All Liza wanted was the chance to start a new life and to get out of the dump she was living, and Chip just wanted to see his girlfriend happy. There is a reason why everybody says that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The plan was simple: Get into the house and take the 68 grand from Ken, Liza’s wealthy Sugar Daddy. The job was supposed to be quick, the good old «in and out» thing, and nobody was supposed to get hurt, but as we all know, The Devil is in the details, and Chip suddenly finds himself with not only two corpses on his conscience but also a hostage in the trunk.
Liza, who clearly has no problems with spilling blood, specially if is not hers, suggest that Chip should dispose of Violet, their hostage and the only witness of their crime, but Chip, who actually does not have a single criminal bone in his body, decides to save Violet and escape with her, accidentally taking the money in the process. This ignites the rage of she who Chip considered the woman of his dreams, and from there on, Chip will be running for his life, being threatened not only by Liza, but also by other more bizarre and violent characters that he will meet along the way…
«68 Kill» is without any doubt, the most WTF action film that I have seen so far this year. If «Baby Driver» is the most classy heist film in recent years, «68 Kill» would be the cruder, older, and more violent brother, taking a style more of the Grindhouse type with a heavy dose of white trash, gratuitous sex scenes and tons of dark humor that will make some people uneasy… The worst part? I loved every single F-ING minute… I was engaged and glued to the screen until the ending credits rolled. I can easily see this film as a companion for Edgar Wright’s movie, and those who know me, know that I am a big fan of Wrigth.
There is no way to dislike Chip, Matthew Gray Gubler does a great job in this role. He is just a plain too-nice-for-his-own-good dorky person that somehow managed to hook up with a gorgeous woman (half psychotic, half maniac, you do the math) and that out of love (Or Sex, the kind that is seasoned with asphyxiations and punches) gets convinced by Liza (AnnaLynne McCord, also doing a great job) to help her get what is supposed to be their ticket for a better life, but as soon as Chip discovers that Liza’s madness gets a 12 rating in a scale from 1 to 10, and that she has no problem with creating corpses left and right, Chip decides to rely on the old saying «If you love somebody let it go… if it comes back to you, RUN!!.
The chemistry between this two actors was very good, and they effortlessly sell you their characters and the toxic relationship they live in… But….
The chemistry gets even better when we meet Violet, the witness to Chip’s crime, and also his possible salvation. Alisha Boe is delightful to see on the screen and more than once she floored me with her charisma, plain and simple. Right from the get go you start cheering for her and Chip and hope that they can survive all the way to the end. The music in this film also plays a very important role, and there is a scene playing the song «Pop Music» by M, where you can’t help but smile, even when you know that there is a psychotic ex-girlfriend about to catch up with this two.
And speaking of psychotic people… Did I mention that there would be several characters both bizarre and violent? Contrary to what it might seem by this humble review, this is NOT a romantic comedy, so hang on, because there will be another beating!
The pacing of the film was very good, it starts a little bit slow, just so we can meet Chip and Liza, and that we can understand the nature of their relationship, once the heist has taken place, the movie speeds up a lot. There is sort of a break in the pacing around the middle of the film, but is a great scene, and does not last long, so the film gets back on track to deliver a third act that is both very intense and satisfactory. I won’t go into spoiler territory, but I will say that while some people might argue that the resolution on the third act is a Deux Ex Machina, I had no problem with it, and to me it made sense… Not to mention that without it, we would not have the conclusion we get.. And I won’t say more.
The film was directed and written by Trent Haaga (known for writing the scripts for Toxic Avenger 4, Deadgirl and Cheap Thrills) based on the novel by Bryan Smith. The cast consist of Matthew Gray Gubler (Suburban Gothic, Trash Fire, Excision), AnnaLynne McCord ( Excision, Trash Fire) Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis in «13 Reasons why», Paranormal Activity 4), David Maldonado (Trumbo, Deep Water Horizon) Sheila Vand (A Girl Walks Alone At Night, Women Who Kill), and Sam Eidson.
I think is worth mentioning that while the performances of the main cast was great, both Vand and Eidson also had moments that made my skin crawl with their characters.
In conclusion: «68 kill» is a violent film, with lots of action, and a lot of dark humor that will unease some people, still the movie manages to get you hooked with the characters, the fast pacing, and a story that is very engaging from beginning to end. I highly recommend it for the fans of heist films and the Grindhouse genre.
«68 Kill» was recently screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival and it will be available on VOD and select theaters on August 4th via IFC Midnight.
Fantasia Film Festival is on its 21th edition, and has always been know for showing some of the best films in the Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi genres, currently running thru August 2nd. You can visit their official website to see more of the great material they are showing this year, and follow them in social media.