B Movie Glory: Fall Down Dead

A vicious serial killer toys with cops in a dark, unnamed urban hellhole and no I’m not talking about Fincher’s Seven or even that Keanu Reeves Watcher flick. Fall Down Dead is an apt title for a murky, messy shocker that falls down wayyyy below the horror influences it’s inspired by and is a pretty lame excuse for horror, saved only by the spectral presence of the great Udo Kier. Playing a nasty mass murderer called the Picasso Killer, his MO is to slice people up with a straight razor and use their blood and tissue for artwork on canvas, and he’s set his sights in single mother Dominique Swain, who has the misfortune of running into him on Christmas Eve as she heads home through a curiously deserted city (filmed in North Carolina). From there it’s a series of tired jump scares, chases and impossibly athletic kills (Kier was like 70 here and he jumps off ten foot ledges like an acrobat lol) as he follows her into an empty office building where she joins forces with a sleepy security guard (David Carradine) and two Eastern European police detectives who seem oddly out of place stateside, but then again I suppose Udo does too. Swain doesn’t make a half bad scream Queen in general, I’ve always loved her vibe and her presence is always a plus for me somehow, even in stuff like this. Carradine is so lethargic and unenthusiastic you couldn’t even call his performance a phone-in, it’s about five minutes of him looking like he got dragged to a Christmas dinner with every set of in-laws on the planet, he just flatlines, grabs his paycheque and bounces with nary a moment of memorable screen time. Kier, however, is the life of the party as usual, he has this otherworldly, transfixing charisma and even hopelessly shitty junk like this he somehow makes it worth watching, if you’re a fan. His killer here is a vampiric, nearly invincible razor wielding maniac with who purrs and hisses out hysterically ridiculous lines like “Now you’re mine”, “I’m going to cut off your skin” and “Your blood will paint my canvas.” He’s a hoot, and pretty much the only reason to dive into this dumpster. Stay for a post credit scene, if you get that far!

-Nate Hill

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