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MALEVOLENCE 3: KILLER (2018)
Directed by Steven Mena
Written by Steven Mena
Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Lela Edgar, Kelsey Deanne, Alli Caudle, Katie Gibson, R. Brandon Johnson, Ashley Wolfe, Scott Decker, Todd Litzinger, Kevin McKelvey, Victoria Mena, Andy Striph, David Lee Madison, Scott Kay
I was a big fan of the first two MALEVOLENCE films. Steven Mena boiled down the slasher genre to its basics, using both TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FRIDAY THE 13TH and HALLOWEEN as its templates in music, theme, and story. Still, the two MALEVOLENCE films had a feel of being something wholly original in that it was about a young boy, raised to be the perfect slashing machine by a perfect slashing machine. In addition, the gorgeous and talented Alexandria Daddario was in the second one as an all too perfect final girl. I eagerly awaited the third film in this series, hoping that Mena would be able to pull off a trifecta. Unfortunately, MALEVOLENCE 3: KILLER just doesn’t match up to its previous two entries.
We are back in the present day where the first MALEVOLENCE took place (the second one is a flashback film) and the film opens directly after the first one ends with our killer Martin Bristol (Jay Cohen) escaping from the slaughterhouse he was raised from by psychotic kidnapper Graham Sutter and going on a killing spree in a residential neighborhood. Bristol has been messed up rather royally by Sutter and because of that, he shares his taste for making death happen and sets his sights on a trio of partying teens in the vicinity. With an investigator named Perkins (Kevin McKelvy) with a history with Bristol and Sutter on his tail, its only a matter of time before Bristol kills again.
The original two films mixed a lot of cool elements—the bag head mask from F13 PART 2 and THE TOWN THE DREADED SUNDOWN, the slaughterhouse setting reminiscent of the TCM house, and the kidnapping and training of an apprentice by a killer (again, which added a new element to it all). MALEVOLENCE 3: KILLER inexplicably looses the bag head mask and slaughterhouse—two of the most effectively creepy elements of the first two films. This leaves a mask-less killer roaming around a neighborhood killing people with a detective on his tail and it all feels a tad too close to the well-worn HALLOWEEN template. The originals mixed elements of many movies and felt original, but PART 3 feels more like a blatant HALLOWEEN rip-off. The killer doesn’t even have a distinctive look. He’s just got his hair dangling greasily over his face like Norman Reedus in every role he’s ever been in.
The acting this time around is less on par with the originals as well. Adrienne Barbeau makes an appearance and is fine in this cameo role. The lead/final girl Ellie (Katie Gibson) is a decent actress as well and handles the duties of the final girl well by being plucky, clever, and resourceful, as well as being beautiful. Still, the other actors are less than convincing. I understand actor Scott Decker passed away during the filming and much of the already low budget film had to be reshot. This is tragic as I feel this definitely hinders the film from being as effective as its predecessors. Mena still does a nice job of mixing the scores of F13 and HALLOWEEN and is able to continue to convey a decent mood for the film’s duration. True slasher diehards and fans of the original two MALEVOLENCE films are going to appreciate Mena’s third outing, but KILLER simply isn’t in the same category as the MALEVOLENCE and BEREAVEMENT.
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