Best Actress: Ariel Gade in Some Guy Who Kills People
DVD Release Date: July 3
Some Guy Who Kills People is a horror-comedy about Ken Boyd (played by Kevin Corrigan from Grounded for Life), who is released from a mental institution, moves back in with his mom in the small town where he grew up, and spends his days working a mindless job at an ice-cream parlor. Ken is, in short, in a place in which most of us have been at one time or another (minus the institution part): restless, directionless, and searching for meaning in life. Ken seems pleasant enough, but when he’s working at a birthday party — humiliated and dressed like an ice-cream cone — he sees one of the bullies who, years ago, tormented him and sent him to the nut house. Minutes later, the bully is found, dead, with a hatchet in his face. Seems like Ken may have been released too early.
I don’t want to make this sound too dark, though — as you might have guessed from the ice-cream cone costume, this film has a very light tone and plays most of the killings for laughs, not shock or horror. All of the actors are fantastic: Corrigan as Ken, veteran actress Karen Black as Ken’s mom, Shaun of the Dead’s Lucy Davis as Ken’s love interest, and Spin City mayor Barry Bostwick as the town sheriff. They deliver strong, hilarious performances that take full advantage of the clever script; there are so many memorable scenes and quotable lines, and it’s nice to see such great material in the hands of such a talented cast and crew.
But the real standout, and complete surprise of the film, is 11-year old Amy Wheeler (played by Ariel Gade), who discovers that she is Ken’s daughter — a convenient revelation, since she is sick of her ultra-religious and buttoned-up stepfather who has sucked the fun out of her mom and made life very dull. Upon learning that Ken is her real dad, she immediately plops herself into his life as though she’d always been there: coming over for meals, visiting him at work, etc. Amy is confident, smart, and charming, and Gade is excellent at capturing those qualities: in a movie filled with terrific performances, she steals every scene she is in and holds her own against her older co-stars. Like any good actor, she shows a deep and natural emotional range when needed, and as the movie progress and the plot develops, she seemingly guides her character through the story.
Some Guy Who Kills People has all the makings of a cult film: a great story with a dark and quirky sense of humor, a hilarious script, and amazing performances. I hope that people discover it and are as pleasantly surprised as I was at Gade’s talent. She deserves more roles like this — in fact, from the range displayed in this film, she deserves more roles, period.