- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: You Can't Kill Stephen King

Also known as:

Year: 2012

Genre: Horror / Comedy

Language: English

Runtime: 86 min

Director: Ronnie Khalil, Monroe Mann & Jorge Valdés-Iga

Writer: Monroe Mann, Ronnie Khalil & Bob Madia


Instead of your typical vacation spot, a couple of friends decide to spend their fun summer in the town where horror author Stephen King lives - much to the joy of the King fanatic of the bunch. Upon their arrival they meet one strange person after another and they all seem to love the peaceful, quiet little town a little too much.

Our thoughts:
I'm a big Stephen King fan without actually being much of a reader - I grew up on the film adaptions and I just love his personality. I've enjoyed the books I've read and I find "On Writing" to be one of my favorite sources of inspiration, but my prime fandom comes from who he is and how big part the film adaptions have had on my life (the first horror movie I ever saw was, as many of you know by now, "Silver Bullet"). When I found out about "You Can't Kill Stephen King", I had no idea if it was just a random referencing in the title or if it was a full-blown parody. I remember trying to get a review copy of it back when it was first announced, but to no success. It arrived at random from CAVD recently and upon looking at the cover I was sort of disappointed by its mere looks... everything points at it being a shitty indie flick, and not the parody/reference-heavy King horror that I hoped for. Fortunately, the movie was better than it looked on the front cover.

The town where horror author/legend Stephen King seems like the perfect place to go during the summer - at least if you one specific group of friends. One of them, a huge Stephen King fan, can't wait to arrive and hopefully get to meet the author. They all arrive eager to enjoy their summer, but... the townfolks are weird. They seem a bit too into peace and quiet. And Stephen King is nowhere to be found. Things are about to get even more bizarre when one of their friends is slaughtered by something near a gas station - and he isn't the last one to die. Are they really in the town where Stephen King lives, or are they in one of his books?

"You Can't Kill Stephen King" is quite entertaining. It is mostly your typical slasher, but the fun and dumb kind with some additional comedy added to it. Nothing you haven't seen before, but it manages to be entertaining for most of its runtime. The biggest flaw here though is.. Stephen King. They might reference him, and certain things that happen might be based on his books, but they should have thrown out all of it. It serves little-to-no purpose whatsoever. It stands much better on its own as a decent slasher comedy than it does a comedic Stephen King-inspired/homage. It's a big flaw for a movie that even has the author in its title - but I am guessing it was necessary for people to even make the connection.

Again, the movie around that is alright. It's enjoyable and could have been a hell of a lot worse. It's a slasher movie where people are killed off for disrupting the silence in a small town, and it's not too far from the atmosphere of the slasher heyday despite being a meta-slasher in many ways. The gore isn't plentiful, but this is a light-hearted horror comedy so I'm not really missing it either. It's somewhat dumb, but the idea kept me interested in the movie enough to ignore the failing references to King.

Positive things:
- Light-hearted and fun.
- The right atmosphere for a slasher.

Negative things:
- The Stephen King angle rarely worked in its favor.
- Many jokes are misses.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 0.5/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 2.5/5

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