My notes on celeb-obsessed black comedies Killing Hasselhoff and Killing Gunther, both around non-theatrically now.
‘You should have seen the shit I just saw. It’s like MacGyver fucked Batman with Iron Man’s dick!’ David Hasselhoff has somehow managed in his later career to get typecast playing a version of himself (‘The Hoff’) in the likes of Hop, Piranha 3DD, the Baywatch remake/parody/shit, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Keith Lemon: The Film and the fictionalised ‘reality show’ skit Hoff the Record’. Even appearing in the Sharknado series just gets him to do more beach, talking car, grey chest hair, big-as-a-singer-in-Germany jokes. The joke runs aground in this excruciatingly laughter-free vehicle for Ken Jeong, the does-small-Korean-dick-jokes guy from the Hangover films, in which a nightclub owner deep in debt to the mob realises the only way he can pay off is if his dead pool pick – Hasselhoff – comes in, so he sets out in a roundabout, not-very-enthusiastic way to kill him. With way more dick jokes than any film really needs, Colton Dunn as a tough gay black hit man, Rhys Darby as a guy driven insane by the thought of his girlfriend getting it on with a fantasy underwear model (Victor Turpin), Jon Lovitz as the manager trying to talk the Hoff out of doing a superhero musical, Gina Lee Nolin as a slutty cokehead version of herself (this is amusing because she’s an underage kid starlet type), Rick Fox who I’d have to look up to learn who he was as himself and I’m just not motivated enough, Michael Winslow that funny sound effects guy from the Police Academy series (‘I can’t tell you how many orgies this guy’s ruined’) and the voice of Justin Bieber (no, I didn’t recognise him) as KITT from Knight Rider. It’s not a patch on Kill Keith, and that wasn’t very good. Written by Peter Hoare; directed by Darren Grant.
A mock-doc black comedy written and directed by and starring Taran Killam, whose neurotic persona is a mite too charmless to get away with it … producer Arnold Schwarzenegger gets big billing and everyone spends most of the film talking about a legendary assassin called Gunther, so it’s not much of a surprise when he shows up, though he does give the film a bit of a lift. The jokes don’t really improve, but Arnie can sell almost anything when he goes on the charm offensive. Blake (Killan), a mid-level hit man, assembles a team of misfit killers with the plan of boosting their rep by taking out the shadowy Gunther – and also hires a film crew to come along and document the murder, without quite straying into the dark territory of Man Bites Dog since this lot are such blithe idiots there’s no real threat to any innocents. It turns out the real reason Blake has a mad on for Gunther is that his ex-girlfriend Lisa (Cobie Smulders) dated him after they broke up. Also in the gang are an explosives expert (Bobby Moynihan), an ex-jihadist dragon lady (Hannah Simone) with an overprotective terrorist Dad (Peter Kelamis), a couple of goofy Russian mass murderers who want to visit Disneyland (Alison Tolman, Steve Bacic), a Chinese poisoner annoyed because Gunther put a knot in his pet snake (Aaron Yoo) and a useless hacker (Ryan Gaul) who keeps explaining that tech the others have seen in movies isn’t real. As each scheme to off Gunther fails, the group gets killed off – though most have outworn the welcome for their few jokes by the time they make their exit. In the end, even Arnie’s mugging doesn’t get things back on track and the ending just witters on forever – though the producer-star does manage a truly (and deliberately) terrible country song ‘My Earthquake Love’ over the end credits.
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