The central premise of the horror comedy Kill Keith revolves around the watcher knowing something many people across this over populated planet will not know; who Keith Chegwin is.
Keith Chegwin, or Cheggers as many call him including himself, is a cheesy day time TV presenter born in 1957 who after being a child star made his name during the 70’s on shows like Cheggers Plays Pop and Saturday Superstore and in the 90’s appearing on breakfast TV waking people up and giving them money.
Always considered something of a family friendly figure and fundamentally a joke, he shocked the nation after heading up Channel 5‘s Naked Jungle the UK’s first and so far only naked game show appearing in his birthday suit to all who watched on in grim amazement and committing career suicide in the process.
So how does this all lead to him becoming the central figure in a horror film I hear you cry in frustration?
Luckily Cheggers is well aware of not only the fragility of fame but his own ridiculousness and this has lead him down the path of self parody producing some successful results with appearances in Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant’s comedy series Extras and Life’s Too Short as well as in an amazing extra from Shaun of the Dead where he presents a zombie game show.
All of which takes us to Kill Keith where yet again Cheggers playing himself delves into desperate self-defamation for the purposes of our entertainment.
Keith works on Crack of Dawn the U.K’s top early morning show and when the main male presenter announces he is leaving the media rushes to guess at who will take his job.
Soon however another story hits the headlines as the proposed replacements start to be killed off by a mysterious murderer hell bent on bring breakfast telly down before lunch time.
It is left to lowly tea boy and studio runner Danny (an annoying Marc Pickering) to try and work out what is going on before he loses his job and the love of his life presenter Dawn (Susannah Fielding trying her hardest) before the breakfast cereal killer (get it) finishes his kill list.
Written and directed by Andy Thompson Kill Keith like so many British films before it tries its hardest to replicate the success of Shaun of the Dead and like so many of those movies it fails.
Lazily throwing together low budget gore with pitiful day dream film and TV lampoons and puerile smut the script is simply not funny and this is a big problem in a horror comedy especially when the horror part is equally unsatisfactory.
There are one or two good ideas including the running gag regarding how easy the daytime quiz questions are and the surreal send up of Tony Blackburn which deliberately bears no relation to reality whatsoever. Sadly these moments are few and far between padded out by scenes which appear at best boring and at worst excruciating to watch. In fact the funniest and cleverest thing about the film is the poster and that’s being kind.
The cast do their best especially Susannah Fielding as Dawn who deserves credit for acting as well as she does with such terrible material. The cameos are also mildly diverting with Russell Grant, Joe Pasquale and the real Tony Blackburn all turning up briefly to be brutally bumped off which for many citizens of the United Kingdom is probably a dream come true.
And what of Keith Chegwin the man you all now know so much about I hear you yell? Well considering the film, its title and all its marketing is predominantly based around him he isn’t given anywhere near enough screen time.
This is the biggest crime of all, as had the movie been wholly committed to Keith Chegwin as its central star and character, giving him all the story and the screen time, it may have been a much more interesting and entertaining movie.
Keith does get killed at the end of Kill Keith. However you’ll wish they had done it at the start, because then you wouldn’t have wasted the next hour and a half watching this bad, boring, bargain bin British horror comedy counterfeit.