Katie Bird *Certifiable Crazy Person
R1 - America - Heretic Films
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (31st December 2006).
The Film

A quick look for director Justin Paul Ritter over on http://www.imdb.com shows this film to be his directorial debut with all his previous film experience working with the legend that is Roger Corman as a production co-ordinator and as second unit director for films including Humanoid From The Deep and Alien Avengers II. Working with Corman can only mean one thing. Justin Paul Ritter has a taste for all things low budget and all things horror. I'm happy to say that this debut gives a pleasant twist on the serial killer sub-genre.

Most films about serial killers, tend to follow men who are loners are have very few friends like in the excellent Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Also, this sub-genre has thrown in many wonderful films, yet few stinkers and with this film taking a slightly new approach, it is great fun to watch. This film's serial killer is a woman, who seeks male victims. The film begins with Katie Bird who is undergoing what appears to be therapy with Dr Richardson (Todd Gordon - Speed, Point Blank). I must point out that Katie Bird is played by three different actresses in the film at different ages. Young Katie Bird is played by Nicole Jarvis (debut), teen Katie Bird is played by Taylor M. Dooley (debut) and finally, the adult Katie Bird whose scenes are always with the doctor, is played by Helene Udy (Naed In "The Cold Sun", "Asleep At The Wheel On The Road To Nowhere"). Well, as she tortures the Dr Richardson, we are shown footage of her life as she relives her memories, starting as a young girl, then on to her first kill (Jun Hee Lee - "Ethan Mao", "American Pie: Band Camp") and straight through to the present day. The film is an excellent debut and very well shot with some excellent acting from relatively unknown actors (apart from horror veteran Helene Udy). It provides a nice twist on the serial killer genre, I would recommend this film to anyone with a passing interest in horror. Others may want to rent it first though.

Video

Heretic Films have given us a very nice 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer which is what you'd expect for a film so recent. The colours are occasioanlly too dark but other than that and a small amount of aliasing, there are not anymore tell tale problems. Certainly a nice effort.

Audio

We are given a English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track on Katie Bird which is adequate. The surrounds are well used and the dialogue is clear is all times. The sound levels are also consistent throughout. One minor thing though, with the disc being pretty good all round, I was expecting a 5.1 track, yet what we have is perfectly capable.

Extras

This is a two disc set. Disc one has all the extras on DVD whilst disc two is a soundtrack.

Audio Commentary - We start off with an audio commentary with director Justin Paul Ritter and stars of the film Helene Udy, Taylor M. Dooley and Lee Perkins. All in all the commentary is pretty good. Ritter gives us invaluable information throughout about everything to do with the making of the film. The stars however, aren't so great and tend to just do a bit of backslapping and overall talking other each other not giving us much to listen too. Without Ritter, this commentary would've been poor, without the cast members, the commentary would've been even better and more informative.

Movies Not Excuses featurette - A very nice 15 minute featurette in which Ritter tells you that you are good for nothing sitting in front of your TV. The man is funny, but there is a point to this madness. He tells us he used to be where we are, sitting watching extras and listening to commentaries all day, but guess what? He got off his arse and made a film. Funny, yet informative featurette with interview segments and with a sly one liner from Ritter at the end.

Misa Does Make-Up featurette - A very short featurette about a woman named Misa who did all the make-up and bloody special effects for the film, even though she had no experiance in FX make-up, but only regular, um, girly make-up.

Liner Notes - Inside the case is a sheet of liner notes from director Ritter. Interesting notes but I think he could've written some more. One page isn't much.

Trailers - On the disc are bonus trailers for Sacred Flesh, Red Cockroaches, London Voodoo, Last Exit, Cold Blood and I'll Bury You Tomorrow as well as teaser and theatrical trailers for the main feature.

CD - The first 5000 pressings of the film come with a CD soundtrack full of very different guitar based songs. Some good, some not so good. A worthy edition though.

Overall

The Film: B+ Video: B+ Audio: B- Extras: B+ Overall: B+

 


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