The Killing Club

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Crime, Thriller

This male-bashing anti-valentine benefits from the presence of three tantalizing actresses — Traci Lords, Julie Bowen and Dawn Maxey — as women who experiment with homicide as a form of therapy. Emancipated Laura Engles (Lords) can't understand how her sweet friend, Jamie Quinn (Bowen), tolerates her loutish boyfriend, unfaithful, abusive gambler...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This male-bashing anti-valentine benefits from the presence of three tantalizing actresses — Traci Lords, Julie Bowen and Dawn Maxey — as women who experiment with homicide as a form of therapy. Emancipated Laura Engles (Lords) can't understand how her sweet friend, Jamie Quinn (Bowen), tolerates her loutish boyfriend, unfaithful, abusive gambler Al (David Packer). When Jamie accidentally stabs Al, Laura helps Jamie cover up the crime. Laura experiences a revelation: Why not rid the world of chauvinist pigs? Though their friend Arlene (Maxey) suffers daily humiliation at the hands of her sexist boss, Peter Gish (Neil McDonough), Laura and Jamie don't share their revolutionary idea with her; she's happily married and therefor predisposed to give men the benefit of the doubt. Jamie dates Gish as a prelude to giving him a well-deserved comeuppance, but can't quite work up the nerve. Laura takes over, but later claims that Gish died accidentally from carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage after she fended off his unwanted advances. With the hateful Gish out of the way, Laura offers Arlene membership in the killing club. At Gish's funeral, Arlene wanders into an embalming parlor and catches the mortician (Walter Olkewicz). Should he be their next target? The three friends set up a scam in which Jamie poses as a corpse. To their surprise, the terrified embalmer dies of a heart attack and the don't even have to kill him. Arlene and Jamie decide they've had enough, but Laura feels empowered and decides to kill Arlene's husband. Their solidarity evaporates, but Laura won't let friendship stand in the way of her liberation. Even if Arlene and her spouse escape, Laura is committed to her new vocation.

Intended to play as very black comedy, Amy Kiehl's screenplay undermines itself by trying to make the murderous women loveable. Although the film delivers some chills and laughs, it's most notable for James L. Spencer's glamorous cinematography, which makes all three actresses look like stars from Hollywood's Golden Age.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This male-bashing anti-valentine benefits from the presence of three tantalizing actresses — Traci Lords, Julie Bowen and Dawn Maxey — as women who experiment with homicide as a form of therapy. Emancipated Laura Engles (Lords) can't understand h… (more)

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