|Name:||“Kiss Me, Kill Me”|
|Director, writer:||Casper Andreas|
|Format:||2.35:1 (imdb is wrong)|
|When and how viewed:||private vimeo screener|
|Companies:||Spellbound, Breaking Glass (?)|
“Kiss Me, Kill Me”, directed by Casper Andreas and written by David Michael Barrett, is a gay “neo-noir” comic murder mystery which actually builds on the wrongful conviction concerns of recent documentary film directors and producers (like Andrew Jenks and Ryan Ferguson).
The “hero” is Dustin (Van Hansis), a soap star, and companion to producer Stephen (Gale Harold). Dusty becomes more likable and charismatic as the film progresses. Stephen throws a big party at his West Hollywood pad, with a transgender magician providing entertainment. When Stephen and Dusty go to a convenience store, “The Pink Dot”, afterwards, the store is robbed while they are there and Stephen and the store attendant are shot dead. Dusty wakes up after a concussion and soon finds the persistent LAPD officers (Yolinda Ross and Jai Rodriquez) think he staged the robbery to get rid of a partner with a life insurance policy.
Later the officers will try go get him to plea bargain, trying to fake him out, before the DA drops the charges. But that’s only an interlude.
Its all pretty cynical. You wonder how Dusty has so much freedom when out on bail, to solve his own mystery, with the help of a rogue psychiatrist (Craig Robert Young) who hypnotizes him. Another boyfriend Graigery (Matthew Ludwinski), who bears that “Liquid Sky” look at first looks unsavory but turns out the be a redeemed Shane.
The underlying situation is serious enough: that somebody could get framed for a convenience store robbery-hit-murder that seems random. The comic style of the film, with the noir jazz music, undermines the horrible tragedy that is possible (which is what filmmaker Jenks works on in his documentaries).
At this point, the plot becomes like a Clue game, and more bodies pile up, and the plot takes on some ideas from other movies and shows, including Jenks’s “Dream.Killer”, the use of hypnosis in “Days of our Lives”, and the mystery wills of “The Dark Place”. But because the movie wants to have a comedy and “40s” look, it seems less engaging. I didn’t fund myself caring about the characters in this film as in some stronger dramatic gay films in the past (like “Judas Kiss”).
The condo in my picture above is visible along the 405 from the Angelino Hotel in which I stayed in 2012; I thought I spotted it in the film. The West Hollywood disco scene is quite well done technically. I remember that in West Hollywood there is no street parking, but you pay a flat $10 a weekend night to park at the library. That’s how all bar parking should work. My favorite bar was the Abbey; not sure if that is the bar in the movie.
(Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 at 11:45 PM EST)