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Kill-Cam (2022) Review

After the serious drama of last year’s Family Snapshot, Chris Woods (Chaos A.D., Taste Me: Death-Scort Service Part 3) has gone back to his roots with Kill-Cam, a film whose Indiegogo campaign described it as

“The film is like a female version of Maniac and Peeping Tom but also has a Hitchcockian vibe and the style of a 1960’s roughie film with it being in black and white. It also pays homage to some of those roughie films like Herschell Gordon Lewis and Dave Friedman’s Scum of Earth, Bad Girls Go to Hell, Devil Doll, The Defilers and Aroused.”

Kill-Cam begins with an amusingly odd introduction by Bob Glazier (Canibal Claus, Ouija Mummy). He assures us that this is just a movie and the actors and actresses in it are nothing like their characters in real life. Which is a good thing because moments later we’re watching a topless woman get a nail driven into her eye.

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From here we’re tossed into the world of Samantha Styles, (Katie McKinley, Zed’s Dead, Lefty Lucy). Samantha has not had an easy life. She was abused by her Grandfather (Bob Glazier) and his ventriloquist dummy Willie, and then exploited and abused in her career as a porn actress. Is it any wonder she turned into a camera-toting serial killer?

Now she’s ready to move on from killing random victims and go after those who ruined her life. But her mission of vengeance gets complicated when model Pamela Keaton (Xhyvette “Sushii” Holder, Naked Cannibal Campers) posts an old picture of Samantha, saying she was an inspiration to her and wondering what became of her. Unfortunately for her, she’s going to find out.

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Woods and co-writer Lixy Lestat who also did the film’s effects and appears in it certainly managed to tap into the feel of the original roughies. At times, Kill-Cam may feel a bit more like something from Doris Wishman or Roberta Findley than H.G. Lewis or Dave Friedman, but I think that’s intentional.

For those not familiar with the term, “roughies” were softcore sex films with hardcore sleaze elements and plots frequently revolving around human trafficking, prostitution, rape, drug addiction, etc. And that’s what we get here, plenty of nudity but no explicit sex and a plot full of violent and unsavoury acts. Kill-Cam is, despite the comparisons to Maniac and Peeping Tom, much more of an exploitation film than a horror film, all about cheap thrills rather than scary ones. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

The cast of Kill-Cam is full of familiar faces, and other body parts. Apart from those already mentioned, there’s Cayt Feinics (Wrestlemassacre, Clownado) as Samatha’s ex, Ashley Lynn Caputo (Amerikan Holokaust, Earth Girls Are Sleazy) as an early victim, Anthony Wayne (The Hart-Break Killer, The Housewife Slasher) as Samantha’s agent and, if you look closely, Kristina Santiago (Casting Couch Slaughter, Gravis Terrae) is the subject of several pictures.

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On a technical level, Kill-Cam is a lot more polished than the films that inspired it, with some nice black and white cinematography by Woods. Actually, the film isn’t entirely black and white, the opening and closing scenes are in colour. This not only makes a nice contrast, but it was also something films of that era did, so they could show colour footage in the trailers to lure unsuspecting patrons in. The gore effects are all practical, and while not particularly graphic are effective and get the point across.

With its black and white photography and intentionally dated style, Kill-Cam won’t be for everyone. But for those among us whose VHS and DVD collections had plenty of titles from Something Weird Video, this will be a treat.

Kill-Cam was available in a limited edition Blu-ray as part of its crowdfunding campaign. The general release is planned for sometime this month. You can keep an eye on The Sleaze Box’s website and Facebook page for more details.

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