Phasers and Fros

Funky Q’ Review: Knock ’em Dead (2014)

knockem three ladiesAnother review from my ever expanding Netflix queue is the 2014 slasher comedy – Knock ’em Dead.  This low budget film, with its poor lighting and bad editing, had some saving charms.  Three of those charms were actresses Rae Dawn Chong, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Debra Wilson who you probably remember from early Mad TV days.

The film is about a producer, Harley (Phil Morris), that wants to bring three struggling actresses back together to do a sequel to a famous horror slasher film, Freak Show, they made 10 years prior.  That sounds like a good idea except the actresses hated each other’s guts, and apparently still do.  But they finally agree to come to the island home of where the producer lives. Everything seems okay, even amidst the arguing and insulting, until someone shows up dead.  That’s when the party really gets going and all the guests realize that they are being killed just like in the film.

 

Like I said, the film looks pretty low budget, but the comedy and writing were bearable, and the shots that Chong, Johnson and Wilson’s characters were taking at each other were pretty funny.  Also Jackée, who played Mrs. Harley, added a lot to the scenes.  And I was surprised to see my favorite Jaffa warrior from Stargate SG-1 in this film.  Christopher Judge plays an aging and slightly delusional director who’s fashion tastes look like they came from the other side of the galaxy.

This wasn’t a great film by any means, but I found myself laughing repeatedly at the witty stingers and silly situations the characters found themselves in.  Also it was late and I was tired.  But seeing those particular black actors and actresses was refreshing.

Full disclosure, I only found out about this film from listening to Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriter’s Rant Room podcast (iTunes) when they interviewed the writer Barry Sandler on their show.  It was interesting to note that Sandler and his director decided to change all the characters of their script to a black cast.  So kudos for that move.   Again, you readers can check out Knock ’em Dead on Netflix at the time of this posting.

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