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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Teens > Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid (2009/On-Line Distribution Feature Review)

Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid (2009/On-Line Distribution Feature Review)


Starring Dirk Julien, Michael Resendez, Torey Marks, Erin Prieto, Chad Post

Directed by Christopher Golon


Review by Nicholas Sheffo


Critic’s Rating: 6 out of 10



As the industry tries to make more out of digital video, many people who would otherwise not be making features do with digital low and high def equipment.  In most cases, they are just heartless package deals that should have never been made, but having that sudden hit is like a “gold rush”, though when the work is bad, it is more like playing a national lottery.  But sometimes, something interesting comes along that is different enough to look at and Christopher L. Golon’s low-budget Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid (2009) is one such project.


The film is about a group of friends who decide that they should go after a young man their age who a female friend seriously accuses of rape and sexual assault.  They take her word for it without investigation and attack the young man in an action that will ruin their summer and then some.  Bret (Dirk Julian) intends to go to college, so this will be the last summer with his group for a while, but they should have made other plans.


Golon’s second feature is a mixed bag, with some things we have seen before in what is essentially a teen movie, but Kids and Bully this is not.  The teens are still more realistic than most of what Hollywood gives us in bad comedies or phony feel-good films, but the violence is ironically the weak point here.  It is badly staged, edited and has very limited impact, sabotaging the credibility of the storyline.  What is interesting and does work is the character interaction and the way they communicate.


Especially in the conversations between the buddies, it is hard to tell whether it is scripted or improvised, which is not an easy thing to do.  When Golon gets this aspect of things working, this becomes cinematic and creates its own conversational space that is distinct and if he could expand this, make him a distinct filmmaker.  This was shot on MiniDV (low definition digital video) and is not as shaky as most such projects, which is another plus to his credit.


As well, there seems to be more to show and it was later confirmed that the screenplay was much longer, but had to be cut down because of the budget.  That is a shame, because an expanded version of this would be very interesting to see.  The acting itself is not bad, but works best when it falls into the style of talk already explained.  This was an ambitious project, especially considering the circumstances and is worth a look.



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