Kevin Smith's Killroy Was Here (A NFT Movie) 🎟️
In 2020, Kevin Smith announced he was directing a new horror film titled Killroy Was Here. The film was originally slated to be released theatrically but was instead released as an NFT on July 12, 2022. Retail cost: $180.
Kevin Smith's fandom and films played a huge role in my teen years and early twenties. At the time, there was nothing else like it. The films felt real and lived in and didn't shy away from random pop culture references. Of course, today, that's prevalent in every form of media, but in the 90's/early 2000's, the geeks had not yet inherited the Earth.
I don't want to get too off topic here, but I was a massive Kevin Smith fan, and while his content over the past ten or fifteen years (outside of Clerks III) hasn't really done much for me, I've watched it all. So, the completionist in me really wanted to see Killroy Was Here, but there was no way in hell I was going to pay $180 for that pleasure.
For the past eighteen months, I've searched high and low for a copy. From my understanding the NFT was created so you had to stream in browser, and with the high cost of the product, it just didn't show up in the places I kept looking. But I kept my ear to the ground and yesterday, I finally found a guy online who had access to a copy. Thanks to this kind stranger, I was finally able to watch Killroy Was Here last night. Was it worth the wait? Of course not.
I am a huge horror and Kevin Smith fan, but the combining of the two has never worked for me. Tusk, Yoga Hosers, Red State, and his segment in Holidays were one-time watches for me. So, I didn't have high hopes for Killroy.
I shared my copy of Killroy with my buddy Michael who texted me and asked, "Is this only sixty minutes long?" I hadn't even checked the run time, so I made a quick search online, and yes, the $180 movie was only sixty-three minutes long. That comes out to about $2.85 per minute of entertainment.
When I talk about movies, I try to avoid the traditional review formula. There are so many people online breaking down each beat and spoiling the whole movie, and that's just not for me. Instead, I like to talk about what I liked and what I didn't like, that way if you watch the film the entire experience is not ruined.
What I Liked:
-I love anthology movies, and although it's a bit strange to see four separate stories play out in under an hour, I thought the pacing wasn't bad and I actually was relieved the film was so short. In some ways, I feel the first and second stories could have been cut even shorter.
-Kevin Smith's daughter, Harley Quinn Smith has popped up in a few movies over the past several years and hasn't been all the impressive. And while she doesn't have a lot to work with in this film, I thought she did a good job as the character driving the wrap around story. It would just be nice if they gave her a role where she didn't have a cell phone in front of her face the entire time.
-Another Kevin Smith mainstay, Ralph Garman is someone else I'm usually not impressed with. However, he shines in his brief role in this anthology film. Although, his particular story goes a bit darker than the rest, which was the only unsettling part of this film.
-The Killroy mask was strange. Sometimes it was effective, while other times not so much. I think the problem was the movie was lit too brightly in the shots where Killroy appears and that allowed the flaws to show.
-Chris Jericho has a role in the final story and steals the show. He ramps the energy up and goes a little overboard and it makes for an interesting and fun segment to watch that was derailed by one of the worse CGI alligators I've ever seen.
-There were pieces of the score in the first segment that were haunting and effective. I was hoping this would continue throughout the film, but it did not. I got almost Amityville vibes from them.
-The kill count is rather low in this film and that means there weren't many effects, but what did show up on screen was serviceable for the most part. In a movie this short, you would have thought they would have gone for more practical effects, but they choose to lean into the CGI.
What I Didn't Like:
-It truly felt like a low effort production. The care and quality you'd come to expect in a Kevin Smith film, even the less popular ones, was lacking. Heck, you might could argue that you'd find more passion and effort in a lot of the low-budget horror you find on Tubi. I realize the budget was just one-million dollars, but it's hard to find it on the screen.
-The lore makes no sense. It's presented that if you say Killroy's name three times, he appears and kills you, but that only works some of the time, and then the other times he kills other people around you. Apparently, you can also make a deal with him to kill other people if you get them to say his name. And then, he shows up at random in the final segment which felt tacked on and involved a CGI alligator, and I don't think anyone said Killroy's name.
-The film takes way too long to get going and that's not good for a movie that is sixty minutes long. I believe it's around the twenty-minute mark before we get our first kill, which was 1/3 into the movie.
At the end of the day, Killroy Was Here feels like a movie that was specifically made to be sold as an NFT. Maybe, the original concept was more fleshed out, but what was actually filmed feels like a one-off experiment to meet an obligation vs an actual movie. There are much better horror films on YouTube and on Tubi for free made by filmmakers with a passion for the genre and a desire to try and make a good (or at least scary) film, which Killroy is neither.
With all that being said... the great Joe Bob Briggs said, "The only sin a movie can commit is to be boring" and I will say, Killroy Was Here was not boring, but I have no need to ever watch it again.
Save your $180.