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KILL KEITH
DVD. Metrodome.

Kill KeithDirector Andy Thompson’s screen credit at the start of Kill Keith appears alongside a pile of dog shit. It may be a bad coincidence, but I’d like to think it was a moment of self-awareness about what he’s produced with this film, which is staggeringly awful.

While the poster art and title suggests a Chegwin-pastiche of Kill Bill, the reality is far from that – in fact, without wanting to engage in spoilers for the handful of people who might enjoy this, no-one is trying to ‘kill Keith’ in this film – quite the opposite…

In fact, while the movie sells itself as a story about C-list celebrities being killed off by a mystery madman (who’s identity is revealed quite early on), the horror film element is minimal and the bulk of the film is a crude, painfully unfunny romantic comedy with gormless, unlikeable TV runner Danny (Marc Pickering) having on crush on Crack of Dawn breakfast show presenter Dawn (Susannah Fielding), while struggling with his unsympathetic employers and Dawn’s arrogant co-host Cliff (David Easter), who is about to leave the show. As Danny fantasises assorted clichéd scenarios of getting together with Dawn, Cliff’s potential replacements are being killed off – cue guest appearances from the likes of Tony Blackburn, Joe Pasquale and Russell Grant. Is Keith Chegwin next on the list? Will anyone care?

With all the comedic quality and production values of a BBC3 sitcom, Kill Keith is very hard going. As much of the film is set in the TV studio, large chunks feel as though you really are watching a crappy breakfast TV show – and to be fair, it does a decent job of capturing the misguided arrogance of some of the people you’ll find working at the arse end of TV (having once worked for a channel that was absolutely at the bottom of the barrel, I can confirm that it really does attract some deludedly egotistical people). The level of humour can be gauged by the ‘crack of Dawn’ joke that, in case you didn’t immediately get it, is hammered home relentlessly, and the burgeoning romance is pretty unconvincing – while we are presumably supposed to be rooting for Danny, he actually seems more like a creepy stalker than a potential boyfriend, and it’s only the fact that Dawn admits to always ending up with dickheads that explains her attraction to him.

The ‘celeb’ guest stars are, I suppose, in the great tradition of famous TV names turning up in shit British films, and while there is some brief amusement at Blackburn playing his own lookalike (while ‘Tony Blackburn’ is played by someone else entirely), on the whole their appearances are pointless, unless you think that this lot are national treasures – in which case, I suggest you need psychiatric help. Ironically, this might be the most credible thing any of them have ever done (apart from Chegwin, who of course appeared in Polanski’s Macbeth back when he actually was an actor).

The only positive thing about this film (apart from the fact that Chegwin doesn’t appear nude again) is Susannah Fielding, who does her best with a hopeless role, and seems genuinely personable. She really deserves better than this. Other than her, it’s a complete disaster – almost entirely without humour (I might have smiled twice during the whole thing), clumsily made, crass and depressingly dull. If you were attracted by the novelty aspect of the film – and we all were – then forget it: this is not worth ninety minutes of your life.

DAVID FLINT

BUY IT NOW (UK)

 

 

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