My first experience with Matthew Gray Gubler was Wes Anderson’s Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and since then he has reliably been one of my favorite characters on Criminal Minds. When I saw that he was making a movie called 68 Kill I knew that it was something that I would have to see. I did not know what to expect and it completely lived up to that.
Gubler stars as Chip, a septic technician who is existing more than he is living. Dr Spencer Reid would definitely call him the submissive in his relationship with Liza, AnnaLynne McCord (Day of the Dead, 90210, Excision) who plays a prostitute and affords the rent on their trailer through an affair with a sugar daddy. She learns that her john has $68,000 in cash to buy a car and decides that she and Chip will steal the cash and skip town. Chip soon learns that Liza is a little more sociopathic than he knew leading him on a bizarre couple of days filled with sex, drugs, murder, torture, and flip flops.
Without going very far it must be stated in advance that 68 Kill is an exploitation/cult film and should be treated as such. If you are looking for a polished Hollywood suspense film then you are in the wrong place. The film is wildly violent, sexualized, and overacted and some viewers will be turned off. That is okay.
My foray into exploitation, and cult, films is rather new. I have watched horror flicks throughout my whole life so I have been walking a fine line, but after spending a few years studying high art films it is nice to take a break with some good old fashioned sleaze. The production quality of 68 Kill is high enough that it skirts that line but that makes it a good way to introduce viewers to a different world of horror or genre films.
But, the opening shot of the film is, perhaps, one of my favorite openers I have seen. It is both mesmerizing and a perfect representation of the film itself. Like an avant-garde painter illustrating the moral of the story and then having them tell the whole story of how they arrived at that single theme.
Gubler’s performance, as well as McCord’s, can, at times, feel derivative of other performances of theirs. Chip is a naïve version of Reid, a moral and innocent man. McCord acts like her 90210 character completely breaks from reality and become a sociopath. This works to connect viewers to a different type of genre, but your expectations will quickly fracture and you will either keep going on this crazy trip, or you will turn it off losing a connection to these actors (your problem, not theirs).
The movie will not let you down as long as you have an inkling of what you are in for. It is violent, gory, gross, and sexy at the same time. I took an issue with some of the dialogue but it completely works for the style of the film. I want to say this movie is for everyone but I cannot. It is a wicked women exploitation flick which is over the top but strangely moralistic. If you do like it then you may be ready to enter a whole new world of underground film.
Director: 6 – Cinematography: 7 – Edit: 5 – Parity: 9 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 6 – Sound: 7 – Story: 7 – Script: 7 – Effects: 8 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 7 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10