Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Eric Roberts, Frida Snow, Jake Turrel, Moe Irvin, Cherie Johnson, Christina Buenaventura
Directed by Rob Walker
When the magnificent trailer for Sharktopus premiered online a few weeks back, I noticed a common sentiment amongst naysayers was the disbelief that Eric Roberts would be starring in a movie about a half-shark/half-octopus monster given his role as a mob boss in The Dark Knight. These individuals apparently have not been paying attention to Roberts’ career for much of the past 15 years; otherwise, they probably would have been more surprised to see him in such a prominent role in The Dark Knight.
Just last year I reviewed a thriller that featured Roberts in nothing more than a glorified cameo in which he appeared for about three minutes as an obnoxious tourist babbling what I assume were adlibbed lines about who-the-hell-knows-what before getting murdered while standing at a urinal. Roberts has turned up in far more made-for-cable/DVD B-movies for the better part of a decade than big screen A-list films. With that said, even I must confess to being surprised to see him starring in a movie as low rent as Killer Weekend. Unless an Eric Roberts homemade sex video turns up sometime in the future, Killer Weekend is probably going to go down as the cheapest looking movie he’ll ever appear in.
Shot with all the visual aesthetics of a porn movie and with acting that’s cut from the same cloth, Killer Weekend‘s greatest flaw is probably its inability to decide on a tone. Is it a black comedy? Is it a straight-up slasher flick? Is it a campy slasher flick? Is it a parody? Is it just bad melodrama? The tone flashes among all of these and never settles on what exactly it’s trying to be.
Eric Roberts stars as a wealthy maniac named Mason. His neighbors live in fear of him. He cuts the gardener’s throat because the guy inadvertently killed a flower. Finger food actually has fingers in it. Even his wife and son have become unnerved by him. Not in time for her, however; Mason electrocutes her in the bathtub. What exactly has provoked Mason to pick just this moment to go stark raving American Psycho is a non-issue – he just has, and that’s all there is to it.
Sister-in-law Tracey and her friends, including an African-American gal with psychic powers that keeps having visions of scenes from later in the film of her friends being murdered and a gold digging Asian hoochie who outright tells Tracey she intends to seduce her sister’s husband, arrive at Mason’s mansion and waste no time partying it up in the living room, dancing and smoking dope like teens in a cabin in the woods in a slasher flick. This is not exactly polite behavior when guests in a stranger’s house. Tracey isn’t even nearly as adamant about seeing her sister or nephew as you would expect given Mason’s excuses and mysterious behavior upon their arrival. They all just assume this Mason guy is merely some rich eccentric morbidly fascinated with weapons and sex and not actually a full-fledged psychopath spying on them with hidden cameras while plotting their grisly doom.
Killer Weekend is a standard slasher flick with young victims living it up in confined quarters until it comes time for them to start dying. The only difference here being that the psychopath slaying them is a sneering, staring Eric Roberts being all Eric Roberts-y. The only thing this sluggish slasher flick has going for it is Eric Roberts and one particularly audacious kill involving a guillotine, and that’s still not nearly enough to salvage this cheaply, poorly made slog.
The true first sign of trouble came during the opening credits when the title appeared as A Killer Weekend. A Killer Weekend also appears on the screen again at the start of the closing credits. That the distributors chose to drop the “A” from the title when marketing the film yet didn’t take the time to change it in the on-screen credits is not really that big of a deal, but it was certainly a harbinger to the quality of the film to follow.
1 out of 5
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