Killers Anonymous (2019) is a film directed by Martin Owen which is built on the premise of a special support group of addicts whose number one vice is killing. After an assassination attempt on a U.S. senator goes sour, these killers all need to make difficult choices in order to survive the fallout. Killers Anonymous stars Hollywood heavyweights like Gary Oldman, Tommy Flannigan, and Jessica Alba.
I don’t usually side with the critics when it comes to horror, action, or suspense films because they all inexplicably expect academy gold to fall into their laps every time they sit in front of a movie screen. This, of course, is not realistic, but I was very surprised to watch one of my favorite actors (who has a treasure trove of awards and accolades from the acting elite) basically phone it in for his 20 minutes of screen time. It’s not something we should get hung up on, because this film has a lot of problems that don’t involve the actors.
This film had a really interesting idea that would have made an amazing 10 or 15-minute short film. It felt like someone with money and a little influence had pulled some strings to get that idea expanded into a full-length picture, and the writing collapsed under its own weight. So this project might have been doomed from the get-go. Another reason why this feels forced is that this speculative person who can call in some favors made sure that big names like Oldman and Alba were a part of this suicide mission. As a result, they acted as if they weren’t having any fun, and that is the hallmark of someone being coerced into doing a job.
The rest of the film was less than ok. They had a great art direction, unique composition, and decent cinematography, but the music didn’t fit with the vibe of the movie (think Ocean’s Eleven type comedy heist music being played during Schindler’s List). The sound engineering made it almost impossible to hear anyone talk until the music popped on and blasted my eardrums. The film editing is one hot mess as well, but all of this can be forgiven. Like I said, not every movie is going to be Oscar bait. Some things, however, can never be forgiven…
…which is one of my all-time movie pet peeves: “The Falling Seagal”.
*** 23-year old SPOILERS AHEAD***
The falling Seagal is pretty much the opposite of the Ron Perlman Moment. Back in 1996, there was this movie called Executive Decision. The movie poster and all the trailers showed Kurt Russell and Steven Seagal as they geared up to open a pre-9/11 can of whoop-ass on a plane full of terrorists.
This was the height of Seagal’s career, (Under Siege had come out a few years before in 1992, I was only 12 and my reality was forever altered when Erika Eleniak jumped out of that cake), so I was pumped when I thought I was going to see Steven Seagal kill some bad guys with their own jawbones. He was second-billed at the top of his game! At the beginning of the movie, they flew in a stealth jet to the belly of a 747, hooked in, and then some minor turbulence threw Seagal out of the plane without a parachute! He had died like an idiot in the first minutes of the film (and quite comically I might add). This cinematic maneuver is what I call the Falling Seagal: When a movie ‘top bills’ a famous person and then kills them off right away or gives them little to no screen time. In Killers Anonymous, I hope you didn’t come to watch Jessica Alba, because she is the Falling Seagal.
If you like Gary Oldman or Jessica Alba, be prepared to see a lot of everything else. Tommy Flannigan, on the other hand, along with Micheal Socha and Elizabeth Morris, are who you really want to watch here. I’ll keep an eye out for their names the next time look for a picture. However the lesson here is that the pedigree of the stars involved doesn’t carry a film, it is the themes and writing that matter the most when telling a story. So, just like the stealth jet, Killers Anonymous will never recover from its plummet, no matter the amount of star power in its cockpit.
At least, the trailer looks cool.
You can download or stream Killers Anonymous on iTunes, Sky Store, Amazon Video, Google Play, Xbox Video Store, The Playstation Store, Rakuten TV, BT TV, Vubiquity & Talk Talk.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.