68 KILL Blu-ray Review: Neo-Grindhouse Still Polarizes, Thrills
Back in August, I interviewed director Trent Haaga and actor (sometimes director) Matthew Gray Gubler at Fantasia for their new movie, 68 Kill. You can read that interview here and Josh Hurtado's review here.
If you read both articles, you'll see how polarizing this film has been to the film community, and I understand and appreciate each position. Based on Bryan Smith's novel of the same name (a sequel --- "68 Kill Part 2" --- is already for sale on Amazon).
If you haven't heard of this film, here's a recap: Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) plays a guy easily manipulated into a ton of horrific crimes usually pulled off by his crazy girlfriend Liza (a terrific AnnaLynne McCord), all for the sake of scoring a measly $69,000. It's not a fortune, but for the poor couple trapped in Hicksville, it'll do just fine. Who doesn't want to escape from a life of poverty and debasing jobs?
Of course, nothing goes right, and this is where the film really begins. After killing a rich couple (particularly a disgusting jerk named Ken), Liza and Chip find themselves kidnapping Violet (Alicia Boe). She takes over in dominating Chip, but her methods are much kinder and sweeter than the ball- and face-busting Liza. From there, Chip runs into a number of other unfortunate situations and women, including Monica (Shelia Vand, who shines here), who seems to be what would have happened if Lydia Deetz had grown up to become a small-town crime boss.
Is 68 Kill a crude film? Yes. Is it full of crazy pulp action, hilarious circumstances, and awesome acting from the female leads (in particular)? Also yes. Is 68 Kill a perfect film --- or a film for everyone? Definitely not. But if you need to watch something with black humor and fever-pitch plot twists to take your mind off the world, you might really enjoy it.
Out today, Shout! Factory's blu-ray release is unfortunately bare bones, with just a trailer as a special feature, but I suppose you can't win them all. It would have been great to have some behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film. 68 Kill on this release sounds great, and mostly, looks great. The blacks could have been richer and more defined, but this is a minor quibble.
Interested in bringing home this insane neo-grindhouse flick? Check out a clip from the film below and Shout! Factory's page on the film here.
- Trent Haaga
- Trent Haaga (screenplay)
- Trent Haaga
- Bryan Smith (novel)
- Matthew Gray Gubler
- AnnaLynne McCord
- Alisha Boe
- Sheila Vand