Sexy Killer on DVD

Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:58

“Sexy Killer” is a Spanish horror-comedy that would probably induce alcoholic poisoning if used for a drinking game concerning references to other horror films. It stars Macarena Gómez as Barbara, a loopy and remorseless serial killer who bizarrely is last on everybody’s list of suspects. Resembling an unholy cross between Sporty Spice and Faith from “Buffy”, our anti-heroine is a self-obsessed med student living on a university campus.

This is a setting full of potential victims for a killer who pounces if you even glance in her general direction. Alongside Barbara’s murderous activities and the occasional flashback to explain how she became this way, we follow the progress of two forensic pathologists who by night are techno-boffins developing a mind-reading machine. Reminiscent of the glove in “Torchwood”, not only can the machine read the minds of the living, and project their thoughts on-screen, but they realise it also works with the very recently-deceased.

Sexy Killer on DVDAs a consequence, the audience are teased into anticipating how long it will be before one of Barbara’s victims reveals her identity. Piled on top of this is the fact that Barbara becomes infatuated with Tomás (César Camino), one of the pathologists. In a classic case of miscommunication, our killer believes Tomás is a kindred spirit, wrongly interpreting his tales of cutting up bodies to mean he shares her twisted pastime. Once the pile of corpses has reached the ceiling, the tale introduces zombies into the mix and the campus erupts into chaos.

With a tagline of “You’ll die for her”, you know at once that this movie is going to be a cheese-fest. From that perspective, the film delivers in bucket loads. The very opening scene is an almost direct homage to the “Scream” trilogy, including a killer using a similar “Ghostface” mask and cloak. Thereafter we are bombarded by other references to specific films, or simply to common horror clichés. This list would fill pages, but here are a few examples: the “You think that’s a knife” scene from “Crocodile Dundee”, zombies gate-crashing a horror-themed party where the revellers mistake their appearance for really good makeup, a fleeing victim hiding under a sheet in the mortuary, and that all-time classic, someone opening and closing a mirrored medicine cabinet, only to find the reflection of a monster standing behind them.

Writer Paco Cabezas and director Miguel Martí seem to think that bundling in as many of these references as possible is a cool way to make a film, and whilst this reviewer would be the first person to admit that the majority of the horror films he has seen have been hugely derivative, this approach simply proved too distracting, and caused the film to lose much of its own identity. Far too many scenes play out exactly as you expect them to, precisely because you have literally seen it all before. Suspense is eroded, the guilty fun associated with many horror films is deflated, and it turns out that the cheese in this movie is definitely of the tasteless plastic slice variety, rather than a ripe piece of mature Chedder!

Does the film have any redeeming qualities? Well yes, actually. Gómez’s Barbara sparkles with energy and wackiness, storming through the film like a vapid but unstoppable tornado. The movie is for the much fabled (and probably outdated) “MTV Generation”, full of colour, noise, excitable young adults doing bad or dumb things, and it never stands still. Whilst the overwhelming familiarity encourages boredom, the pace of the piece does its best to resist it.

On top of this, the title sequence is very creative and eye-catching, and the make-up and special effects are generally very competent. In terms of humour, this reviewer did actually find one scene amusing, where Barbara reels off the calorie burning properties of different murder techniques, complete with women’s magazine-style graphics to illustrate the facts. In Barbara’s warped mind, murder is so common-place that an article such as this would not even raise an eyebrow. As for the “Sexy” element of the title, the craziness of the film pushed it to the background, though some of Barbara’s outfits are quite raunchy!

In summary, “Sexy Killer” tries too hard, and throws far too many ingredients into the melting pot, resulting in a product that ironically tastes rather bland. The DVD release (Certificate 18) does nothing to redress this, with no special features at all. The movie is released by Momentum Pictures on 14 September 2009, RRP £12.99 or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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