I want to preface this by saying that I love horror movies that don’t take themselves too seriously. Certainly, very serious horror, like The Exorcist and The Haunting of Hill House, has its place. There is just something about taking a silly premise and feeding it through the horror lens that sends me into a joyful (and sometimes drunken) stupor.
Enter Killer Sofa, the new horror comedy from Bernie Rao.
Killer Sofa tells the story of Francesca, a beautiful woman who has collected a series of stalkers from her old relationships. Francesca has a habit of attracting obsessive men, though she prefers to use the word “dedicated.” A recliner (more on that later) that has become possessed by a Dybbuk, or (according to Wikipedia), “a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person,” is delivered to her. The Dybbuk, like so many others, becomes obsessed with Francesca. The demon uses his vessel–the recliner–to kill anyone who stands in the way of his love for Francesca.
On the sidelines, you have two investigators, named Grape and Gravy, looking into the death of one of Francesca’s ex-lovers. Throw in an interfaith relationship between a rabbi and a voodoo sorceress, and you have a lot of pretty great ingredients.
You can tell a lot about a movie like this based on how the cast deals with the material. In a film that sees a recliner stalking people and pushing people over balconies, the cast is required to help balance the aesthetic. It can’t all be a punchline. If everything is a joke, then the jokes don’t land, and in Killer Sofa, so much of the comedy comes from sight gags–the chair looking out of a window and the like–that the cast was saddled with a tough job: act like this is serious. The movie only works if the cast can sell it, and they deliver.
Piimio Mei’s Francesca interacts with the chair more than anyone else, and each of those interactions is golden. You’ll show up for the borderline chair-on-female sex dream scene, but you’ll stay for the scene where Francesca tries lighting matches and the chair keeps blowing them out.
By the way, the real MVPs of this film are whoever designed the chair and whoever conceptualized the scenes in which the chair stalks his victims.
Needless to say, I had a BLAST with this movie. In the old grindhouse tradition of over-the-top premises executed on modest budgets, this movie checks essentially every box. And it’s entertaining as hell. On the Plotaholics scale, I give it 2/5 shots (with 0 being the best, mind you) for being fun and entertaining and exactly what I want out of a midnight movie. However, I would suggest watching the movie with a healthy buzz. It’s just more fun that way!
Oh! And one last thing: If you watch a movie called Killer Sofa, and you get pissed off that the sofa in question is a recliner, then you are a person that I can’t be friends with. Why? Because OF COURSE IT’S A RECLINER!
Killer Sofa is streaming now on Amazon, YouTube, and other VOD providers.
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