“Sexy Killer”….. This one actually got mentioned to me some while ago as a quirky zombie comedy film I should definitely check out, but my inquisitive, insatiable quest for a decent source of weird Spanish films has so far failed to reward me with a reliable source directly out of Spain…. Luckily for me the Region 2 UK release for this one has remedied that lil’ problem.
The synopsis for it reads: “At an exclusive university dead bodies are turning up with alarming frequency, all believed to be victims of the notorious Campus Killer. The police are stumped as to who the killer might be and, of course, nobody suspects innocent looking med student Barbara. A superficial fashion queen whose childhood dream was to grow up to become the living embodiment of her favorite doll, Cindy Superstar, all Barbara needs now is to find herself a real-life equivalent of Cindy’s plastic partner, Glenn. But behind the mask of her perfectly applied make-up is a deadly cross between Paris Hilton and American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman, a female serial killer for whom ruthlessly slaughtering people isn’t so much a question of why as one of why not?
Barbara’s grisly trail of murder fortuitously leads her into the arms of Tomas, a fellow student assigned to the campus morgue who is experimenting with a machine designed to translate thoughts and brainwaves into images. What he later discovers, though, is that with a little tinkering (and the addition of a healthy dose of Ecstasy to his subjects) the machine is able to reanimate the dead. Not surprisingly, this proves to be bad news for Barbara as Tomas begins reviving the Campus Killer’s victims in the hope that at least one of them will be able to identify their murderer. Of course, what he hadn’t bargained for was their insatiable hunger for both revenge and for human flesh. Soon, Tomas finds himself the innocent bystander in a bloody and explosive serial killer versus zombies showdown.”
Hmmm… now this one certainly sounds downright goofy. (And you know how Neko sooo likes goofy!!) So forgoing my usual popcorn and wine coolers, we opt for a movie night of spicy nachos and sangria, hoping the movie fairies will bless Carolyn and I with a delightfully grisly laugh fest to remember!! Think you might just like it too? Then you better “Read On” and find out more!
This one starts out with a scene right out of “Scream”… a girl’s locker room, plenty of sexy young co-eds with all the gratuitous nudity one needs in an exploitation film to set just the right ambiance. Oh, yes…. and a creepy masked killer with a big ol’ machete who stalks poor lone Barbara after all the other girls are off to class… but just who here is the predator and who is the prey? We find out pretty quickly who is who… as does the poor doofus who thought dressing up as a masked killer was a good way to peep on naked girls.
Barbara (played to psycho perfection by Macarena Gómez) is the sexy psychotic anti-heroine of director Miguel Martí’s black comedy and quite effortlessly steals every scene in “Sexy Killer” with her perky Barbie doll approach to sociopathy. She’s equal parts sexy co-ed and serial killer with the arsenal of “Kill Bill” , and the violent combat skills of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”… minus, of course, any annoying moral conscience and regard for the sanctity of human life. More fun… the film allows Barbara to be an amoral “Ferris Bueller” constantly chatting with the audience about the things in her life that make her tick. Mind you… those are some pretty sick things… but hey… sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to make all her dreams come true. So… so wrong…. but you end up actually liking this character and it isn’t long before you start hoping she’ll find true love and happiness…. even if it ends up killing everybody else in the film.
And really…. Barbara’s goals are quite simple…. she just wants the life of Barbie doll clone Cindy Superstar. (I guess Mattel wasn’t really keen on associating with this particular young woman’s world view… go figure.. Hehehehe!!) She wants the colorful dream house, the 2.5 kids, the dog and a wonderful, successful, plastic surgeon husband like Glenn who’ll treat her like the Princess she knows herself to be. So what’s so wrong with that? If only everybody would just stop getting in her way…..
It’s just that our perky lil’ killer can’t seem to resist killing all those people that make her life difficult. It doesn’t help that she also finds the bloody slaughter immensely fun and just soooo, soooo sexy and arousing. She just needs to find the right guy who understands all that… a “kindred spirit” to make all her dreams come true. Barbara’s grisly trail of bloody mayhem fortuitously ends up bringing her and Tomas, a fellow student assigned to the campus morgue to help in the investigation of the “Campus Killer”, together and for each of them it’s both love (and lust…) at first sight.
