I think it’s safe to say that if you put Matthew Gray Gubler and AnnaLynne McCord in a movie, it will, at the very least, be varying degrees of hilarious and batshit crazy. That, too, happens to be the exact formula for Trent Haaga’s decisively dirty, ultra-violent 68 Kill. In it, what was supposed to be a simple heist turns into an off-the-rails, blood-spattered crime spree, after Chip learns the hard way just how deranged the love of his life really is.
How could you possibly say no to AnnaLynne McCord’s Liza, a shit-talking, gun-wielding beauty that’s willing to kill to get what she wants? You really couldn’t. And besides, if you did, it would be the last thing you ever said. Chip (played by Gubler) feels the same way. Head over heals, Chip will do anything for Liza, even if it means a life of crime and violence. And that’s all the setting up we need, as Haaga dives right into the story with a smoking gun and a couple of dead bodies.
Haaga’s sophomore effort has a hint of grindhouse stank to it with a narrative that hinges on utter nonsense, but it’s that same absurdity that 68 Kill thrives on. It’s never not totally mad, and what few quiet moments Chip has in his diaper fire of a life are completely undone by the film’s band of deranged characters. Chip, a relatively normal dude with a boring life, is suddenly thrown into a shitstorm of ridiculousness and bloody violence, so it was pretty great to see how his character reacts to his new and unimproved environment.
And what better person to portray a confused and passive guy like Chip than Gubler? The guy can simply do it all, and his eccentric delivery and comedic timing coupled with the grisly violence of 68 Kill is a thing to behold. Then there’s McCord, who continues to turn in one fantastic performance after another, already having an impressive impact on the genre (I’m looking at you Excision and Trash Fire). It really doesn’t get much better than these two squaring off as a couple of lovers-turned-enemies.
The story itself is pretty linear but it never once feels stale because it’s so compact, like it was shot out of a cannon thanks to Haaga throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the audience. It’s definitely the type of movie that begs the viewer to go with the flow, otherwise you’ll be left trying to figure out how one guy can possibly run into nothing but a bunch of crazy, murderous psychopaths in the same night. Sure, it can be a bit much at times and it does paint a pretty mean picture, but 68 Kill is never not entertaining—that’s a good enough trade-off for me. Look, it’s far from the type of movie that you’d recommend to your parents on a Saturday night, but you might want to anyway just to see them squirm because it’ll certainly do that.