Studio: Screen Media
Director: Nick Corirossi
Writer: Quinn Beswick, Josh Margolin, Benjamin Smollen, Nikolai Von Keller
Producer: Eric B. Fleischman, Andrew Swett, Jesse Berger, Brent C. Johnson, Drew Foster, Patrick McErlean
Stars: Quinn Beswick, Katie Aselton, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Chris Redd, Josh Margolin, Stephanie Drake, Jerry O’Connell, Christopher McDonald
Characters inside a softcore porn movie must uncover the identity of a masked killer murdering them one at a time.
The premise of romp comedy “Deep Murder” is that the characters inside a 1990s ‘Skinemax’ softcore porno, not the actors but the fictional people, are being picked off one at a time by an unknown killer. The joke giving the movie its juice is that everyone only has as much intelligence as shallow stereotypes permit, so they don’t know how to do anything that wouldn’t have been written into a slapdash late-night cable script comically consumed with sex.
To borrow from the film’s low bar brand of genital jocularity, it’s ‘hard’ to sustain such humor for a ‘long’ period of time. Unsurprisingly, the ongoing gag runs out of gas after five minutes, and “Deep Murder” still has 80 more to go.
The silly story takes place entirely inside a mansion straight out of a Zalman King production. Downstairs, wheeling and dealing prick Dick Dangler (Christopher McDonald) paces in a tracksuit. Dick stays so consumed with barking buy/sell orders over an earpiece, he doesn’t notice his trophy wife Babs (Katie Aselton) is upstairs banging Dick’s bad boy brother Doug (Jerry O’Connell).
Across the hall, Babs and Dick’s nerdy virgin son Hugh (co-writer Quinn Beswick) plays video games by vacantly wiggling N64 controllers with his best bud Jace (Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd). Jace’s letterman jacket identifies him as their school’s star jock, although he can’t throw a football and his constant sports comments regularly make wrong references like hitting a home run in hockey.
When Jace goes to get it on with ‘Babysitter’ (Jessica Parker Kennedy), who repeatedly preens with knees overlapped while twirling a lollipop on her tongue, Hugh goes to answer the front door. It’s Dr. Bunny van Clit (Stephanie Drake), a weather scientist fresh from an outer space trip to warn everyone Hurricane Muff is approaching. Bunny might be the dimmest bulb in the bunch, building a science fair volcano to demonstrate the full extent of her knowledge. But she’s outdone by dimwit detective Brock Cross (co-writer Josh Margolin), who is summoned to the scene when the first of several family members unexpectedly ends up murdered.
If any of the above sounds amusing to you, and no judgment if it does, there are plenty more unripened apples scraping the orchard floor where those bits come from. Do you fancy dirty double entendres about pearl necklaces, deep throats, ruby scepters, and golden showers? How about quick skits where people beat each other with dildos or a pizza delivery guy arrives with extra sausage and a big pepper? “Deep Murder” plays with every porn trope you can think of, and that’s precisely why it’s weak. It’s comedy you can come up with yourself, featuring nothing truly clever to deliver a hit above the belt.
In a “so deliberately dumb, it’s funny” sort of way, the movie does have its moments, thanks wholly to a lively ensemble having a good time playing up goofs as far as underwhelming writing allows. When Detective Brock discovers a discarded letter opener, he jumps to a wild conclusion that the wife hired a diminutive hitman to climb up her lover’s body and stab him with a tiny sword. And when Brock spontaneously spin kicks Hugh in his face, I admit I emitted a one-time puff of air from my nostrils.
But the bulk of the humor can’t break through a wall of being basic, as evidenced by a montage of Hugh’s home videos from different decades. In the 1980s, Hugh sports a Flock of Seagulls haircut while Dick talks on a brick cellphone. 1992 footage has Jace mentioning “Milli Vanilli can do no wrong” (which weirdly would have been after their lip-synching scandal) while Doug laments being late for a Sugar Ray concert. Add ironic name drops and overdone sight gags to the long laundry list of lame laughs.
“Deep Murder” earns a thumbs down from me because I barely found it funny, which is obviously a fatal flaw for a comedy. But to each their own. If this style of flippant farce sounds up your alley, or you’re merely in the mood for “turn off your brain” entertainment, you’ll likely squeeze more enjoyment out of it than I did. Just be certain to set your disposition to dick jokes and dippiness and you’ll probably come out okay.
Review Score: 45