Tomas and his best bud Alex are working with the police to help track down the killer, thanks to the official coroner having been killed accidentally by Barbara during one of her earlier murders. They’re both smart and have also been experimenting with a machine designed to translate thoughts and brainwaves into images. Just the sort of thing to help therapists see and understand the thoughts of the mentally ill…. Not only that… but it can also be used to see the thoughts of the recently dead, reading the fading electrical activity of their brains. It doesn’t take long before they figure out it could be used to give them a view of the mysterious killer… if only they could get a fresh enough body. And even though this invention could possibly end the Campus Killer’s murderous spree, it might just put an end to Tomas’ chances with Barbara. If only he knew…..
But… despite the fact that Barbara freely admits to being the killer numerous times… and despite a very funny dinner sequence in which she murders a woman for a sexy red dress she wants while on a date with him, poor Tomas never figures it out. Worse, Barbara mistakenly believes he’s a soulless killer too… responsible for the death of the coroner he replaced to move up the ranks and steal his job as well as the guy who lends him his tuxedo to help him score with her. Eventually…. Tomas’ friend Alex gets in her way… and so it’s “Bye-Bye Alex”, gutted and hung up to bleed out in the morgue like a side of beef. Then the film hangs a left…..
What’s more fun that a movie about a cute, sexy serial killer? How about a movie where that serial killer’s victims return from the dead as flesh eating zombies to seek vengeance against her for their murders? Oh yeah…. seems that Alex and Tomas’ brain machine has a side effect you see… it doesn’t just let you see the thoughts of the recently deceased, it also reanimates them…. Yep. They start out being pretty normal… if a wee bit grisly looking… but soon decay sets in and they quickly degenerate into the fun loving, instinct driven, flesh-eaters we all know and love. Unfortunately… by the time Tomas figures this out he’s already reanimated the 30 odd victims Barbara has already put in the morgue… whoops!!
Now the film turns into a kinetic zombie fest… Tomas rushes to the campus memorial party to save Barbara and the others from the vengeance of the living dead, only to finally figure out it’s Barbara they are after… that she really is the killer after all… She figures out that Tomas isn’t the stone cold killer she thought he was… But it’s too late, they can’t deny the love that binds them together and so they go all “Resident Evil” on their opponents zombie butts, blowing up the party and killing all the undead fiends and students alike in an over the top ending.
Does this mean that our Hero and Heroine will live all happily ever after and walk off into the moonlight? Will they get the fantasy Barbara has always wanted for her very own? Well… it’s best to remember the old parable of the Scorpion and the Frog….. (as Barbara reminds us at the end of this one…)… and know that a scorpion will always be a scorpion just because that’s what it truly is.
Neko really… really… liked this one… (and you know “slasher” films really aren’t usually my “thing”…) It’s smart, and funny, yet viciously gruesome all at the same time with great zest and style that gives it a hallucinogenic bliss all it’s own. The director Miguel Martí’ and writer Paco Cabezas obviously love the horror genre and the film is peppered with great moments inspired by all those films we’ve all seen, from Wes Craven’s “Scream”, to George R. Romero’s zombie epics, “Friday the 13th”, and “The Silence of the Lambs”, even managing to throw in lots of neat lil’ references to films from other genres including “Titanic” and “Taxi Driver” sure to give movie buffs years of fun catching them all. The cinematography, effects, and editing are sharp and the acting good… particularly Macarena Gomez, who absolutely nails the crucial role of Barbara, a character that could have come across as far less appealing and fun in the hands of less talented actress.
All in all… I can most definitely recommend this one to people looking for something… well… just a wee bit different… from your average horror move. Your Favorite Catgirl Princess gives it 4 “Meows” out of 5 with more than a few contented purrs for the lil’ touches that make me know I’ll be watching it again and again in the years to come. If you like your scares mixed with more than a few laughs or if you ever wondered what “Legally Blonde” meets “Halloween” just might be like… then you’ll probably want to see it too.
The Region 2 PAL formatted DVD is certainly a spartan one… with only the movie itself and a couple of Trailers…. presented 16:9 widescreen in Spanish with excellent English subtitles. It’s sufficient I suppose, but I would have really liked a “Making of Featurette” to watch as well… The nicest thing is probably the price… only 7$ or so US, so you can’t go wrong if you hunt it down.
As always… there’s a Trailer and here it is to whet your appetites!