Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How To Be A Serial Killer (2008)

This is one of those light-hearted, feel-good, dark comedies that turn films like Big Daddy and The Karate Kid on their ear. It's a mentor story gone far off the deep end, and it is a fun little ride.

Mike (Dameon Clarke) is a highly optimistic serial killer who takes local video store clerk Bart (Matthew Gray Gubler) under his wing to become his protégé. With just ten easy lessons he can teach young Bart how to murder his way to a better life.

The formula Mike uses is actually quite admirable as well as clever. Children and animals are off-limits, rape and robbery is a no-no, and killing the handicapped is just cheating. Instead, Mike encourages his young student to choose victims that the world would be better off without... the jerk customer, the animal abuser, the guy with severe road rage...the list goes on and on.

However, things go downhill fast when Mike ends up having to break one of his own rules and Bart gets a crash-coarse in how to get away with murder.

The plot is not a completely original idea but the presentation is fun. The humor is more subtle than not and it does make a few very good points about how many serial killers are able to enjoy long careers.

There is a lot of violence, but the story is strong enough so that the film doesn't depend on the buckets of blood that other indie horror-comedies do in order to keep its viewers interested. And like Showtime's Dexter, you might just find yourself rooting for the charismatic serial killer.

Film information: How to be a Serial Killer

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