Death Knows Your Name (2006)

FEBRUARY 29, 2008


Is there anyone besides me who has seen Death Knows Your Name? I went on the film’s IMDb page – there isn’t a single user comment, the messageboard only has one post from a guy who liked the trailer, and the external reviews page had precisely two links – one from a guy who just goes on and on about the studio tampering with it (it’s an independent film – what studio???) and another who admits he watched the Yankee game and his daughter playing half the time the film was on. Come on! I can’t do this shit alone, I need backup! And Yankees suck!

I especially need fellow sufferers for movies like this, which fall in that narrow category of being bad but not fun. I can’t really think of anything to make fun of, and no one thing in the film sticks out as being particularly bad (other than the film’s audio, which is often distorted), but yet I didn’t actually LIKE anything in it, and after 20 minutes or so, couldn’t wait for it to end. The concept was interesting, at least the concept on the back of the DVD was – it makes it sound like there is a huge outbreak at a hospital, but this ‘outbreak’ is limited to a few shots of guys in hazmat suits. I was hoping for a film like Infection (aka Kansen), but instead I just got a very plodding Spanish version of "Dorian Gray" crossed with any random (bad) movie about an insane asylum.

It’s also a movie that explains its own one-liners. There’s some nonsense about a mirror being the root of all the evil in the film, and at one point the hero says to his dad (2nd movie in a row that featured a father-son team!) “Are you afraid of having seven years of bad luck?” Now, who the fuck doesn’t know that this is referring to a broken mirror? Apparently: the intended audience for this film, because the movie stops cold to let the guy add “Let’s go break a mirror!” Thanks pal. It reminded me of an SNL sketch where John Goodman felt the need to improvise a line that “explained” a reference to Close Encounters From The Third Kind (the other guy in the skit said “Close Encounters Of The Bat Kind”, because he had just hit Richard Dreyfuss with a bat). I hate shit like this, it’s like they think the audience is too stupid to get a bad joke. In SNL’s case Goodman probably just thought no one got it because they didn’t laugh during the live broadcast – but what the hell was Death writer Demian Rugna’s excuse?

On a visual level the film is decent enough. They go out of their way to make the digital video look like film, and the occasional makeup effects are quite good. Also, the framing of this shot is awesome:

Hahaha. Skull Man! But that’s 23 minutes into the film, and there’s still another 60 to go. Perhaps if every other scene in the film featured a character partially obscured by a perfectly lined up portion of a skeleton, this one would be good. It’s worth investigating... someone remake this with a cast of medical school skeletons and get back to me!

This review is short(er than usual - anyone want to work as an editor? I pay in ginger ale) because no one has seen the film and thus won't have anything to add. Is anyone even reading this review? Who’s Googling “Death Knows Your Name” anyway? Oh, the hero looks like Barry Watson and Tim Olyphant. There, that’ll get me a few search engine hits.

What say you?


  1. "And Yankees suck!"

    If anyone had any doubts you were from Boston...

  2. Maybe if you paid in india pale ale...


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