Madeleine Koestner is a writer, filmmaker and performer. She plays a ukulele and sings songs about ghosts in small venues in New York City. She likes beer, synthesizers and movies about death games. Sometimes Madeleine does special FX makeup and gore for low-budget horror movies. You can follow her on twitter @DVDBoxSet, but do so at your own risk, as she’s really weird and inappropriate.
“SHE KILLS” (Film Review)Movies/TV,News,Reviews Madeleine Koestner
The lowest of low-brow and as offensive as they come, SHE KILLS tells the story of a woman named Sadie who, on her wedding night, is attacked by a ridiculous gang called The Touchers. They murder her husband and assault her, but Sadie has been cursed by lucifer and is afflicted with something called “Devil’s Crotch”. Men find her irresistible, but once they come into contact with her, they devolve into crazed cannibalistic zombies. Using her newly discovered sexual power, Sadie seeks revenge on The Touchers and embarks on a journey of self discovery, with Jesus! And it is a lot of dumb fun, with plenty of crazy low budget blood and guts.
Writer / Director Ron Bonk puts his years of experience producing many low budget genre flicks to superb use, SHE KILLS looks really good. It’s well edited, well shot, and very clear the whole cast and crew gets it. They are making a faux grindhouse film on a tiny budget, and this is how it’s done. And: they are a good team. In most cases, inexperienced players are the most frustrating part of a small movie like this, but the strongest part of SHE KILLS is what, for other films, can be the weakest.
The actors are charismatic and funny, and they’ve got a chemistry that keeps the audience invested in the movie. If you saw NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE, on which Bonk was the producer, you’ll recognize more than a couple faces (Trey Harrison, Michael Merchant, and Rebecca Kasek just to name a few!) And, they have totally transformed into different cartoonish characters, suited to the amplified grindhouse aesthetic of the movie as leather clad gangsters and crazy magical religious witches.
Yet you won’t forget you’re watching a low budget movie at any point, especially during certain scenes that seem a tad pointless other than to showcase just how much fun the cast and crew were having. A sequence in a dingy dive bar, showing members of the Toucher gang drinking and dancing lasts a little longer than you’d expect, but it feels true to the grindhouse style, and you’ll get a good laugh out of it.
In terms of being a gross-out flick: SHE KILLS goes above and beyond disgusting into sheer hilarious ridiculousness. This writer is a fan of gross-out genre flicks, and there’s not much that fazes me on the topic of barf, slime, and bodily fluids being flung around a set. SHE KILLS did the unexpected: it absolutely disgusted me. There’s more than one scene you’ll spend with your hands over your face out of shock and disbelief that it actually went there. And as promised by the title: Sadie does quite a bit of killing and things get bloody. Characters are ripped apart in ways you won’t expect, and although you won’t be able to commend the special FX for being realistic, they are imaginative and very entertaining.
Another thing that’s atypical about SHE KILLS is, although it is a rape-revenge story, Sadie has an agency to her that’s a bit stronger than just being a pretty badass. She’s interesting and she’s funny in a way that’s commanding. Actress Jennie Russo is fearless and silly, taking what could be an exploitative role and making it kind of delightful. Some audience members may balk at the offensive storyline, but if you can’t come to a movie like this with a sense of humor about everything, it’s not for you. But if you’re looking for a ludicrous satire, going to the brink of depravity just to leave you with your jaw hanging: SHE KILLS is your movie.