Todd (Jesse Williams), his girlfriend Kathy (Jordana Brewster), his manager Ezra (Jay Baruchel) and their assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson) head out on a road trip across America. Todd and Ezra are promoting the comic they created called ‘Slasherman’, a grisly comic book which uses the murders of a serial killer dubbed the ‘I-90 killer’, as inspiration. Kathy is also writing a book which will instead focus on the victims of the serial killer. Kathy believes they deserve a voice, and that the comic book fetishises the murders for entertainment. Along the way they stop at various locations which the real life killer may have visited. However, unknown to them, a ‘fan’ of the comics as started a road trip of his own, and slowly things begin to take a sinister turn for the four.
Soon a string of murders being along the route the four are taking, which are too similar to the killings depicted in the comic book than they would like. The violence shown is brutal and sadistic, almost to the point of ‘overkill’. It will appease to gore junkies for sure. However gore in plentiful supply doesn’t make a movie. Sadly, that is all this movie has going for it.
This is director and star Jay Baruchel’s first attempt at directing a feature length movie, and it shows. It just doesn’t flow very well, which I suppose is partly the script’s fault (which Baruchel co-wrote with Jesse Chabot). It stutters from one scene to the next, almost feeling like a series of vignettes or something akin to the anthology movies like Creepshow and V/H/S. It also makes a cack-handed attempt at some symbolism and tries to be something of a metaphor for people’s fascination with murder and those responsible. The role of ‘Slasherman’ is miscast too. The actor (Simon Northwood), just doesn’t convince, and his performance borders on the ridiculous. His attempt to convey menace, does the opposite.
I also felt that the flashback scenes were overused, plus they were confusing as to what they were supposed to convey. Is Todd the child of the victim in the flashbacks, or is he thinking of the real slayings, and visualising them in his head? It’s disappointing on the whole as there are parts of the movie which show promises, sadly just not enough of it.
‘Random Acts of Violence is available to own now on Blu Ray and Digital Media.