‘The Lady Killers’ is a Darkly Twisted Independent Comedy

The Lady Killers

Like it or not, for many men their self-worth is tied to their sexual prowess. It’s an inherently misogynistic way of life that views women as nothing more than objects to be conquered and discarded. That viewpoint is the target of the independent dark comedy from writer-director Phil Leirness, The Lady Killers (not to be confused with the Ealing Studios classic or the Coen Brothers remake). While The Lady Killers certainly has a number of issues that befall many microbudget features, but once it finds its twisted voice there’s enough going on within the film that’s easy to forgive some of its more noticeable flaws.

Pete (Jamie Kaler) is a police officer of questionable moral fortitude. When we first see him, he’s in a massage parlor attempting to get a happy ending before the place is raided by his colleagues. He crawls out the window and circles around to reenter the building as an officer of the law. Pete is rounding up a group of friends to participate in a high-stake game. Stephen (Burt Bulos), a personal trainer; Brian (Peter Shinkoda), a high school teacher; Michael (Shaun Parker), a periodontist; Paul (Dean Haglund), a document shedder; Dan (Arye Gross), a wealthy businessman; and John (Leirness), a psychiatrist, join Pete to play a game of sexual conquest. The participants judge each other on various aspects of their sexual exploits – the attractiveness of the woman as well as audacity and brazenness of the sexual acts. The winner will receive $5,000 from each participant, with second place paying nothing and last place paying double.

The setup for the game that is the central concept of The Lady Killers takes a bit too long as Leirness attempts to establish a smorgasbord of character dynamics before the repellant contest can begin. It’d be much more effective if these dynamics were established after we’re presented with some understanding of what the game is, but the characters speak in the abstract about “the game” as we’re left in the dark for a little while.

Once the rules of the game are laid out the men start to seek out their conquests, The Lady Killers takes a dark, depraved turn. Each one of the men make horrific decisions all in the name of their macho pride and a chunk of cash on the line. Friendships are betrayed to gain an upper-hand. Most disgustingly, these men betray the confidence of their positions in the world in order to win a fleeting contest. Brian makes the ultimate sleazy move in seducing a student; John manipulates and sleeps with a patient of his; Michael, worst of all, drugs a patient and proceeds to sleep with her. Meanwhile, Stephen has sex with a married woman and pimps out an actress friend to Dan with the promise that if she does so the wealthy businessman will fund her next project.

Thankfully, Phil Leirness sees just how abhorrent the behavior of his characters is and doesn’t even attempt to provide them with a path to redemption, something that is increasingly common in comedies that focus on bad behavior. The Lady Killers isn’t a movie that asks you to revel in the bad behavior of its characters, instead it asks you sit back and view in shock as these men make horrible decisions that will have grave consequences for them.

When the contest is completed and a winner has been crowned, The Lady Killers takes another dark turn. Soon the bodies begin to pile up as a mysterious stranger is knocking off the participants in the contest one by one in increasingly gruesome fashion. Of course, here you can really see the budgetary limitations of the film as most of the gore effects aren’t particularly convincing. It does create a sense of mystery as the story punishes the characters for their bad behavior, raising the stakes of the story until its big final reveal (which will not be divulged here) that had me chuckling.

Leirness’ ability as a writer exceeds his ability as a director and editor. Granted, budgetary limitations play a part in some of the oddly framed shots and edits that are just a little bit off and sometimes jarring. The Lady Killers could be edited together tighter, ramping up the pacing would’ve greatly helped the story. At the center of the dark, twisted heart of The Lady Killers lies a brutally honest portrait of toxic masculinity. These men are so insecure that must put on a veneer of a lothario to elevate themselves in the eyes of their peers no matter the human cost. The Lady Killers doesn’t play it safe or easy with its tricky subject matter and is all the better for it, highlighting the worst behavior in men while gleefully lampooning it with a dark edge.

The Lady Killers has its world premiere Sunday, March 26th at the North Hollywood CineFest. Get tickets here.

THE LADY KILLERS – It is just a game from Phil Leirness on Vimeo.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Baywatch
This ‘Baywatch’ Lets Laughter Drown on Their Shores

I typically caution people against judging a movie before seeing it,...

Flaked Returns to Netflix for a Second Season

From Netflix – Flaked S2 launches globally on Netflix on Friday,...

Riverdale Comes to Blu-Ray

From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment – BURBANK, CA (May 22, 2017)...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Nex Machina
Housemarque Games Reveals Release Date for Nex Machina

Housemarque Reveals release date for arcade-style twin-stick shooter, Nex Machina, set...

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Coming to Nintendo Switch, Steam, and PlayStation 4

Natsume is bringing Harvest Moon to Nintedo Switch, Steam, and PlayStation 4...

NASCAR Heat 2 Cover Race
704Games Announces NASCAR Heat 2 with NASCAR Heat 2 Cover Race

704Games announces the sequel to last years fast paced NASCAR experience...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Arcana Reveals New Book for SDCC

This is a sneak peek from Wayne Young’s debut graphic Novel,...

9.0/10
‘Button’ Down for the Conclusion in Flash No. 22

Title: Flash No. 22 Script: Joshua Williams Art: Howard Porter Color:...

8.8/10
Injustice 2 No. 2 Batman gets a Little…Triggered

Title: Injustice 2 #2 Writer: Tom Taylor Penciller: Bruno Redondo Inker:...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
DC Collectibles Reveals New 2018 ‘DC Artist Alley’ Line At Five Points Festival

From DC Collectibles – Designer super hero toys — meet street...

hubplus c review
Convenient, Multi-Capable, and Intutitive – myCharge HubPlus C Review

By far the most convenient and intuitive power bank currently available,...

MIND headset Review
Play Games Using Only the Power of Your Mind – MIND Headset Review

Soap Studio lets you play games with your mind, bringing a...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Epic Fighting 34 Results

Friday, May 12, 2017 – Epic Fighting took place at their...

King of the Cage Heads to Black Bear Casino Resort on June 9 for ‘Fire Starter’

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA. (May 10, 2017) – King of the Cage, the leader...

James ‘Lights Out’ Toney to Face ‘Lightning’ Mike Sheppard in his Final Fight

YPSILANTI, Mich., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Main Event Professional Boxing,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Cultural Junkdrawer – Season’s End: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 is everything it’s been building up...

Wonder Woman
Is That Sexist? – ‘Wonder Woman’ Marketing Maybe/Maybe Not?

There is only one month left until one of DC Comics’...

Adult Continuity Issue Nine – Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles

The porn parody has a long, hard, turgid and difficult to...

Event News Event Reviews
Id10T
ID10T Music Festival + Comic Conival Announces First Wave of Panels

ID10T Music Festival + Comic Conival Announces First Wave of Panels...

Disney Channel, Disney XD & Disney Junior Announce Events for D23 Expo

From D23 Expo – BURBANK, Calif. (May 17, 2017) – Disney...

South City Comic Con to be held on June 11th

  South City Comic-Con Returns to the South San Francisco on...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...