The year: 2012. The director: Kate Herron, who’s helming all six episodes of Marvel’s Disney+ series Loki (which we got a very brief glimpse of last night). The project: a two-minute comedic musical adaptation of a critically acclaimed independent film. That film: Um, Kill List?
Okay, perhaps it’s not quite accurate to call it a musical. It’s more like a song and dance number parodying one act of a longer, twistier, more complex film. It’s also not so much about Kill List, the 2011 film directed and co-written by Ben Wheatley as it is about the unlikely-verging-on-absurd things we choose to adapt into musicals, and the laziness and cognitive dissonance that characterizes some (though far from all) such adaptations. At least, that’s this writer’s interpretation. But none of that really matters, because it’s Kill List: The Musical, and the fact that such a thing exists is worth celebrating regardless. (So is Polygon’s Matt Patches, whose helpful tweet alerted us to the existence of Herron’s short.)
[Plot details from Kill List below.]
Co-written by Andrew Pugsley, who also plays Jay, Kill List: The Musical satirizes one of the three killings with which Jay and Gal are tasked—The Librarian.
If you’re unfamiliar with the film and don’t plan to watch it (a wise move, if you’re not into cinematic violence of the sort depicted above), just know that the chorus of dancers in the song are pulled from the film’s horrifying conclusion. You can read more about it here:
Musical adaptations of horror films (and novels) aren’t as rare as you might guess, on screen and on stage. There is, of course, Phantom Of The Opera, but there are also musical takes on American Psycho, Evil Dead, Carrie, The Exorcist, Silence Of The Lambs, The Toxic Avenger, and many others. Our point is this: If you find yourself humming this little ditty about the mighty hammer later in the day, it might be worth looking for some other scores to mindlessly sing to yourself, allowing you to disturb or confuse those around you with more than just the one tune.
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