[Review] Killer Date (Another Hole in the Head Film Fest): Can a Serial Murderer Find True Romance?

The dating world has never been easy, but Ed Larson is making it even tougher on some people: his murder victims. He is obsessed with serial killers — photos of whom adorn his bedroom walls — and with serial killing. Director Colton Tran’s horror–comedy short Killer Date takes a look at Ed’s methods and at what unfolds when he meets a stranger who is decidedly different from the people he usually meets.

Killer Date corwriters Joey Beni (M.F.A.) and Brandon Shypkowski (What Metal Girls Are Into) costar as Ed and his date/potential victim Jeff, respectively. Both men shine in their roles, Beni as an outwardly nebbish young man who tries his hardest to appear ordinary and likeable but who aspires to be a serial killer, and Shypkowski as a wealthy adult orphan who is short on neither charm nor smarts. When Ed meets Jeff in a bar using the old “Oops, wrong drink” trick, the latter’s friends don’t get a good vibe from Ed, and unwittingly all set themselves up as easy murder marks. It is Jeff who Ed is really interested in, though, and after a date is made, the two meet up at Jeff’s well-appointed home for a night that neither will forget. The two leads have a fun comic chemistry between them, and have highly entertaining moments in solo set pieces, as well.

Tran shows a fine sense of direction with Killer Date, kicking off the film with a tense cat-and-mouse cold open that introduces viewers to Ed before diving into high dark-comedy gear and setting up a fine batch of horror gags. The screenplay by Beni and Shypkowski is clever and amusing, and the set design of the two men’s homes offers plenty of material to further engross horror film fans and true crime aficionados. 

Killer Date won the Best Horror Short Film award at Another Hole in the Head Film Fest, which ran December 1st –15th at New People Cinema in San Francisco. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.