Director: Billy O’ Brien
Script: Billy O’ Brien and Chris Hyde
Cast: Max Records, Laura Fraser, Christina Baldwin, Dee Woah, Lucille Lawton, Christopher Lloyd, Karl Geary
Running time: 103 minutes
John (Max Records) works part-time in a morgue with other members of his family. He’s a bit of an odd shoe and seems obsessed by all things grisly and murderous. So much so, in fact, that he’s getting a bit of a reputation as a weirdo. Most of the other students at college avoid or bully him, and he’s even worried about himself since the three predictors of becoming a potential serial killer are animal cruelty, bed-wetting and pyromania and he’s displayed all three of these traits at one time or another! It also isn’t encouraging when his shrink diagnoses him with sociopathic traits!
Suddenly, several mysterious disappearances and deaths occur within the confines of the small town where John and his family live and he starts to question whether he has had something to do with the savage killings, especially when he suffers with nightmares and blackouts. But then he witnesses a near neighbour, Mr Crowley (Lloyd), committing a horrifically strange act and decides to investigate further. However, this new knowledge brings with it an increased risk of becoming the next target for this ferocious and unusual killer.
If ever a film should be judged on its overall ambience, as much as for its story and acting, I’m not a serial killer, is it. Underscored by some very atmospheric and, at times, haunting music by Adrian Johnston, and shot with a cool, retro, eighties vibe attached to it, the film is worth watching for the visuals, and soundscape that accompanies them, alone.
However, the acting is very good too, in particular, the lead actor, Max Records, playing our friendly neighbourhood anti-hero. Records captures teen angst very nicely, and it’s a real pleasure to watch his more intimate scenes with his close family, his long-suffering therapist, and then, later, with his friend – and latterly his nemesis – Mr Crowley (Bill, not Alistair!).
Originally based on a book of the same name, by author Dan Wells, I am not a serial killer is multi-faceted and, I’m sure, more pretentious viewers than I can have a field day unpeeling its various psychological layers. Me, I just enjoyed it as an entertainment piece.
The film wraps up satisfactorily with a great, final, grisly encounter in the mortuary, which is nicely realised via the use of clever puppetry and CGI, culminating with a cleverly placed song over the final credits, namely ‘Spirit in the Sky’.
Bulldog Film Distribution is distributing I am not a serial killer on DVD and Blu-ray. There are a bunch of extras on the disc which include:
Mood Cut (3.5 mins) – a promo reel featuring the main actor, with some interesting shots used, that didn’t make the final cut;
Phone-box expansion (1 min) – two different takes of the phone-box scene;
Puppet shoot (2.5 mins) – a behind the scenes mini-doc on how the puppet scenes worked. It’s interesting to note that the lead actor was also one of the puppeteers;
Deleted scenes (5.5 mins) – five deleted scenes, which give a little more substance to the main character, John, and to his fixation with serial killers;
Lake story-boarding (3 mins) – breaks down the savage lake murder that John witnesses;
Toby Froud’s early monster designs (1 min) – we see some of the artist’s early creature designs and find out that the puppet shoot was done in England.