The King Is Dead!
- Director:Rolf De Heer
- Cast:Luke Ford, Anthony Hayes, Bojana Novakovic, Lani John Tupu, Dan Wyllie
- Release Date:July 12, 2012
- Running time:121 minutes
- Film Worth:$17.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Director Rolf De Heer delivers another true original with this frightening, funny and suspenseful black comedy.
Prolific Australian writer, producer and director, Rolf De Heer, has that rare ability to bounce almost at will from genre to genre, peddling quirky lyricism (Ten Canoes), mythic period drama (The Tracker), highly unusual humanism (Dance Me To My Song), and intense psychodrama (Alexandra's Project). In a welcome move, De Heer's latest film sees him returning to the deliriously distinctive brand of suburban black comedy that he handled so well in his finest film: the 1993 cult classic, Bad Boy Bubby. The King Is Dead! doesn't quite push the envelope with the same kind of perverse fury that that crazed eye opener did, but it still makes its mark nonetheless.
When Max (Dan Wyllie) and Therese (Bojana Novakovic) buy their first home, they think that they've got it made. It's a charming free-standing abode on a quiet suburban street...with one major drawback. The place next door is home to the decidedly odd King (Garry Waddell), whose intimidating, regularly visiting younger friends (Luke Ford, Anthony Hayes) may or may not be smalltime criminals. After putting up with their neighbours' constant screaming, arguments, and late night visitors, the reasonable and inherently decent Max and Therese finally decide to take action...with bizarre and darkly comic consequences.
Like Bad Boy Bubby before it, The King Is Dead! is a constantly unfolding cinematic mystery. In short, you never know what's going to happen next, or into which curious corners the film is going to wander. Though it has a looseness of tone, De Heer never loses control of his thematically diverse and often confronting film, creating an alternately grotesque and whimsical picture of the weirdness that resides in Australia's suburban heartland. Funny, frightening, and inventively performed (veteran Waddell is a standout), The King Is Dead! is another stand-alone from one of this country's most engagingly idiosyncratic filmmakers.