Monday, August 16, 2010
KILLER DILLER (2004)
Killer Diller takes the characters from Clyde Edgerton's novel and simplifies them to deliver an entertaining movie with a message. Tricia Brock the Director/Screenplay Writer of Killer Diller works mainly in TV and her production of Killer Diller has all of the earmarks of an After School Special: troubled young man finds himself and makes good; a group of outcasts all work together for a common goal; acceptance of someone who is "different" into the group; finding out that "different" people may have something to offer you that you don't recognize at first look.
Wesley (William Lee Scott), a young man in and out of trouble finds himself in a halfway house at a Baptist College. Wesley is to be the new guitarist for the halfway house's gospel band. At first, Wesley is surly and doesn't get along well with the other members of the house. Through a misadventure, Wesley happens upon Vernon (Lucas Black) an autistic young man who drives an invisible Plymouth. When Wesley finds out that Vernon is a virtuoso on the piano, he convinces the other members of the halfway house to join him and Vernon in forming a blues band. This doesn't sit well with either Vernon's father (the excellent W. Earl Brown) who is overprotective of the boy or with the director of the halfway house, Fred Willard. No need to fear, everything works out in the end as the band (The Killer Diller Blues Band) is a hit. The halfway house director uses the blues band to garner more funds for the college, while Vernon's father learns to let go and allow his son be his own man.
The above description of the movie may sound a little "sappy", but the plot plays out quite nicely. While Killer Diller isn't the greatest movie you are ever going to see, it's still a fairly entertaining 95 minutes that's anchored by great performances from Lucas Black and W. Earl Brown. The biggest disappointment with the movie was that I rented it because it showed Taj Mahal in the cast (he's listed sixth in the credits). Sadly, Taj Mahal only shows up as the movie opens and as the movie closes. Although the movie never gives a full explanation, it appears that Taj was Wesley's mentor and left him his guitar when he died.