Take seven of the most different stereotypes imaginable, throw them in hickville and add a killer. That’s Reality Kills for you. Here’s the rundown; prissy blonde sheltered girl, white trash pirate radio rebel guy, overly stated yoga/martial artist/tai chi master Japanese girl, bisexual fashion mogul goth dude, thoughtful introverted brunette chick, hardcore ghetto gangsta would-be guy, and Latina dreadlock rich bitch.
This could be the cast of any Big Brother or Real World, except that every character is totally overblown and amplified past the point of realism. Add in Bogey, the creepy groundskeeper, Brock the rapper host, the limey cameraman, and a couple of hot boom girls. The whole group is thrown into a house where a bunch of people killed themselves during an orgy in the Liquid Sky massacre.
The characters each reveal their personalities quickly, meaning that the Crash Man (DePriest), aka white trash pirate radio moron guy, is annoying from the moment he’s on screen. The filmmakers recognize the limitations of the set-up, and put the girls in panties as quickly as possible. The film also wastes no time whacking people, which is a blessing, given the other option of more exposure to the characters.
It takes no time at all for off-camera events to start setting up each of the supporting characters as the potential killers. Brock is an arrogant prick trying to ramp up the intensity of the show, and he’s into bondage. Other than coming off as a complete inbred, Bogey doesn’t do a damn thing. Meanwhile, tension builds and friendships form among the cast.
None of the acting jobs is terrible, but each is written into such a targeted stereotype that there’s little flexibility. Given this limitation, several of them do a very good job at making the character their own, including goth boy Gar (Dushku) and Brock (Fingaz). Of course, it’s each actor playing themselves playing another part, which makes a nice tongue-in-cheek on some levels. Once the bodies start falling and everyone starts wigging out, the dialogue ramps up with some good one-liners. The action shots and soundtrack, however, take a step back toward cheese.
The killer’s wardrobe and modus operandi make him one of the least appealing horror villains in recent memory. If not for the tie-in to the Liquid Sky cult, the murderer would just be a re-enactment of 1982’s comedy/mystery Private Eyes, with Tim Conway and Don Knotts.
The bit part of associate director is played by Kristen Miller, whose resume’ includes “She Spies” and “That’s My Bush!”. Poor thing. She gets a whopping 45 seconds to herself but makes the most of it. Nate Dushku is, of course, the brother of Eliza Dushku, best known as Faith in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.
Sure, readers may think this whole thing was done before with bigger names and a bigger budget in Halloween: Resurrection. Still, the intrigue of an unknown killer, more nudity and cute chicks, and the chance for some unknown actors to make a name for themselves gives Reality Kills a better result. Not that that’s exactly aiming high.