The Movie Waffler New Release Review - KILL BEN LYK | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review - KILL BEN LYK

kill ben lyk review
A mysterious killer is out to murder everyone Londoner named Ben Lyk.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Erwan Marinopoulos

Starring: Eugene Simon, Martyn Ford, Simone Ashley, Ashley Thomas, Gretchen Egolf

kill ben lyk poster



Kill Ben Lyk, a likeable black comedy from writers Jean-Christophe Establet, Oliver Maltman and Erwan Marinopoulos (who also doubles up on directorial duties), starts as it means to continue. We open on a couple who are dressed in period garb going at it on a table! The fella is dressed as a knight, and the lady is resplendent in a Lady Guinevere style corset and frock get up. Genteel it ain’t though, as she energetically instructs the knight to "Fuck me like King Arthur." The banter with this pair! The tone is set by this unlikely tableau, and the schoolkid would-be lols are dutifully sustained throughout the (necessarily, mercifully) sparse 77 minute running time.


kill ben lyk review

This King Arthur doesn’t get his holy grail however, as, in the sort of enforced coitus-interruptus Michael Myers would be proud of, a bloke in an MF Doom mask suddenly rocks up with a gun and starts to hilariously shoot the pair to death while intoning "Is your name Ben Lyk?" in the manner of the world’s worst T-800 impersonator. There is a cracking visual joke when the knight’s visor falls down and deflects a bullet (I would like to think that the preceding cos-sex silliness was simply a foundation for that slick, superb, and somehow unexpected sight gag - dedication!), but no dice, King Arthur: following the pratfalls, the killer eventually gets his way.

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He isn’t finished there, either. Turns out that across London, people called Ben Lyk are being summarily executed, a mysterious turn of events which understandably perturbs our protagonist Ben Lyk (Eugene Simon), who is one of those YouTubers you get these days. Correction; in a funny twist, Our Ben Lyk is a wannabe YouTuber, the sort who films himself yet has nothing to say or add to the medium, and, in a slapstick montage of mishaps, usually ends up getting banged out by people he is attempting to draw into his not-very-good content. It’s a sweet little joke, and Simon has the likable energy to carry it off.


kill ben lyk review

The film itself continues to rock along at a fair pace from there, and before we know it, we’re in a safehouse, with all of London’s Ben Lyks (the imdb cast list has them as Nervous Ben Lyk, Charming Ben Lyk, Older Ben Lyk - hahaha!) as the police have picked up on the Benicide and rounded the remaining ones up. The farcical tone continues here, although, for my money, the narrative tension surrounding just who the Beninator is and why he is knocking off these lads is dissipated a little too quickly.

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The feel of Kill Ben Lyk is similar to a BBC3 pilot, and how far you get on with this film will depend on your tolerance for that sort of schtick. The last act is slightly rudderless, with the mystery revealed and Ben Lyks perishing quicker than the NPCs in the Call of Duty games which the target audience would otherwise be playing. In fact, the largely harmless grotesquerie of earlier mutates into something jarringly darker in the final 15 minutes or so, which sort of betrays the amiably developed characterisation.


kill ben lyk review

To keep us going though, there are nice touches like the running joke concerning a male-to-female transitioned ex-Ben Lyk (Simone Ashley - MVP) who Our Ben Lyk falls for (and which has a rather lovely and underplayed trans positivity), but unlike the great opening gag, the enjoyable build up of Kill Ben Lyk doesn’t arrive at a satisfactory punchline.

Kill Ben Lyk is in UK cinemas November 22nd.




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