects, Sasha decides that he should just go ahead and kill her. It should be easy on him since she is willing. He sneaks up on her in the woods, but he can't do it because she's just sitting there. He tells her to run from him. There is a very elaborate and terrifying chase scene (it's too bad you can't hear sarcasm through the computer screen), and he pins her to the ground. Does he kill her? Heck no! Instead, they end up making out.

Meanwhile, children from the high school are disappearing and being murdered. There is a real life serial killer out there, and Casey decides to track him down and learn from him. The killer eventually abducts Sasha and takes her to his "lair." Casey must find her and save her. When he does find her, she is tied to a weight bench. There is a circular saw hanging above her head, and the only way to keep it from decapitating her, she must hold up the three-hundred pound weight. 

There is a scuffle throughout the killer's hideaway, and Casey eventually prevails. He then writes a new report for school, titled "Serial Killing For Dummies." He now wants to be an investigator for the FBI, tracking down serial killers. He'll take everything he's learned and put it to good use. 

This movie is good on its own. It's entertaining and silly. But, in my opinion, Thomas Haden Church stole the show as Casey's hilarious asshole of a gym coach. He's got crazy funny one-liner's, and he'll have you cracking up the whole time. Also, we have Amil, Casey's "special" best friend who's obsessed with explosives. And, the crazy janitor, Frank, who watches girl's change through a hole in the wall. He's creepy and weird. But he's funny as well, muttering, "Fucking kids with their tater tots." We also have Corey Feldman as the funky-looking clerk at the department store.

It's one of my favorite movies, and definitely worth the time. 

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