You’re Killing Me begins with the voice of a woman asking someone on the telephone what could happen to a person who witnesses a murder, but doesn’t report it. That’s a somewhat intriguing way to begin a movie, but this movie unfortunately becomes less intriguing as it wears on. The story then flashes back a week and unfolds one day at a time.
Written and directed by Jim Hansen, You’re Killing Me is more of a comedy than a slasher movie, even though the main character is a serial killer. And I say “more of a comedy” because I didn’t find it very funny. The sense of humor is a specific taste, one that can’t be acquired. It’s very L.A. and very gay. The target audience seems to be a small niche and I don’t envision the movie crossing over to a larger population.
When George’s (Jeffrey Self) friends tell him that they don’t find his new boyfriend’s “jokes” about murdering people to be funny, little do they realize that Joe (Matthew McKelligon) is being completely honest with them. He’s graduated from killing small animals to knocking off anyone who spikes his jealously. Old boyfriends, spiteful acquaintances, and rude parents become his victims.
George tells his friends that Joe “isn’t scary, he’s gorgeous,” which is an example of the specific sense of humor of You’re Killing Me. Among the gay community, that may be a funny line, playing on the idea that gay men are superficial and care only about their eye candy. However, outside the gay community, it perpetuates a silly stereotype.
If the attitude was unique to the character, I wouldn’t make this argument, but it’s representative of the entire movie. Sure, I’m older now and am getting more particular about where I find my laughs, but this movie seems out of touch. At least I hope it’s out of touch. I’d hate to think the gay community hasn’t grown up at least a little since I was first introduced to it over 25 years ago.
Perhaps this would not have been as noticeable if You’re Killing Me was crafted as a spoof of American Psycho, in terms of being firmly rooted in a retro timeframe with a purposely-dated sensibility. Hansen is known for his web series and some videos that have gone viral, so it’s interesting that the most entertaining part of the movie are the short clips from George and his friend Barnes (Bryan Safi) YouTube channel.
As much as I didn’t care for the movie, once the timeline of the story passes the point where it began, You’re Killing Me really falls apart. It screeches to a halt as if it is as clueless as the characters about what to do next. This was apparently a hit on the gay film festival circuit. I can imagine maybe enjoying it among a festive audience, but outside such an environment, it’s often painful to watch.