Now available on DVD
Allen Andrews as Big Stevie
Christine Haeberman as Aggie
Directed by Drew Barnhardt
Rarely has my opinion of a movie fluctuated so severely as it did while watching Murder Loves Killers Too. Every time I was ready to write it off, it threw me a curveball and snatched my attention all over again. Ultimately it won me over thanks to a crisp running time, a few unexpected plot developments and an absolutely great ending. Writer/director Drew Barnhardt deserves credit for crafting an ambitious little horror flick with what appears to have been very little money.
I was ready to shut the movie off ten minutes in. We are introduced to your standard quintet of young people anticipating a weekend of partying and sex. They are abrasively obnoxious and stupid. One girl literally screeches in the backseat while another encourages her boyfriend to drive his muscle car faster. It is tough to stomach.
Once the gang arrives at a remote mountain house, they settle in and get the party started. This is where the action takes an unexpected turn. The killer, who goes by Big Stevie, is already there. He’s ready to get down to business and doesn’t waste any time going to work. His introduction provides a good jolt. Once he gets started there’s no stopping him.
The midsection is highlighted by a few outstanding sequences featuring genuine suspense. Big Stevie is quite familiar with the house and uses that to his advantage. As he lurks around the house and stalks his prey, there are tense moments. You never know when Big Stevie will pop out, but you know he eventually will. Barnhardt does a great job exploiting that. Also, the kills are appropriately graphic and nasty, and the location itself is stunning.
Unfortunately, the acting leaves something to be desired. While this is forgivable as far as the victims go, Allen Andrews’s performance as Big Stevie hurts the movie. Seeing him early on is not a problem. The fact that he looks like a teacher or bank manager is. Yes, appearances are deceiving and anyone can turn out to be a killer. This guy just looks too normal though. He isn’t remotely creepy or menacing. We should be terrified of him as he stalks around the house slaughtering young people. He never instills any fear. When he finally speaks towards the end, it’s even worse. He becomes even less frightening.
I was all set to again give up on it. I figured this was an OK horror flick with a solid midsection in between a weak beginning and conclusion. When Big Stevie started talking it lost me and I just hoped it would be over soon. But then it threw me another curveball. There isn’t a huge twist, and you may even see it coming. However, it’s an absolutely perfect ending for this particular movie. It just plain works. You will sit up a little and think to yourself, âHell yes!â So, in the end, Murder Loves Killers Too left me with a smile on my face. When the credits rolled I forgot all about my beefs with it and focused on how cool the ending is. It’s good enough to make sitting through the movie worthwhile.