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DVD Review – Kenneyville

Tuesday 25th October 2011 by Allisonnnnn

I thought “Kiss of the Vampire” was the bottom of the barrel when it came to having an incoherent, nonsensical storyline, but it seems as though the barrel is a bit deeper than I thought.

That’s where “Kenneyville” comes in.

Released straight-to-DVD this month, it comes with the tagline “PsychoIS MANufactured” and encouraging quotes such as: “a shocking predicament of violence” and “a white-knuckle horror thriller”.  Don’t believe them.

Doris was a regular escapee of the senior center.

I actually had to stop this movie about halfway in and take a break before I could continue watching it.  And I love crap movies, I really do.  Every time Matthew Kelly writes about a movie for his Guilty Pleasures column, I’m right there with him.

This movie exceeds my tolerance levels.  I think this movie would exceed Matthew’s tolerance levels.  But enough bitching already, let’s start kneecapping this filmbeast.

The movie starts with a series of shots from a hand-held video camera.  A countrified Canuck in flannel is being interrogated and slapped around by the camera-wielder.  Then we cut to the opening credits and accompanying song by Carnival Moon, which was the best thing about this movie.  

We suddenly shift to a nondescript office, where we are introduced to private investigator Hank Venture.  Uh, I mean,  Patrick Kennedy.  With Mr. Kennedy is one Megan Desmond, a 23 year old blonde and one of the only people in this movie that has any acting ability.

Patrick has been hired to investigate the disappearance of a missing girl, Kim Whyte.  Why does her last name have a “y” in it instead of the usual “i”?  Probably because the evil scientist’s name is Adrian Black and someone mistakenly thought they were being subtle.

I’ve had mornings like this.

Anyhow, back to the… plot(?).  Megan and Patrick are suddenly driving on a highway, hand-held video camera in action.  Yeah, there’s a small chunk of the hand-held in this movie.  I know it’s overdone, but at least this movie isn’t predominately hand-held, even though there are some moments where you are wondering where the hell the character even got a camera (i.e., the opening scene).

Patrick decides that the best option for potential stealth is to abandon their car on the side of what looks to be a well-traveled highway and pretend to be hitchhikers.  You know, because no one is going to notice a nice looking abandoned car sitting for days on the side of a highway.

As they are hiking into town (they apparently decided they were going to be regular cross-country hikers instead of hitchhikers somewhere off camera), they come across Ben and Victoria, who claim to be brother and sister (clearly untrue).  Even though Victoria (the only other actual talent in the movie) is channeling her inner Bellatrix LeStrange, Patrick decides it would be a great idea to follow these two to their Canadian hovel.

She killed Sirius Black.

This is when the movie starts to show signs of tearing at the seams.  I’m going to use this as my favorite example of a recurring issue of plot incoherency in this movie.

STEP 1: Once Patrick and Megan arrive to Ben and Victoria’s cabin, Victoria makes a phone call (within earshot of Megan) telling Dr. Adrian Black that he is in luck, there is now an attractive girl at their hovel.  Dr. Black tells Victoria that he will send Marshall to get her and hangs up.

STEP 2: Shortly after his chat with Victoria, Dr. Black receives a phone call from random government official saying that they need two girls ready for pick up the next day.  Dr. Black freaks out, angrily questioning where he will get a second girl (he already has the first one, Kim Whyte).

STEP 3: After kidnapping her from Victoria’s cabin (where Dr. Black sent him), Marshall delivers a hog-tied Megan to Dr. Black, who then asks Marshall where he found her.

Is this an editing issue, a script issue, an epic fail on all levels that permeates the entire movie, or all of the above?  I’m thinking the latter.

I don’t know where they got the Virtual Boy, but I’m jealous.

We learn, as the movie sloppily unfolds, that Dr. Black has an estate in the eponymous Kenneyville where he kidnaps women and brainwashes them “Clockwork Orange” style so they become perfectly submissive and devoted sex slaves.  In an interesting(?) twist, a government agency (though which government, we can only assume) has comissioned Black to make sex slave assassins.

(Which I will admit is pretty bad ass.  I’ve seen some hentai with this theme and it was freaking awesome.  But that might be too much about my personal life for you, so I’m just going to continue on with the article.  That okay?  Great, we’re moving on.)

Plot inconsistencies aside, I have several complaints about this movie.

The naming.  All the characters have names that are too much.  Marshall, Donovan (the countrified Canuck I mentioned earlier), Adrian, Kennedy, Benjamin, Victoria… these names don’t happen in such groupings.  Sure, people are naming their kids over the top things like this now, but all these kids are still in single digits.  We’re looking at people in their twenties to forties.  They sound like soap opera characters.

The emotional reactions.  Total failures.  Especially Hank Venture, er, Patrick Kennedy.  Bad writing plus bad acting… it didn’t work.  

The fight scenes.  Iffy at best.  But what killed me was that Patrick, who was easily floored by Marshall when he went to kidnap Megan, must have leveled up in brawling when the camera wasn’t rolling because he went from totally pussy to vaguely badass warrior.  Maybe he re-rolled his character.

The case didn’t go as well as Hank had hoped.

The title.  This movie is called “Kenneyville” because the whole town is supposed to be in on this operation.  Except they aren’t.  Except you only see the “whole town” in a bar for a single scene.  There is no town involvement, there is no explanation of why the town allows the operation to continue, there is absolutely no sense of conspiracy.  NONE.  The town was entirely unnecessary to the movie, so to name the movie after the town was an incredibly poor choice.

There’s so much more to rant about, but it really needs more of a Rifftrax play-by-play.  I don’t suggest purchasing it as there is potential danger of frying your brain if you view it in one sitting.  I shudder to think what could have happened if I hadn’t taken a break midway through.




Allison loves horror movies, writing about horror movies, and making fun of horror movies. Allison also likes writing in third person.