Vicious Fun follows a horror magazine writer who unwittingly becomes a participant in a serial killer support group.
[This movie can be found on Shudder as of the posting of this review.]
Vicious Fun Review
Many horror comedies have the luxury of being able to go beyond the need for believability, and Vicious Fun takes advantage of this in its ludicrous premise. It's not even particularly original. A similar premise of AA for serial killers was done in Monster Party, though that film attempted to be much more...realistic and visceral with its production. Vicious Fun is exactly that...vicious fun.
The film's blend of 80s horror satire and homage is cleverly executed, though the over-the-top socially awkward geek in the lead role takes it a bit too far and breaches the spectrum of annoying rather than endearing on multiple occasions. The group of antagonists cross a broad spectrum of serial killer personalities that homage real-life killers and slashers alike. The film seems to be aware that slasher satires that poke fun at the tropes have been done to death (hehe...pun), so it limits its jokes in that regard and focuses on its cast of goofy characters to deliver the gags.
The script could've used a little more polishing at times. It was often difficult to tell what exactly this support group was...sometimes the dialogue sounded like they wanted to quit, where other comments made it sound like they were bragging and openly discussing better efficiency in killing. There was also a struggle for the protagonist to maintain pace with the nervous muttering to produce realistic yet comical dialogue that didn't come off as repetitive and irritating. It's kinda the point, but maybe the audience can pick up on it without being annoyed themselves.
The film lives in a horror world, but keeps the slapstick violence and humor cranked up throughout. The often-cartoonish characters teeter between funny and bothersome, but for the most part everything works. The pacing is good, as there is enough fodder on both sides to keep the action coming, so there is rarely a down moment in which to yawn.
The film definitely shines brightest in its exploration of its various killers. While they have various amounts of screen time that limits some of the progress of a few characters, there is enough for each that it is fun to dive into their world, however ridiculous it may be. The subplot works and helps to move the story along and give it a little substance, but it doesn't feel like necessary piece in order to remain engaged. Watching the mayhem ensue is sometimes plenty, and this film delivers in a superficial way. It's worth your time if you're looking for a goofy popcorn flick. I can't imagine a horror comedy fan wouldn't find something to like.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 5/10