MAY 11, 2012
Allegedly, I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer is a spoof/satire of slasher films, but since the title is funnier than anything in the film, I have to wonder if the filmmakers simply realized they made a bad movie and decided to spin it as an intentional sendup. On the commentary they reveal that they shot it over two years before finally editing/posting it, which to me suggests they had a lot of time to reconsider how they sold the movie to distributors and fans.
Because really, it’s not much different than most 80s slashers that seem a bit goofy nowadays – Graduation Day in particular came to mind, with the systematic decimation of a sports team, odd looking killer, and strange bits that aren’t exactly FUNNY, but merely “off” in some way. I would think that if they were making a satire that there would be some real jokes in it – even if they weren’t particularly funny, they would be there for us to detect, right? But I didn’t really sense any; there’s a gratuitous shower scene with an obvious double, and the killer only uses cricket equipment to kill his enemies, but otherwise it’s just a slasher. And not a very good one.
Comedic or no, there has to be a pace to these things, not to mention some actual characters to care about – even Scary Movie accomplished that much. But the writing/ directing/ producing/ editing/ starring team of Doug Turner and Stacey Edmonds have given us nothing to invest ourselves in, as their characters literally just sit around until they go off and die somewhere. After a few of the teammates are killed, the police decide to put the others in a safe house until the killer is caught, which could have yielded some fun chemistry and even a decent little mystery if the killer turned out to be one of them. But alas, they just sit around the main room of the house, barely interacting at all, just making a comment or two when, say, one of them opts to go outside for a walk (he dies) or a pair goes off so one can give the other a haircut (they die, and also what? I guess that can be a joke, but it’s actually TOO weird to be funny). One guy spends half the movie doing Bishop’s “stab a knife around the fingers” trick from Aliens until the killer finally rams a spiked bat through it during the climax. The characters in Things were less lethargic than this.
Plus the mystery is ridiculous and underdeveloped – the usual “I was tormented as a kid and now I want revenge” thing is fine, but they add a twist concerning who has been helping him, something anyone could have spotted from the beginning (if not the actual nature of their connection). Again, for a comedy this is pretty standard stuff – why not make it outlandish? Or just make a joke that the killer DIDN’T need any assistance finding them because the police were so inept? It fails as a comedy, and it lacks any effort whatsoever as a straight slasher – what a baffling project.
Luckily the kills are never too far apart, being that the movie is only 80 minutes with lengthy credits. There’s some inventiveness here; the spiked bats are sort of the “Jason’s machete” of the film, but they’re used in a variety of ways – down the throat, through the chest, etc. There’s also a Freddy like glove, and an athletic cup outfitted with a variety of blades and such. He also doesn’t stray from his MO – he has the opportunity to use a chainsaw but opts for more cricket-related killing. So if the only thing you care about in a slasher movie are the kills, you should be entertained. There's also a random sequence that seems inspired by Soderbergh's Ocean's films or something, with split screens and a bunch of folks putting a plan in motion - again, I don't see how this is supposed to be comical, but it's the only time in the movie where I felt that they had planned their shots before turning the camera on, since most of it is directed so indifferently.
The disc is packed with bonus material, nearly all of it worthless. The making of is OK enough, especially since a few of the actors seemingly get more to do here than they did in the film itself, but everything else is seemingly just there to make the package look more enticing. There’s a look at the color grading (where learn that they added a pointless “Bourne” type camera shake to the film), and some before and after shots of the film’s largely unsuccessful FX shots (the splattered blood in the bathroom always disappears, making it look faker than it already did), plus some general fucking about with kangaroos or whatever. There’s also a music video, which is not a surprise since I often wondered during the film if they had a soundtrack album in place before they had a movie – out of place rock songs are seemingly omnipresent, and mixed poorly with the film itself. One even drowns out dialogue AND score, for some reason. Must be a joke that went over my head.
Then there’s the aforementioned commentary, which is more of the same. They point out a few jokes (apparently the killer opening his eye at the end is supposed to be funny – again, this is just standard slasher stuff) and talk about the long post process, as well as how sometimes both of them were on camera and how difficult that made things (that’s why you focus on one job instead of doing all of them yourself). But I couldn’t keep my focus on the entire thing, and started tuning in and out - I saved it for last after watching all the other extras, so maybe I just had my fill of these two by then.
This is my 300th slasher movie for HMAD, by the way, and I had seen plenty BEFORE I started this site. So you can believe me when I say that there are better intentionally AND unintentionally funny slasher films for you to watch instead. Unless you’re the world’s biggest cricket fan as well, this one’s just too inert to seek out. Just watch Severance or something.
What say you?