Joseph’s Review: Kick Me (Another Hole in the Head Film Festival)

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Directed by Gary Huggins

A high school counselor’s trip to Kansas City, Kansas so that he can help out a student turns into an oddball odyssey in this winning, blood-soaked comedy.

If you think American high school staff members have it tough during the work day, just wait until you get a load of what happens to guidance counselor Santiago (Santiago Vasquez) during his off-hours one evening. The well-meaning faculty member reluctantly agrees to travel from Kansas City, Missouri to Kansas City, Kansas to visit his student Luther’s (Ramone Armstrong) martial arts dojo. He plans to be back in his hometown in time to see his daughter’s recital and bring her a present, but it’s hard to stick to your plan when a bloodbath erupts and you get picked up by a swinging couple in a motorhome and . . .

ATMOSfx! Woo!

Well, you get the idea. I absolutely do not want to spoil another moment of this dark, daffy, horror-adjacent comedy — the horror of which ranges from the threat of death to existential dread to simply having to deal with the Sartrean hell of other people, and beyond.

Kick Me is both a valentine to and a “stay the hell out of” warning for Kansas City, Kansas. Director Gary Huggins — who cowrote the sharp screenplay with Betsy Gran, who also co-stars — began working on the film 10 years ago, and much like its protagonist, its director’s drive, and its three-legged chihuahua Trio’s energy to roam, it has a “keep going no matter the odds” spirit. Loaded with suspense, quirky characters, offbeat humor, and more than a few surprises, Kick Me comes highly recommended from yours truly.

Review by Joseph Perry

Kick Me screens as part of Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, which takes place in person in San Francisco, California from December 1st–December 18th, 2022 and also On Demand on Eventive and live on Zoom for those who can not attend the live screenings. For more information, visit https://www.ahith.com/.

Categories: Festivals, ReviewsTags: ,


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