Queer flick Kill the Monsters has described itself as an American allegory. After watching this weirdly enjoyable film, I have to say, that description makes sense.
I was provided a review screener of Kill the Monster for free from Breaking Glass Pictures. The opinions are my own.
The main characters in Kill the Monsters are three gay men in a polyamorous relationship. Their relationship journey is supposed to parallel certain events in American history (all the way back from 1776).
But don’t let a history lesson discourage you from watching! Even if you don’t know a lot about American history, you will still be able to enjoy this movie from writer-director Ryan Lonergan.
In the main cast we have Sutton (Garrett McKechnie), Patrick (Lonergan), and Frankie (Jack Ball). The film opened with Sutton and Patrick walking over to Frankie to invite him to form their throuple. As the story progressed, Frankie fell ill. We don’t get any concrete answers about what is wrong with him. Apparently, he’s stressed or something.
Trying to manage Frankie’s ailment is what led the three to go on a road trip and encounter a range of characters along the way. Of course, there’s a lot of relationship drama throughout Kill the Monsters. Sutton’s a trust fund baby and is a bit careless. Patrick likes policing everyone. Frankie’s basically aimless, trying to make his voice heard standing between the very vocal Sutton and Patrick.
There’s a lot you can interpret from the throuple’s relationship dynamic. It can be about the poor fighting the wealthy. It can be about the rich forcing the general public to live life a certain way even under the illusion of democracy.
The dynamic can relate to the tensions between the older and younger generations. Perhaps it is about the constant battle between the Conservatives and Liberals?
There’s just a lot you might be able to infer, and that’s what made Kill the Monsters so enjoyable. It has numerous layers and it’s up to you which ones you recognize and want to unravel when discussing this movie.
For me, the script being an American allegory became very obvious during the throuple’s poker game with a couple of Russian and German lesbians. You could tell the scene was about showing how intense maneuvering international relationships can be.
The throuple getting into the middle of a fight between the Iraqi and Iranian neighbors was another example. In the end, it’s all about who made the best power plays and how easily certain decisions can get out of hand.
As for the overall look of Kill the Monsters, I enjoyed the black-and-white vibe. All of the actors gave impressive performances. There was definitely chemistry between the throuple. So, I liked that.
Lonergan also featured some fun (extremely) wide shots in this movie, where you had to figure out where the main characters were in crowded public spaces.
In my opinion, Lonergan has brought something different to the table. Kill the Monsters is not your typical queer fare. The great news is that, while being political, it features a lot of humor and a well-paced narrative to keep you engrossed until the end.
Kill the Monsters is currently available on DVD and VOD.
You should consider checking it out.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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