After being attacked at a local community meeting by some unruly youths, Baz undergoes a psychological change brought on by his injury. He changes from a brow beaten bike riding figure of fun to a full on, blood thirsty, vigilante psychopath.
His new mission in life is to truly punish the guilty, and after setting up a zero tolerance zone on his local beat he starts tracking down criminals offering them a simple choice, arrest or death – though arrest is rarely an option.
By uploading videos of his kills (filmed on his helmet cam) onto the internet and constantly tweeting his crazed actions under his nickname [email protected] Baz becomes a social media phenomenon and a local anti-hero. Finally, someone is cleaning up the streets of the trash and dirt that has infested them for so long.
But as his mania rages further and his punishments become more extreme and more unruly it’s not long before he draws attention to himself, causing someone with a grudge against him to track him down and take their own personal revenge.
Jet black from the off, May I Kill U? is a brilliant horror comedy that puts a mirror up to our modern social media obsessed world and takes on some deadly serious issues, all while still managing to thoroughly entertain the audience.
Writer and director Stuart Urban, a veteran film maker, bravely takes on the British police movie – a genre seriously underrepresented considering how many U.S cop films there are – and makes it work perfectly, balancing the dark and light elements of the story giving enough shade to both sides to keep it interesting.
With scenes of the London riots (a memory still raw in many people’s minds) shown early on, the film instantly evokes memories of the anarchy and chaos that took hold of the capital’s streets and the desperate and almost impossible task the police faced trying to restore peace and calm.
This powerful backdrop is the setting of Baz’s first kill where he uses a stolen plasma TV to crush the skull of one of the rioters. It’s an ironic execution on his behalf which fuels his future crusade for justice through the death of those who break the law.
Forcing the audience to confront its own opinions on capital punishment, care in the community, illegal immigrants and more through his killings, Baz and his fellow cycle cop companion Val (the excellent Hayley-Marie Axe) also discuss the issues and the film is clever enough to remain on the fence, letting you decide what you think yourself rather than forcing you into moral handcuffs on the issues.
This ambiguity is amplified by the very modern use of social media in the movie, with Baz constantly tweeting and messaging about his mixed up murders then with his fans contacting him back urging him on and offering suggestions on how to kill the criminals. All of this is displayed on screen in pop up boxes, adding to the highly original stylization of some scenes.
Whether Baz is a heroic crusader, an unhinged psychopath or a victim of his own psychosis is always in flux due to the extremely sympathetic performance from Kevin Bishop who makes Baz a complex character you can’t help but like. This is all helped along by Baz’s dysfunctional relationship with his mother, well played by Frances Barber throwing an element of Psycho into the mix.
A crossover of Maniac Cop, Man Bites Dog and Hot Fuzz, May I Kill U? is an instant cult classic that deserves to be seen by a much bigger audience. Well made, well written and well performed this highly original horror hybrid tackles some big issues with its biting satire of our modern society. Like a ‘night in the cells’, once experienced it’s hard to forget.
Want more to know more about May I Kill U? Why not read our Interview with Hayley-Marie Axe right here:
Interview with Hayley-Marie Axe about May I Kill U
4 Out Of 5