Kill Keith: Volume 1. Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin is a household name and has been at the top of his game for nearly 40 years. He’s an all round entertainer and has lived with us via our TV screens on Swap Shop as kids through to GMTV as parents. He is undoubtedly a national treasure, and for nearly four decades has been much loved by viewers young and old. The year is 2010 and hidden away in a damp dark and blood stain cellar is a stranger, a man, a figure in the dark, someone we’d rather not know. He sits through the small hours torturing himself watching Swap Shop on fast forward over and over again.
Some ideas aren’t good. They can be too silly, shallow, odd or just don’t make any sense. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t entertaining and after all, isn’t that what we’re here for? Not every movie can be a grand and sprawling epic with rich characters that touch our hearts, or poignant and meaningful tales that make us reflect on our place in this world. Really they shouldn’t be. Every once in awhile, what we need is something that asks so little of us that all we can do in return is laugh now and again.
Danny has a new job working for a television studio and has aspirations of earning his way to the top and it doesn’t hurt that he gets to work with Dawn, one of the star anchors he’s in love with. Dawn’s co-anchor, the arrogant Cliff is leaving the show and the job could fall to several other members of the cast, but when they start getting killed one by one, everyone soon discovers that there’s a serial killer on the loose.
While I don’t want to say that “Kill Keith” is a bad movie I’m not willing to call it good either. There’s an obvious attempt at being a satirical farce that is trying to poke fun at both other movies specifically or at the genre in general but has less commitment to that cause than the “Scary Movie” series. For starters, the title is a takeoff of “Kill Bill” and while the serial killer does have a ‘Death List Five’ of sorts that’s where any similarity ends. The yellow jumper that’s on the cover doesn’t even make an appearance.
Beyond that there’s an apparent influence by horror and other popular movies; the dingy basement of the killer is littered with tools of the deranged and filmed as many a terrifying place have been depicted, even the characters are drawn with broad strokes of personality traits in order to elicit a direct emotional response so you question who the killer is. The question, however, isn’t that hard. Danny often has aside segments where we are treated to how he’s imagining himself in a certain situation, turning a dash for a missing script page into a war zone battle for instance, quickly become non sequiturs and lose all purpose and humor. The plot is little more than the vehicle to transport between the next gag, joke or imaginary segment and does next to nothing to tie anything together. Even as the movie uselessly limps towards the ending, that conveniently takes place on Halloween,
All of that being said there is still some glimmer of worth in “Kill Keith,” so long as you aren’t looking for more than a glimmer. Not all of the jokes are bad, in fact there’s a pretty good sense of humor throughout, especially if you already enjoy British humor. Even some of Danny’s imaginary episodes are funny even if they are meaningless and contrived. Amidst all the serial killing is an awkward and sappy love story so the plot isn’t exactly one dimensional, but the characters and situations they find themselves in are often so hammy that they force you to not take them seriously and can actually make you laugh. The laughs may make you feel a little chagrined and kind of dirty but they are laughs nonetheless. Plus the ending is a heartwarming twist that’s cute enough to not make you go on a rage fueled rampage. Unless of course, cute is your button for that sort of thing.
So yes, “Kill Keith” isn’t a good movie and it isn’t a movie that’s so bad it’s good but it certainly doesn’t qualify as horrible. You may not want to seek this one out but if you happen to see it you might not want to be sober when you watch it and you probably shouldn’t look directly at it while it’s playing; yet you still may just catch a glimpse here and there that might entertain you.
Kill Keith (2011)