“It was a mistake to visit his lake.”
Directors: Monroe Mann, Ronnie Khalil, Jorge Valdes-Iga / Writers: Mann, Khalil, & Bob Madia / Cast: Monroe Mann, Ronnie Khalil, Crystal Arnette, Kayle Blogna, Kate Costello, Justin Brown, Jason Martin, Polly Humphreys, John Mancini.
Body Count: 5
Admittedly, I was filled with a case of the “ugh’s” when I encountered this film… The title alone made me want to dry swallow balled-up barbed wire, but after watching the trailer on YouTube, it didn’t look like it was going to be 80 minutes of Samsung phone-shot lesbianism and ketchup squirts… It looks like it might have taken the wise decision to go down the comedy route.
Indeed, You Can’t Kill Stephen King opens with this rather lovely vista:
…which helps. I like lakes with lots of lush, green trees around the perimeter.
After the obligatory murder of a hot girl in the woods, we meet our primary cast of five ‘young people’ off to stay in the lakeside cabin they’ve inherited in the same town that Stephen King reportedly resides in, somewhere in Maine.
So, the film kinda starts with on a Scary Movie plain with an establishing shot for each of the quintet:
Other than Lamont, we have PTSD-suffering ex-soldier Monroe, his serious sister Hilary, his ex-girlfriend Lori, his King-obsessed virginal buddy Ronnie, and requisite dim-witted hot girl, Nicole.
They stop at a diner where they are advised to go party elsewhere by the waitress, then rent a boat where they are advised to go wakeboarding elsewhere by the boat-rental guy, then they have fun on the lake where they are reprimanded for going too fast by a waterborne cop. Seems as though everyone wants it to be peace and quiet.
Before long, a shadowy figure begins offing the group one by one and Ronnie begins to suspect whomever is doing it is aping scenes from Stephen King stories and only comes after them when they’re being loud.
The dwindling group set about trapping the killer, whom by this point Ronnie suspects is Stephen King, and things kind’ve lumber towards a revelation not too far removed from the climax of Hot Fuzz.
Production unities are higher than expected from both the DVD cover and title, but the film begins to shed its comedy tag towards the end and plays out like any other straight-to-video dead teenager film of late and the jokes all but disappear.
I’m weary of any film where there are A). multiple directors and B). said directors award themselves the lead roles. This results in a sort of limelight hogging that sees all the girls summarily wasted, without a final girl figure to speak of. Final boys hardly ever work as it is.
Some funny parts and plenty of tropes, most of which work better in the two minute trailer (“fog… and more fog!”), a couple of good lines, but – for the first half at least – a sense of fun and frolic. That title though…
And remember, even Stephen King couldn’t make a good Stephen King movie.