I KNOW WHO KILLED ME
* * (2007, 100 minutes, Rated R)
A cornucopia of clichés.
Selecting a film to review this week was something of a feat: It had long been planned that
February 2010 would be "Heart-On for Valentine's Day" Month, featuring erotic thrillers. Also, the
theme for February 2010's B-Movie Meatloaf is "Torture Porn." Also also, I only review bad movies.
Was there some magical film that could qualify as a bad erotic torture movie?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present I Know Who Killed Me.
Of course, not only could this movie be considered both an erotic thriller and torture porn, it could
be considered a psychological thriller, a murder mystery, a family drama, or, if you're like me, an
accidental comedy. It's been said that any story fits into one of seven basic plots, and this film uses
Let's see if I can untangle this mess: We open with Star Magazine's Lindsay Lohan pole dancing
through the opening credits. I strongly believe this only exists because "see Lindsay Lohan pole
dance" was on some filmmaker's bucket list.
We then hop over to Ms. Lohan reading some
intensely trite story. She is Aubrey Fleming, a young
artist on her way to Yale, a skilled pianist and a
budding capital-W Writer, which means we're treated
to an obligatory scene of her tapping away at a laptop
and fiddling with a wall of Post-It Notes. Just like a
real writer. To drive home the point that Aubrey is a
very serious young lady who would never ever do any
pole dancing, Ms. Lohan studied up at the Tara Reid
Acting School for Real Smart Ladies and sports a
stylish pair of glasses.
Then a bunch of stuff happens. I don't know if it's all
about foreshadowing or establishing character, but it
primarily an excuse for the director to show off a lot of
camera tricks, play with color saturations, swoosh
around, trot out the occasional photo negative
transition... Stuff I consider "cinematic masturbation"
because it serves no other purpose than to gratify the
director ("Look how Creative I am!").
Every now and then, Nolahn will take a break from
reviewing crappy films no one has ever heard of to review
spectacularly bad films that everyone has heard of. Brace
yourself for another installment of...
CRAP OF THE TITANS!
|"She's lovely... But can we have a
scene of her pole dancing?"
GAH! This film is TORTURE! It’s almost unbearable! It's -- oh, not yet.
After attending The Big Game, Aubrey is abducted by -- I kid you not -- a member of the Blue Man
Group. And here comes the actual torture part. Yes,
it’s icky. I never got this kind of stuff: It’s not scary or
interesting, just uncomfortable to watch. Congrats
on making your film unenjoyable, filmmakers! Yay,
Aubrey turns up two weeks later, minus a few body
parts and, apparently, her memory. She insists that
she’s a perpetually cranky stripper named Dakota
Moss. For reasons never made clear, she all but
refuses to cooperate with the inept investigators
(who all have hilarious movie names like “Phil
|Of course, performance art is its own
special kind of torture...
After getting a robot hand, just like Luke Skywalker at the end of The Empire Strikes Back,
Aubrey/Dakota is released into the custody of Aubrey’s parents (played by actual quality actors
Neal McDonough and Julia Ormond, apparently being punished for something), and suddenly the
film wanders into “naughty sitcom” territory.
First, Aubrey/Dakota drags Aubrey’s boyfriend up to her room
to bang him senseless -- and to allow “shoot graphic yet
nudity-free sex scene with Lindsay Lohan” off some
filmmaker’s bucket list -- while Aubrey’s mom scrubs
frantically at the kitchen sink, trying to pretend she can’t hear
what’s going on. Afterwards, we’re treated to Aubrey’s
boyfriend running from FBI agent to FBI agent, asking if they
have a condom to spare.
The film kicks back into junior varsity David Lynch territory
with an abrupt and disorienting flashback before getting into
the heart of sorting out what the hell is going on. I’d figured
out the identity of the Blue Man Group abductor early on, so
having to sit through “hints” with the subtlety of a falling anvil
grew old in a hurry. I’ll admit that the film kept my interest,
but only because I wanted to see what other nuggets of crap
the film would pull out of the air.
Speaking of which, yes, there is a moment where Lindsay
Lohan turns to another character and breathlessly
announces, “I know who killed me!”
|Sadly, this photo of Ms. Lohan
taken for New York Magazine
is both sexier and more
revealing than her sex scene
in I Know Who Killed Me.
Okay, so there’s a lot that’s wrong with this movie. By far, its biggest problem is that the film is
constructed almost entirely of movie clichés. Here is a list of common movie clichés that can be
found in this film:
- Protagonist is a Writer
- Gimmicky Serial Killer
- Use of Color as Foreshadowing
- Memory Loss
- Supernatural Phenomenon
- Ineffective Law Enforcement
- Family Secrets
- Mistaken Identity
- Split Personalities
- Actor Playing Identical Twins
- Dream Sequence
- (alt. ending) It Was All In His/Her Head
What? No time travel?
Don‘t get me wrong -- I like movies with one or two of these clichés mixed in, too. But you don't mix
them all in, any more than you'd stir fry together your favorite foods. Know what I'd get if I fried up
swordfish, cheddar cheese, chocolate, potatoes, buffalo wings, cookies 'n cream ice cream,
French onion dip, broccoli, curry and kielbasa together? Sick.
Looking for a second opinion? Because when we're talking about a film
this famously bad, a whole lot of quality sites have taken their shots at it.
May we recommend...
You may have noticed that I
haven't taken many cheap
shots at Ms. Lohan's
expense. I certainly could
have. In fact, it would have
been easy. Even without all
the tabloid fodder, Lindsay
Lohan is a gorgeous,
talented actress who is
actively flat and unsexy in
But there is all that tabloid
Maybe that excellent
monologue Craig Ferguson
gave a while back struck a
chord. Maybe there's a
kernel of actual sympathy
deep within my charred
lump of coal of a heart. But I
just couldn't bring myself to
I can't help but feel for some
of these showbiz kids --
Lindsay Lohan, Britney
Spears, the Olsen twins,
etc. -- who have grown up
and come of age under a
microscope. Their every
misstep has been amplified
and broadcast nationally.
Nationally! Can you
imagine if every screw-up
you made in your youth was
front page news?
So, for those showbiz kids
like Lindsay Lohan who, for
all their fame and success,
haven't had the freedom to
do incredibly stupid things
in the privacy of their own
circle of friends and family,
The 'Bin will pass on piling it
on. You're welcome.
But for the rest of you tabloid
trolls, desperate for any kind
of publicity -- I'm talking
about all the reality TV
of their own celebrity sex
tapes and "stars" of MTV
shows -- it's on.
|IN DEFENSE OF
A SPECIAL SIDE BAR