• You Can't Kill Stephen King



    Released by: Big Screen Entertainment Group
    Released on: December 9th, 2014
    Director(s): Monroe Mann, Ronnie Khalil, & Jorge Valdès-Iga
    Cast: Monroe Mann, Ronnie Khalil, Crystal Arnette, Kayle Blogna, Kate Costello, Justin Brown
    Year: 2012
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    The Movie:

    You Can’t Kill Stephen King is a campy flick that is full of bikinis, fun, and Stephen King references galore. While it falls victim to some of the familiar schticks that a low-budget horror movie presents, the film manages to remain a uniquely good time.

    The movie starts with the typical set-up: five friends on a road trip to a relative’s house for some summer fun. The backdrop, if you haven’t guessed it from the title, is in Maine, a small town that from the beginning doesn’t seem to take too kindly to strangers. The movie pokes fun at itself a bit by labeling each of the five twenty-somethings appropriately (notable here is the token black guy). Right away, we learn that the “hopeless virgin” Ronnie (Ronnie Khalil) is a huge Stephen King buff, and part of the mission here is to see where the author lives.

    Leading the group is an Iraq war veteran, Monroe (Monroe Mann). Recently returned from overseas, Monroe experiences auditory flashbacks that add a unique quality to the stereotype of the hero. His estranged girlfriend, Lori (Kate Costello), is along for the trip, and the two are attempting to rekindle their romance. The bimbo, Nicole (Kayle Blogna), is well played and adds humor (and cleavage) to many of the early scenes. In fact, the acting is surprisingly good while still fitting the genre and caliber of the movie itself.

    The friends stop for food at a local, hole in the wall diner and immediately get a sense that something is off. The townsfolk speak in whispers, and a broken glass causes an abrupt dismissal of an apologetic mother and child. Inquiries about Stephen King are rebuffed, and the weirdness continues when the group treks on to rent a boat. Little do they know there is a grave danger lurking in the small town, and their summer fun is sure to turn sour.

    The film makes references to Stephen King throughout, not only through the character who is consistently reading and reporting on specific novels but also through more subtle means. For example, there is Sherriff Pangborn and Deputy Dodd, both recurring King characters. Monroe and his sister’s last name is Bachman, who was King’s pseudonym. A set of twins playing with a red ball appears at a couple of points. Any Stephen King aficionado, or Constant Reader, is sure to appreciate the nods to the author; however, it isn’t crucial to know anything more than the basics to appreciate the movie at face value as low-budget horror fun.

    Video/Audio/Extras

    You Can’t Kill Stephen King is presented in 1.75:1 widescreen. Just as the acting is surprisingly decent, the picture is as well. The image is clear and crisp with bright colors and great definition between indoor and outdoor scenes. A great example of this picture quality is during a waterskiing scene on the boat where individual water droplets can be seen.

    The audio is Dolby Digital 2 Channel. Dialogue is very easy to access and there are no perceptible flaws in the track. There are no offers of other languages or subtitles.

    As far as extras go, the only one offered on the disc is the trailer. It’s a tad long but it does give a good overview of the movie.

    Bottom Line

    While You Can’t Kill Stephen King is very aware of being a typical low-budget horror movie, it presents this knowledge with a certain charm and particularity that still manages to cut through. The Stephen King references are not overwrought but used well. All in all, without expecting too much, this movie is a ton of fun and I recommend it.