HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A Keep Your Advice To YourselfBuy this film here.
Year: 2019
Director: Staten Cousins Roe
Stars: Katie Brayben, Poppy Roe, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Tomiwa Edun, Sinead Matthews, Sian Clifford, Fiona Glascott, Sarah Ball, Owain Rhys Davies, David Newman, Carys Lewis, David Manson, Matthew Woodyatt
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lou Farnt (Katie Brayben) is going nowhere fast, no matter how much she dreams of a better life that she half-believes she can attain, but then again her circumstances are apt to knock those dreams out of her and bring her straight down to earth with a bump. She lives in an English seaside town where she works in an ice cream parlour, but she is also a carer for her mother Maureen (Sarah Ball) who leans heavily on her daughter to the point of bullying her and making her guilty for no good reason. But Lou still has her escape: the self-help gurus who makes careers out of giving advice to the hopeless, which is precisely what she is. At one such seminar, she meets a stranger...

Said stranger being Val Stone (Poppy Roe), who, wouldn't you know it, is another self-help guru, Lou is even bumping into them in daily life now. But Val is something different, for her modus operandi is very radical from the others in her field, as Lou discovers when she seizes the opportunity to break free from her drudgery and accompany her on a road trip that will teach her all that Val knows about building up self-esteem, finding a focus to improve her existence, and murdering anyone who irks her. What? As the title suggests, Val has a unique way of destressing and ensuring that she has no competition in what according to this film is a seriously crowded community: she kills her rivals.

This was obviously made for peanuts, and at around an hour and a quarter of running time (not counting the end credits) it didn't stick around either, yet thanks to a singlemindedness that Val would find admirable director Staten Cousins Roe made his meagre budget count, largely through some very canny location scouting. It did not, thankfully, look like somebody's home movies as despite the lack of funds, the great outdoors came to their rescue and delivered some striking views of the South Coast for the duo to stalk as they began to amass a number of kills, all of whom have some connection to that inspirational speaker and self-actualisation courses work Val despises.

Or rather, she despises in everyone but herself, as her solution to possibly allowing her advice to be lost in a sea of similarly-minded voices is to make sure hers is that loudest voice, as it will be if there are no others around when she has executed them. This could have been some kind of satire on modern British life (Ben Wheatley's Sightseers was a film that cropped up again and again as a comparison point) or even some savage takedown of the business acumen that allows companies to crush their competitors regardless of the ethics, but nope, it appeared Cousins Roe really did have a massive grudge against self-help gurus. If anyone was getting something out of their system, it was him, more so even than his two protagonists, as he you could envisage him rubbing his hands together with glee at the death of yet another snake oil salesman.

If there was an issue with this, aside from the whole killing people being wrong even if they are opportunistic charlatans, it was that Lou and Val started from one place with strongly defined personalities yet never really changed from those opening stages, they refused to consider the barbarity of their actions as the writer and director's self-righteous crusade soldiered on. He did manage to pack in a variety of these targets to a relatively scanty amount of plot, just so the audience knew what to look out for, but he risked implausibility even for something billed as a horror comedy. On the other hand, he did concoct ambiguities that offered his work a curiously dreamlike, if not quite nightmarish, texture, leaving you wondering if Lou and Val may be closer than it might appear, or indeed if any of this wish-fulfilment is actually happening anywhere outside of Lou's mind. Cousins Roe did not allow this to dominate, so we were in no doubt he was in control, a more thematically daring (and oddball) effort than Wheatley's simple grumpiness. Music by Laurence Love Greed.

[A SERIAL KILLER'S GUIDE TO LIFE is out now on iTunes and Digital HD. Click here to buy from iTunes and click here for the film's official site.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 130 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: