Kinky Killers (aka Polycarp, 2007) Movie Review

7 Comments

(Movie Review by Kevin Nickelson) In the early 1980’s, the then-new home video market needed product to sell in between the release of major films. Video companies turned much of the time to independent directors and small production companies who were not able to get major theatrical distribution secured for their films. By directly targeting the consumer with this “straight-to-video” entertainment, celluloid that was destined for a dusty shelf in a warehouse could now be a cash cow for indie filmmakers who maxed their credit cards to get their labor of love made. And thus, the era of directors like Fred Olen Ray and Charles Band, producers like Roger Corman, actors in desperate need of work (like Martin Landau and Gary Busey) and companies like Full Moon Productions began.

Now, insatiable horror/sci-fi film geeks like myself could overload our sense of taste without regret! Well, we did have to drop our gaze to the floor when we got a stare from the video store clerk and we fidgeted when we had to explain to our family why we rented that piece of garbage in the first place. But I digress. The B-video era continues to this day with “straight-to-dvd” productions and internet video downloads. Only the quality of product has gone from cheesy, fun bad to the “Why the ___ did I watch this____crap!?” type of film. “Kinky Killers”, from Vivendi Entertainment, is definitely in the latter category.

The film deals with Dr. Jill Kessey (Beverly Lynne, in a monosyllabic turn) a psychiatrist who’s patients are being captured, tortured, murdered, and dismembered by a serial killer or killers. Or is a satanic cult involved? There are various eccentric characters and red herrings tossed at the viewer to let us know this is a thriller. There’s also gruff cop Barry Harper, portrayed by Michael Pare. The former “Eddie and the Cruisers” and “Eddie and the Cruisers 2: Eddie Lives!” star headlines here with a “please, could you pay my bar bill” role. I guess “Eddie and the Cruisers 3: Eddie Dies For Real” died in the idea stage. Also on hand (probably because Social Security isn’t paying enough these days), is film and tv vet Charles Durning for a scant few scenes as Alexander Hathaway, Kessy’s attorney, who offers his clients oranges repeatedly in between doling out legal advice. Yeah, he’s one of the eccentric characters mentioned above and a few of the victims were clients of his as well.

Who could be the killer or killers and is black magic involved? There’s Kessey’s assistant Tori, who reads and talks about witchcraft. There is Hathaway’s seemingly brain-challenged son, Bob. There is also Kessey’s mysterious roommate Grace Sario (Brooke Lewis), who may be more than she seems. The investigating cops, Harper and his partner Nick Ferelli, have a tough time sorting through it all. All seem to have a connection with the psychiatrist or the victims.

“Kinky Killers” is a botched mix of muted gore, boring sex scenes, terrible performances, and mind-numbing dialogue. Muted gore, while not always a detriment in a film, is a problem when said film is hyped for its bloody content, as this one was on the dvd cover. Gore fans will yawn here. Fans of steamy sex scenes in movies will yawn and fidget in their seats with the dull sex shown here. There is plenty of bedding down (it seems like it happened every other scene) but zero chemistry between actors. And the performances are either on the monotone level of a porn video (Lynne and Lewis) or phoned in (Pare and Durning). It does not help that the dialogue, when not consisting of F-bombs, gives us inane talk about the seven churches of revelation from the Book of Revelations and how they are connected to the deaths and maybe bringing back a certain horned dude who’s name starts with an S. Add to the above problems the plodding direction by George Lekovic, who spends too much of the film in exposition and offers few tension moments, and you have one heck of a mess.

The one positive that kept “Kinky Killers” from being a complete bomb was the use of outdoor locations. This is a nice touch that adds the feel of a big film to a small budget piece. Unfortunately, it only adds a bit of gloss to a steaming, filmic sewage pile that is “Kinky Killers”.

Maybe George Lekovic needs to get in contact with Fred Olen Ray and find out how a zero budget film can be transformed into something more with just the right amount of care.

George Lekovic (director) / Ken Del Vecchio, Brandon Slagle (screenplay)
CAST: Michael Paré … Barry Harper
Charles Durning … Alexander Hathaway
Beverly Lynne … Jill Kessy
Brooke Lewis … Grace Sario
Ken Del Vecchio … Bob Hathaway / The Figure
Julianne Michelle … Serena
Brandon Slagle … Dean Zimmer


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  • Dustin

    I really love this review and as b-movie buff can whole heartedly relate.

  • Dustin

    I really love this review and as b-movie buff can whole heartedly relate.

  • Dustin

    I really love this review and as b-movie buff can whole heartedly relate.

  • Kevin

    Thank you, Dustin! I’m a lover of good bad genre films as long as they are not dull. That is a basic element of a decent film that is lost on most filmmakers today. Fred Olen Ray understood that his films wouldn’t win Oscars. That wasn’t his thing. He wanted to entertain an audience. Sure he had lots of t and a and Dan Haggerty and Gary Busey starring as cops and a death ray shooting alien was usually involved. Cliches abounded, a $20 script was used, and he maxed his credit card to get 5 minutes of location filming. The films were fun! So are the films of Ted A. Bohus, Roger Corman, and others. Incidentally, my favorite Fred Olen Ray opus is “Deep Space” (1988), with Charles Napier as a tough cop going after an alien creature. Ron Glass, Bo Svenson, and Julie Newmar round out the cast. A silly, check-your-brain-at-the-door hoot!

    Kevin

  • Kevin

    Thank you, Dustin! I’m a lover of good bad genre films as long as they are not dull. That is a basic element of a decent film that is lost on most filmmakers today. Fred Olen Ray understood that his films wouldn’t win Oscars. That wasn’t his thing. He wanted to entertain an audience. Sure he had lots of t and a and Dan Haggerty and Gary Busey starring as cops and a death ray shooting alien was usually involved. Cliches abounded, a $20 script was used, and he maxed his credit card to get 5 minutes of location filming. The films were fun! So are the films of Ted A. Bohus, Roger Corman, and others. Incidentally, my favorite Fred Olen Ray opus is “Deep Space” (1988), with Charles Napier as a tough cop going after an alien creature. Ron Glass, Bo Svenson, and Julie Newmar round out the cast. A silly, check-your-brain-at-the-door hoot!

    Kevin

  • Kevin

    Thank you, Dustin! I’m a lover of good bad genre films as long as they are not dull. That is a basic element of a decent film that is lost on most filmmakers today. Fred Olen Ray understood that his films wouldn’t win Oscars. That wasn’t his thing. He wanted to entertain an audience. Sure he had lots of t and a and Dan Haggerty and Gary Busey starring as cops and a death ray shooting alien was usually involved. Cliches abounded, a $20 script was used, and he maxed his credit card to get 5 minutes of location filming. The films were fun! So are the films of Ted A. Bohus, Roger Corman, and others. Incidentally, my favorite Fred Olen Ray opus is “Deep Space” (1988), with Charles Napier as a tough cop going after an alien creature. Ron Glass, Bo Svenson, and Julie Newmar round out the cast. A silly, check-your-brain-at-the-door hoot!

    Kevin

  • Mfp

    Like in all great masterpieces there is more to Polycarp then meets the eye. If you are looking for a cheap thrill, then this isn’t a film for you and you’ll be disappointed that the sex scenes aren’t straight porn. The film’s script might be problematic, but it’s visually stunning (especially for a low budget flick) and any filmmaker can learn from the economy of it’s set-ups, shots and how well the actors perform.