JULY 31, 2007
There’s a certain level of endearing idiocy in I Know Who Killed Me that I have never thought possible. For starters, the idiotic title is actually a line of dialogue in the movie. Someone actually says "I Know Who Killed Me". It's things like that that make this movie simultaneously amazing and god awful. Strangely, its faults have almost nothing to do with Lindsay Lohan, who isn’t much of an actress but is still among the least of the movie’s problems.
Despite trying wayyyyyyyy too hard to be an Argento movie (both in the ‘kill’ scenes and the color scheme), the movie is kind of sort of original, in that it pretends to be a psychological thriller about a split personality but turns out to be equal portions much simpler and more complicated than that. I have to respect, albeit begrudgingly, a movie that hinges on an audience buying a ‘rare form of stigmata’ (as opposed to all the garden variety stigmatas that plague many of us?) in order to make the plot work.
To say that this movie is “all over the place” is putting it mildly. In addition to the aforementioned Argento riffs, there’s also some torture porn, a strip club with what appears to be Terry Gilliam extras on staff, some FBI guys who disappear from the movie halfway through, etc. But nothing compares to when the film suddenly becomes American Pie 6: Jim Fucks An Amputee, as a one-armed/one-legged Lohan begins fucking her boyfriend as her mother tries to drown out the sounds by cleaning the kitchen. Later, the dude begins running around asking for condoms (this is a ruse to sneak Lohan out of the house, but still). Tonal shifts? No, these are tonal earthquakes.
What makes the movie such a special kind of awful is that they seem to be thinking they are making a totally legitimate thriller. Perhaps if someone, ANYONE, in the movie seemed to be aware how nonsensical and batshit the movie was, it would work a bit better. But instead, the audience is left to laugh only at it, not with it.
The film also makes the same mistake as The Bone Collector – a whodunit where the killer is obvious simply by omission. In Collector, the killer was played by Leland Orser, a fairly recognizable character actor. He showed up in one scene in the beginning as a repairman for the bed Denzel lays in for the whole movie. Anyone who knows their character actors would know he was the killer halfway through or so, because your brain will tell you “There was no need to have a scene with this guy unless he was going to come back later”. Same problem here. Hilariously, they even expect the audience to remember the guy’s name, as Lohan just says “it was _______” and then they go off to find him. Come on guys, it’s a movie with a Disney starlet stripping with one leg – we’re not here to remember names.
Lohan enthusiasts may be interested in the film since she plays a stripper, but I hate to break it to you: she’s as much of a stripper as Alba in Sin City. Though here, director Chris Sivertson tries to make up for it by editing in shots of actual strippers during Lohan’s awful routines, which are about as enticing as Paris’ striptease in House of Wax (i.e. awkward at best). She also demonstrates an inability to pull off swearing, sounding more like a 12 year old repeating what she heard on TV than the supposedly streetwise tough girl she is supposed to be playing.
Internet rumblings suggest that the film had an hour cut from it. I don’t doubt it. There’s no way anyone can legitimately write a film that goes into so many directions without rhyme or reason, or why actors like Neil McDonough and Gregory Itzin would sign on to play roles that are little more than cameos. Hopefully the DVD will restore some of this so the film can be appreciated for what it truly is: A well shot Argento wannabe that should have been released in 1992. Until then, it works best as an example of how inept and wonderful a film can be in the modern world. Somewhere in heaven, Coleman Francis is in a light plane, smiling down on the 12 or so people who are in theaters watching this thing.
What say you?