Starring Raquel Riskin, Cory Monteith, Paula Shaw, Graham Wardle
Directed by David DeCoteau
Ever notice that movies about ugly duckling women that undergo a makeover from plain Jane to hot babe are always either romantic comedies or horror flicks? You can pretty much figure out how it’s going to play out too. If its a romantic comedy, the girl in question will either end up with the hottest guy in school or ultimately learn an important life lesson that often concludes ending up with the friends and the dorky guy that liked her even before her makeover and who she will have spent much of her newfound popularity shunning. If it’s a horror movie, her makeover will be due to supernatural forces like demonic possession or some sort of Jeckyl & Hyde formula, and the evil nature of the havoc she wreaks is something she will either revel in or seek to put a stop to, usually with the assistance of the guy she has the hots for. The movie I’m about to review is entitled Killer Bash and the lead character is named Becky Jeckyl. Suffice it to say, this is not She’s All That… yet the formula is still every bit as predictable.
Young Becky Jeckyl is such a loser. All the guys ignore her, all the girls mock her, and even her parents would rather strand her at the college rather than let her come home and join them for a family vacation. Who can blame these people for shunning young Becky Jeckyl? She’s smart, shy, doesn’t wear make-up, wears glasses, and wears her hair back. My god, she’s a damn freak like the Elephant Man! Every moment she appears on the screen I threw up in my mouth just a little bit. The Nazis had it right when they took the physically deformed like this girl and euthanized them.
Seriously though, Not Another Teen Movie made fun of precisely the very thing that plays out here. Her transformation from ugly duckling to popular swan consists solely of her removing her glasses, letting her hair down, putting on a little make-up, and finally inserting a small nose ring into that obvious piercing in her nostril you could see whenever there was a close-up of her face. The way all the sorority girls and jocks that once shunned her now react to her makeover in disbelief you’d think she went from looking like Roger Ebert in drag to Lacey Chabert overnight. Her physical transformation is hardly a radical makeover and, frankly, I thought she looked prettier before when she was in bookworm form, at least she stood out from the other girls in the cast then.
Becky’s transformation comes about after she acquires some books that once belonged to a former student named Robert Hyde. Clearly, this film takes place in an alternate universe where Robert Louis Stevenson never wrote the classic tale of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde because she never seems to even recognize the novelty that her last name is Jeckyl and these textbooks once belonged to someone whose last name was Hyde. That should be a no brainer right there.
Inside one of the old books is a map leading to the subterranean area where he was killed in a prank gone wrong at the hands of the Delta Boys, the most elite fraternity clique on campus both then and now. Becky follows the map and finds Hyde’s class ring. Taking possession of it leads to Hyde taking possession of her in order to exact his revenge. One of the film’s biggest conceits is that you’re expected to believe that the Delta Boys involved in Robert Hyde’s demise all went on to have children at roughly the same age, all of whom grew up to be studly, arrogant jocks just like their fathers and opted to go to the same college in order to carry on the Delta Boys legacy. I find that even harder to believe than the whole girl getting possessed by a vengeful spirit aspect of the plot.
Am I wrong to wonder why getting possessed by the spirit of dorky guy that died back in the Seventies causes a woman to suddenly want to vamp herself up? Am I alone in finding that more than a little odd?
Getting possessed by this dead dork gives her perfect 20/20 vision and inspires her to change her look in order to be accepted by the popular clique, something that includes nearly getting gang raped in the bathroom by two overly aggressive Delta Boys, just so she can get close enough to kill them, at least I think that’s what the whole point of her transformation was supposed to be. Most of her transformation seems to be eye-centric as his spirit also gives her supernatural, glowy-eyed, death staring powers that she seemingly has no control over. One moment she’ll be eyeballing one of the shirtless hunks when suddenly she’ll be overcome with flashbacks to Hyde’s demise followed by her eyes glowing red. Psychic death ensues. For example, a weightlifter suffers a crushed throat from the weights he was bench pressing and a soccer player slips and splatters his skull on the sidewalk.
Many of these staring incidents give director David DeCoteau to sneak in some of that patented David DeCoteau style homoeroticism he’s known for. Yep, the studly jocks that are the Delta Boys just love stripping down to their shorts and engaging in all sorts of sweaty activities, whether it be weightlifting or just standing around and feeling the need to de-shirt themselves. DeCoteau isn’t as blatant this time out as he is many of his other films, but you can’t help but notice that the film spends far longer than necessary establishing that Becky is attracted to young, sweaty musclemen with perfect abs.
Hyde’s vengeance complicates Becky’s love life after she falls for one of the Delta Boys on Hyde’s hit list. Between the old student counselor that was at the college during the Robert Hyde incident and the janitor that knows all and sees all because that’s what janitors do in movies like this, hopefully she’ll be able to figure out exactly what is happening to her and how to put a stop to it before her #1 stud muffin ends up deader than the suspense-level of this film and she pulls a Carrie at the biggest party of the year.
By the time the film reaches the actual killer bash, the party had already long been over for me. Killer Bash is a killer bore. Between the unoriginality of the tale, the myriad of flat performances, and the lackadaisical direction by which the movie unfolds, by the time the Killer Bash came was I was feeling like I needed to amend my review of last year’s Jacqueline Hyde and bump it up an extra half a blood mug just for how much more effort was put into that production compared to this one. The whole production feels like something that should have been back in the late 1970’s when it would have at least seemed slightly less unimaginative.
The copy of Killer Bash I watched was a Region 2 disc from Asia. I suspect we’ll probably see the film on video store shelves in the US later this year. Believe me, there’s no need for them to rush or for you to anticipate it’s release unless you just have a thing for tepid horror films with little suspense, sex appeal (unless you’re into buff shirtless guys), or uninspired death scenes, and just enjoy being bored stupid.
There’s no life to this party.
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