Killing Me

I remember that back in the 1990’s, there was a period when serial killers were hugely popular. It seemed as though every film you went to had at least one serial killer in it. It didn’t seem to matter to Hollywood scriptwriters that 99.99% of the human race are not serial killers. In hindsight, I don’t know how to explain this phenomenon. It was one of those inexplicable fads, like the fascination with truck drivers and CB radio that existed in the 1970’s.

If you’re nostalgic for the nineties, you might want to check out Killing Me, the latest film from the Oregon film maker, Henry Weintraub. Otherwise, I can’t see any reason to recommend it.

Aaron Schwartz wants to become famous. Since he is a thoroughly unexceptional person, the only way he can see how to do this is by becoming a serial killer. Yet he can’t bring himself to kill anyone. He is so ineffectual at this that he actually ends up marrying one of his intended victims, Erin. He gets a job at the post office, but this fails to inspire him. Then he hears that there have been a series of unexplained murders in his town. He reasons that if he can find this serial killer, he can perhaps persuade him to teach him the secret of how to kill. In a completely improbable manner, Aaron manages to find this man, and he discovers that the guy is his own boss. Aaron approaches his boss and tells him he knows that he is the killer, and that he want him to teach him to be a killer as well. At first, his boss plans to kill him, but then, for reasons that are never explained, changes his mind. He agrees to take Aaron under his wing. One night, while Erin is out of town, the two of them go on a killing spree, with Aaron’s boss brutally murdering several people. He tries to get Aaron to do the killings, but the latter cannot bring himself to do any of them. Aaron finally stabs his boss, without killing him, and he runs away. When he gets home, the police show up to arrest him. They accuse him of the murders that were actually committed by his boss. This makes Aaron happy, for he is now famous. At the end, we see Aaron in prison, smiling as he is led off to be executed.

Killing Me is a sick joke that is stretched out to 73 minutes. The supposed irony of the ending is undermined by the fact that Aaron isn’t innocent, since he was technically the murderer’s accomplice.

Weintraub has a problem with continuity. In one scene, Aaron’s boss hits Aaron over the head with a club. When Aaron comes to, he has a bloody wound on his forehead. In the next scene, which takes place a few minutes later, the wound is completely gone. Not even a bruise is left. Also, in the early scenes, Aaron’s house is tidily decorated. Yet in the scene when the cops come to arrest him, the place looks like an abandoned building. This inattention to detail is perhaps in keeping with the film’s shallow cynicism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: