Year:  2017

Director:  Ole Bornedal

Rated:  MA15+

Release:  August 31, 2017

Distributor: Icon

Running time: 90 minutes

Worth: $12.50
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Nicolas Bro, Ulrich Thomsen, Mia Lynne, Lene Maria Christensen

Your enjoyment will vary depending on how you feel about slumming it with the darker side of suburbia.

When the battle of the sexes is played out on the big screen, particularly in comedy, it can work in the story’s favour if the combat zone is even. Danny De Vito’s War of the Roses is a good example of balancing out your leads by allowing them to be both equally vicious. Small Town Killers, from writer and director Ole Bornedal, tackles similar homicidal marital strife.

Ib (Nicolas Bro) and Edward (Ulrich Thomsen) are two Danish builders who think nothing of fleecing their neighbours for dodgy work at a high cost. Their wives, Gritt (Mia Lynne) and Ingrid (Lene Maria Christensen), think nothing of living off the profits and berating their husbands’ sexual prowess in public. Neither couple reflect the virtues of a perfect marriage, and the film becomes decidedly darker when the husbands hire Russian hitman Igor (Marcin Dorocinski) to off their wives, and their better halves respond in kind with the elderly poisoner Miss Nippleworthy (Gwen Taylor).

Painted in broad strokes, Small Town Killers shuns subtlety and nuance to deliver humour fueled by stereotypes and viciousness. In fact, aside from the couple who run the local Salsa club, you’ll be hard pushed to actually root for anyone. Not that that’s completely a bad thing, but it is fair to say that your mileage may vary when it comes to slumming it with the darker side of suburbia.

However, if you’re happy to throw caution to the wind then Small Town Killers does offer something bleakly joyful to those who persevere. Case in point, the aforementioned Taylor (The Lady in the Van), who steals every scene as the bloodthirsty Miss Nippleworthy, believing her Britishness to be the very essence of her particular skill set. And as has already been hinted at, it’s always refreshing to see both sides of the gender gap able to get the boot in. For, as one of the wives says, women ‘have just as much right to be bastards as men.’


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