The semi-comic home-invasion thriller “Killer Kate!” aims to be a bit quirkier than most low-budget films of its kind, and while writer-director Elliot Feld and his co-writer/producer Daniel Moya miss the mark most of the time, that little bit of effort gives the movie some scrappy underdog charm.
A lot of what works in “Killer Kate!” can be credited to Alexandra Feld, who’s engaging as the title character, a diligent do-gooder who buries the hatchet with her estranged sister, Angie (Danielle Burgess), and joins her and her two friends for a weekend bachelorette party getaway. The gals find a remote B&B in the California hills, unaware that it’s owned by a bickering family with nefarious plans.
The film’s first half bounces between the tension-filled bachelorette party — derailed early and often by years of pent-up resentment between the sisters — and the bumbling preparations of the amateur criminals. In the second half, bloody mayhem ensues.
Feld and Moya have trouble settling on a tone for “Killer Kate!” The story veers from earnest to blackly comic (doing neither all that well), and succeeds best when it’s just pumping out violent slapstick, with the unflappable heroine at the center.
Still, the cast is talented, the direction is fairly crisp and the dialogue isn’t stiff. When the people who made this movie move on to something better, they’ll have no reason to be embarrassed by where they started.
Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Playing: Starts Oct. 26, Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood; also on VOD