It arrived on my doorstep in a simple white folder. Included was a piece of paper granting me the rank of Shodan 1st degree black belt and making me a member of the Cho Family Dynasty, a certificate which I briefly mistook for a Chinese restaurant coupon. My hopes of free, never ending egg roll buffet dashed, I popped in the shiny DVD screener that accompanied the thing that looked like a valuable food voucher but was not, and in doing so became a Cho Brother. But not the gay one.
The movie is All Babes Want to Kill Me, a micro-budgeted indie comedy starring, written, and directed by one Colin Miller. It is the story of Vatchel Cho (Miller), a young man suffering from Mercritis, a horrible disease which causes hot women to try and kill him should they get a whiff of his scent. He catches it as a young boy, while eating lead-based paint chips to relieve stress. Abused by his martial arts teaching blind father and brutally hunted by hot women, our boy hero is exiled to the desert where he hones the kung fu skills learned in the Cho Family Dojo by fighting faux Indians. Years later, Vatchel is contacted by his older brother. Their father is dying and will only agree to see Vatchel should he complete one final suicide mission. Thus, with the help of his two extremely dissimilar Karate brothers, Vatchel sets out to find love, though it’ll probably kill him.
Whether or not he survives family intrigue and the dating process I’ll leave for you to discover, but rest assured there’s great fun to be had in watching the gangly Vatchel Cho repeatedly bludgeoned to near death by bikini clad hotties. That alone might make All Babes Want to Kill Me a good way to spend an afternoon with your buddies, but the film is more than just bloody, over the top slapstick. The movie has a genuine and unique wit to it. Granted, it's a bit rough and unpolished, but you have to expect that on a non-existent budget. The script delivers moment after moment of bizarre and hilarious gags, some puerile and visual (Father Cho tests his children by bashing them repeatedly in the nuts), some driven by subtle, bitingly funny dialogue.
The cast, as you might expect, is all over the map in acting ability. Gianni Lazulia as the oldest Cho brother Shang has a unique physical presence, and gives the Cho brothers a requisite amount of vaguely Asian looking credibility. A lot of his scenes could have used a few more takes, but then when you’re making a movie like this, who has time for that? Colin is solid as Vatchel, his comic timing is usually spot on and his puppy dog look is a hilarious contrast to the ridiculous Kung Fu moves he attempts. The real delight for me though, was John F. Schaffer as the blonde-haired, gay, overweight, pasty white middle Cho brother Ling. Whether eating ice cream or riding a scooter into battle, the guy elicits laughs just by showing up.
The great thing here is that Colin Miller hasn’t hit his stride yet. All Babes Want to Kill Me is flawed and often disjointed, but also incredibly funny. For a debut effort made on the cheap, it works surprisingly well. Miller manages to throw off the film school pretension so common in truly independent filmmaking without letting his movie become a total train wreck. His subsequent projects are only going to get better. The guy has serious promise. It’s a rare thing for a no-budget comedy to cut through all the indie world bullshit and actually work. All Babes Want to Kill Me never takes itself seriously and seems to be just as happy whether you’re laughing with it, or laughing at it. I found myself doing a lot of both.