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Killer Body Count (2024) Review

Killer Body Count is the latest film from, Danishka Esterhazy who has made a name for herself in the genre with Level 16, The Banana Splits Movie, The Slumber Party Massacre and several episodes of SurrealEstate. This time out, working from a script by Jessica Landry (Deadly Mom Retreat, Cheerleader Abduction) she’s returning to the slasher genre with a tale of sex, religion and dead teenagers.

The film begins on a familiar enough note as a couple having sex in a tent find themselves on the receiving end of some unplanned penetration from a figure wearing a monk’s robes and a devil mask. Is it the seminarian who went mad and slaughtered the priests, nuns and their fellow students twenty years ago, or someone cashing in on the legend? That remains to be seen.

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From there, Killer Body Count moves to the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, where Cami (Cassiel Eatock-Winnik, The Dark Tower, Kite) has just been caught in the basement with a young man. Her father, who has turned to religion after the death of her mother, is horrified by her interest in sex. Father Tim suggests sending her to The Beautiful Savior Treatment Center, a religious rehab for young “sex addicts” run by Eugene (Bjorn Steinbach, Inside Man: Most Wanted, Black Beauty) and his sister Tawny (Alex McGregor, Invasive, Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure).

It isn’t long before Cami and her roommate Wyatt (Savana Tardieu, Darby and the Dead, Blood & Water) are sneaking around after curfew, resulting in Cami seeing the devil masked killer from the prologue disemboweling one of the other residents. That’s just the start, because whoever is under that mask is planning to send a lot more souls to meet their maker. And with camp surrounded by an electrified fence, it’s going to be difficult for Cami and her new friends to avoid becoming part of a very different kind of body count than they’re used to.

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Killer Body Count has a plot that combines elements of films like Meatballs, Friday the 13th, and House of Mortal Sin, complete with weaponized incense censer, plus a few other perverse elements thrown in for good measure. That’s a mix that’s begging to be an unrated, over the top exploitation film. And it does deliver a decent amount of gore, mostly practical with the occasional bit of CGI.

However, it gets fairly coy when sex is involved, reinforcing the idea that seeing body parts messily sliced, diced and cut off is OK, other parts have to be hidden no matter what the circumstance. And that a guy soaping his chest up in the shower is fine, but female nipples must be covered at all times. It’s annoying, especially in a film that’s supposed to be about people claiming and expressing their sexuality in the face of those who would violently repress it.

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The cast of mostly unfamiliar South African performers give enthusiastic performances, occasionally a bit too enthusiastic and veering into scenery chewing but in an amusing manner. They also manage to keep their accents hidden, helping the filmmakers to convince us this is happening in the US. That may seem like a small thing, but I’ve seen so many films ruined by obvious English accents and equally obvious non US license plates on cars. Here they at least remembered to slap a California plate on Cami’s father’s car.

Overall, Killer Body Count is an entertaining film, it delivers on the effects, and while you’ll be able to guess much of how it plays out, it does have a few surprises to toss at you. While this isn’t Esterhazy’s best, that will probably always be the wonderfully gruesome The Banana Splits Movie, she does deliver an enjoyable way to kill some time, something you can’t say about a lot of Tubi Originals.

Killer Body Count is available free with ads on Tubi.

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