Starring Darren Curtis and Matt Silver. Rated 14A. Opens Friday, December 12, at the Granville 7
Even after having suffered through the grandiose amateurishness that distinguishes Who Is KK Downey? from other truly bad indie films, I still like the idea behind it.
Riffing on the recent vogue for fake memoirs by writers who have pretended to see the worst life has to offer, usually through pseudonymous eyes, the movie won awards on the indie circuit this year. It’s a first feature for Montreal’s Kidnapper comedy troupe, which makes up in sheer, committed effort what it lacks in brainpower, coherence, or anything resembling believable characterizations.
The scattershot farce was written and directed by Darren Curtis and Pat Kiely, who play on-screen enemies Terrance and Connor, respectively, with more writing from Matt Silver, who plays a pudgy novelist called Theo Huxtable—and with that you can imagine how deeply they comprehend the media world they attempt to spoof here.
The premise is that no one wants to publish Theo’s sordid Truck Stop Hustler until he comes up with an alter ego that can be packaged as the book’s damaged-goods protagonist, KK Downey. His pal Terrance, a weaselly failed rock star, takes the role, mostly for the chance to humiliate rival Connor, a trendy magazine maven who has stolen Terrance’s beloved Sue (Kristin Adams, the poor Canadian’s Drew Barrymore). Their ruse works surprisingly well, with a blond fright wig and shades apparently sufficient to fool the weasel’s ex-girlfriend in the clinch—despite the fact that Terrance, in any guise, resembles the young Nicolas Cage doing a high-school version of Nosferatu.
The movie is grotesque, loud, relentlessly vulgar, and surprisingly well lit and photographed, with a seemingly endless supply of vomit and ’80s haircuts. It will be much loved by people who think movies should only be seen after midnight.