SXSW 2017 Review: 68 KILL

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

My first Midnighter of the festival comes from Snowfort Pictures and writer/director Trent Haaga, the brilliant and wicked writer behind 2013’s Cheap Thrills.  With those wonderfully creative insane folks behind this film, there was no way I could miss it.  68 Kill offers a dark, twisted and hilarious journey for a sweet, but weak protagonist having one of the worst nights of his life.  It is a night filled with bizarre situations, sex, and near-death experiences.  However, it is one that offers one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences that might just give him the balls to break out of his timid shell.

Matthew Gray Gubler stars as Chip, a timid young man who gets used and abused by his sexy, but crazy and toxic girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord).  Barely making a living by cleaning septic tanks, Matthew has little to offer Liza in terms of wealth, but tries to make for up for it with heart and dedication.  The vile Liza works nights as a stripper and often makes additional money on the side in exchange for sexual favors from a wealthy benefactor.  Sick of their meager life, Liza convinces Chip to help her rip off her sugar daddy.  Things go horribly wrong during the hold up and the the two lovers end up taking a young girl hostage (Alisha Boe).  When Liza suggests that they “dispose” of the innocent captive, Chip decides to take matters into his own hands.

With 68 Kill, Trent Haaga has made a wild ride of a movie that is not politically correct and is even disturbing at times, but is nevertheless a crazy-fun experience.  Not for the faint of heart or more conservative people, 68 Kill pulls no punches and pushes the limits of decency.  Fans of Haaga’s previous work like Cheap Thrills will no doubt find this insane journey an enjoyable roller coaster ride into darkness.  Appropriately dubbed as “a punk rock After Hours (the Scorsese film), 68 Kill is an absolute blast with wild performances from the entire cast.  It is a film fans of Snowfort Pictures will definitely relish.

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