Directed by: Alex Drummond
Cast: Drew Benda, Stephanie Beran, John Brody, Kurt Ela
I’ll always have a place in my heart for “cheap” films with legit talent behind the cameras. However I recognize that Killer Party isn’t really hindered amateur tactics. That said, let’s face it, every filmmaker drops the ball at some time. It comes with the territory, but is Alex Drummond smart enough to avoid that near-guarantee pitfall that catches up with the vast majority of filmmakers?
My gut-‘ says he’s got what it takes to get another, superior film made and – subsequently picked up for distribution. Clearly a talented filmmaker, it seems an extreme improbability that he remains assembling small films while sliding under the Hollywood radar. Alex Drummond has the goods, and we’ll be lucky to see another of his pictures in the future.
Killer Party is a barebones feature that takes place in a single location with just a small group of protagonists. In regards to scope, it’s an extremely small tale. But don’t let that fool you, writer/director Alex Drummond works hard to generate a large film while studying the human thought process. And, let’s be real: we all know the human thought process can sometimes be a rather vile thing to deal with.
That’s where writer/director Alex Drummond really succeeds. This may be a condensed story, but he’s still able to siphon some strong performances and inspired sequences that seem to be coated in a thick plasma film, just oozing down the windows of what should be sanctuary for a small group of individuals who only set foot in this tale to celebrate a baby shower.
After watching this, I’ll never even contemplate attending a co-ed baby shower, for the record.
Everything seems to be going fine for mother-to-be, Mary. Fine that is until a series of television and radio announcements leave the partygoers feeling a bit fearsome. Throughout the streets of Southern California, a full on pandemic is taking over, otherwise innocent citizens are being devoured. The question is simple: Can this group continue celebrating without fear of what may shamble across their own lawn.
Turns out they’re not even remotely near close to safe; in minutes raging, murderous every-day-Joes begin to swarm the house and they’ve got one thing on their mind: bloody, relentless murder.
As our group of survivors attempt to defend their safe haven, things go from bad to worse, and in the vein of pictures like John Carpenter’s The Thing, paranoia sweeps through the group.
Who might be infected? Will they know they’re infected, as the early signs are quite obviously dismissible?
Over the course of a brief 80-minute film we witness the unraveling of a group of friends, in addition to an ultraviolent clown and a small girl who manages to invoke genuine discomfort for long periods of time. All of the outside distractions indeed take its toll on this group of survivors, and before we know it our heroic bunch find themselves tangling with monsters like never before.
To make matters worse, the residence in which they’re trapped isn’t very well stocked with munchies, which forces a few of the group to embark on a mission: scouring neighborhood homes in the hopes of obtaining enough food to hold their group over for an extended amount of time.
But how long can this mysterious outbreak last?
You’ll need to tune into this inventive spin on the early phases of an apocalyptic shift to find the answer you seek.
Drummonds’ direction is great, and he clearly has an understanding of strong yet grounded visuals, even when set pieces are extremely limited. Drummons also summons some terrific laughs and a few total WTF moments. He’s a talented filmmaker, and I’d love to see him approach a pic with a bit stronger budget and larger scope. I genuinely believe he has the necessary tools to leave a lasting mark on the genre.
We see a great cast here, as well. A few faces will likely ring your memory bell (Evan Gamble and Alexandra Fatovich, in particular), but some lesser known thespians like Kurt Ela, John Brody and Andy Hoff manage to shine in chaos.
I won’t spoil each of the major jarring details, but I will tell you it is safe to embrace these scares, because they feel refreshing.