Stars: Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Bradford, Andrew O’Sullivan, Jess Thomas-Hall, Mark Theodossiou, Laura Jane Turner, Carmel Savage, Meisha Lowe, Johancee Theron, Cameron Sowden | Written and Directed by Joe Bauer
At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking The Killage is steaming pile of filmic horse shit, filled with some of the worst acting ever committed to celluloid. That is until you realise instead that the film in fact one of the greatest movie spoofs since the Leslie Nielsen classic, Airplane! I really should have guessed given the pun-tastic title…
Undoubtedly inspired by the outrageous cinematic stylings of Troma, The Killage follows a group of eleven recruits, composed entirely of excruciating social stereotypes, and one dorky camp instructor, who embark on a weekend-long work retreat in the quasi-wilderness of northern south-east Queensland. Of course this being in essence a slasher movie, the retreat doesn’t go as smoothly as planned – as one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac, intent on killing everyone in the most “creative” ways possible.
Like the parodies that have come before it, The Killage features a plot that sticks to every cliche and stereotype in the slasher movie handbook. So much so that, at first, you’ll be wondering if what you’re watching is a legitimately awful attempt to film a slasher movie, only on a budget of about 20p. That’s how on-point the script, from writer/director and co-star Joe Bauer, is. It takes a few minutes, and some hilarious interplay between the cast members, for the realisation that yes, this IS meant to be that badly scripted, that badly performed and so incredibly “awful”.
Fair enough, I do have a soft spot for horror movie spoofs. I’m a fan of ilms like Scary Movie, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th and in particular the early-80s slasher parody Student Bodies, a film that shares a LOT in common with The Killage. Namely a total love for the very genre it takes the mickey out of, broad slaptick humour; and some fantastically outrageous and – in this films case – incredibly inventive death scenes.
Speaking of the deaths, for a parody Bauer and co. sure know how to make their characters deaths memorable and gory! Characters get flossed to death, a bong goes through the back of a head, throat cut by playing cards – not your usual slasher movie deaths I agree but nonetheless you’ll remember the special effects sequences long after the film has ended. And for the most part the deaths match the stereotypes, stoner dies by bong, the token jock is pummeled to death with a bar bell… you get the jist. It’s a credit to Bauer that even in the midst of the The Killage‘s stupidtity (for this film is stupid) the kill scenes can still hold their own with any traditional slasher.
Yes, The Killage is stupid, childish and idiotic; but it’s also brilliantly funny, fantastically gory and scores major pwnage over many a wannabe slasher, mainlining that same horror-comedy ethos that makes Troma movies so great.
The Killage is released on DVD by Monster Pictures on October 26th.