Crimson Quill’s Appraisal #499
Number of Views: One
Release Date: October 10, 2008
Country of Origin: Spain
Running Time: 100 minutes
Director: Miguel Martí
Producers: Jaume Roures, Tadeo Villalba hijo
Screenplay: Paco Cabezas
Special Effects: Juan Ramón Molina, Pedro Raúl de Diego, Arancha González, Iñaki Maestre
Visual Effects: Helmuth Barnert, Ferran Piquer
Cinematography: Carles Gusi
Score: Fernando Velázquez
Editing: David Pinillos
Studios: Antena 3 Films, Ensueño Films, Mediapro, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Distributor: Ensueño Films
Stars: Macarena Gómez, Cesar Camino, Alejo Sauras, Ángel de Andrés López, Juan Carlos Vellido, Nadia Casado, Juan Díaz, David Tenreiro, Fernando Ramallo, Ramón Langa, Jimmy Barnatán, Eloi Yebra, Paco León, Luciano Federico, Andreu Castro, Carolina Bona
Suggested Audio Candy
Aqua “Barbie Girl”
Sometimes a movie’s title alone can make a hard sale easy. When browsing through the racks of my local DVD stockist a few years back, I came across Miguel Martí’s Sexy Killer and the stars instantly felt aligned for a purchase. I knew precious little about it, had never heard of the director, and know better than to trust enthusiastic quotes from review sites that, for all I know, don’t even exist. Ordinarily I would have thought twice about shelling out my hard-earned cash on such an unknown quantity but there’s a devil inside of me who loves nothing more than throwing caution to the wind. I pondered for a moment and that was all it took to be well and truly won over. The title alone combines two words that wire my nodes for pleasure. “Sexy” and “Killer” mesh decidedly well together almost had me at hello all on their own.
However, the supporting image of the delicious Macarena Gómez wielding twin pistols was the deciding factor and I was swiftly rendered powerless in my resistance. The presence of Gómez was a distinct plus as I greatly enjoyed her turn as amorous amphibian Uxía in Stuart Gordon’s Dagon and my decision felt more than justified on that basis alone. Despite my optical seduction, Sexy Killer spent a lengthy period gathering dust on my shelf and became lost amongst the crowd. A DVD’s spine alone can struggle to stand out but, during a routine reshuffle, the enticing cover image once again made itself known. Gómez, double firepower, “sexy” and “killer”. Game on.
Within the opening five minutes things had started looking decidedly dubious. I was fully prepared for a lighthearted romp but Sexy Killer wastes absolutely no time in playing the dreaded spoof card and, suddenly, warning sirens were beginning to sound loud and clear. I have no problem with a little light genre ribbing as long as it is handled with a degree of subtlety. There is nothing even faintly understated about the hokey entrée and, after watching the Scary Movie franchise get old fast with its rapidly diminishing sequels, another blatant Scream parody is about as appealing as having your testicles sandwiched between two house bricks. Having said that, a little shameless nudity never hurt anyone and the age-old girl’s locker room setting provided plenty of that. Regardless, it was skating on decidedly thin ice.
After making short work of our wannabe Ghost Face, we spend a little time with man-eating fashionista Bárbara (Gómez) as she makes her intentions crystal clear. While the opening act is never short of incident, the timelines are all over the place, making it nigh-on impossible to keep up with current events. Having said that, Bárbara is a fascinating creature, and Gómez ensures that we dare not look away for a second. Beautiful and sassy, she possesses a brace of big, bright, butter wouldn’t melt peepers that could easily convince any weak-willed alpha to kill in her honor. Not that she needs a man to do her vile bidding. You see, Bárbara is the epitome of femme fatale and, when she’s not compulsively digesting Cosmo, she’s busy moonlighting as the resident campus serial killer.
Students and faculty alike are falling foul of her come-to-bed eyes and police are at a loss as to who is committing these atrocities. After a shaky opening, Sexy Killer settles into its stride and there is something mildly appealing about the Technicolor world that she uses as her slayground. She still has a tendency to address the audience directly and Martí’s tongue never strays far from his cheek but the introduction of pathologist Álex (Alejo Sauras) aids massively in keeping her impulsive female murder boner in check.
Bárbara has the hots for Álex and the feeling is very much mutual, although he has absolutely no idea of her callous extracurricular activities. Their outrageous flirting culminates in a devilishly comical first date that brings new meaning to the term “crossed wires” and the middle act is far more grounded affair as a result of their shared dynamic.
Just as we are settling in for the duration, Martí shifts gear once again, courtesy of a brain wave analyzer that can replay back the last stored images before a victim bites the dust. It appears as though her anonymity will finally be compromised but the downside of this technology is that it also reanimates the dead. Cue bloodthirsty zombies aplenty and a final third that mirthfully mimics Peter Jackson’s DeadAlive, albeit to lesser effect. It’s a typically crowd pleasing climax that openly panders to its audience and, given the often harebrained approach that Martí has adopted throughout, an undead free-for-all should come as no great surprise by this point.
Against all odds, it actually works although this is more down to the chemistry shared by Gómez and Sauras as kindred spirits than Paco Cabezas’ schizophrenic screenplay. Bárbara clearly isn’t the most sympathetic character but somehow we find ourselves rooting for her as, beneath her brash exterior and sociopathic leanings, she ultimately just wants to be loved. Meanwhile, Sauras supplies a fitting counter-balance to her childlike exuberance and acquits himself rather marvelously to the cause.
Sexy Killer is a big, brash, turbo-fueled mess of a movie and Martí seems unable to decide which direction he should be taking. One can’t help but feel that he is trying to please every possible demographic but, in doing so, he runs the risk of alienating a fair share of his target audience in one fell swoop. When he plumps for satire over outright parody, he hits the target far more effectively but his insistence to flit between genres makes it hard to form any kind of sustainable attachment to the material.
At 100 minutes it could have done with being ten minutes lighter and it’s unlikely to become your new favorite movie but, in its defence, it does precisely what it states on the tin. Gómez is supremely sexy and makes no bones about killing so, all things considered, I can’t feel particularly aggrieved. Bottom line is this: if Sexy Killer 2 ever surfaced, and I highly doubt that is likely, then I’m sure she’d find a way of wrapping me round her finger a second time. I always was a sucker for a pretty face.
Crimson Quill’s Judgement: 6/10
Grue Factor: 3/5
For the Grue-Guzzlers & Pelt-Nuzzlers: Martí doesn’t skimp on his kill count and the bodies hit the floor faster than crockery at a Greek wedding but, somewhat surprisingly, it never reaches full throttle. There is still plentiful splatter on the platter and, a little questionable CGI aside, it’s fairly well presented but a few more quarts of deep red coulis could have made the world of difference. On the skin front, despite an early flourish, there is precious little in the way of titillation although Gómez ensures that our pulses race every time she smiles for the camera.
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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