THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 5: Office Killer (1997)

5. A Horror Film Directed by a Fine Artist.

Cynthia Sherman is a fine artist whose work is mainly a series of photographic self-portraits, depicting herself in many different contexts and as various imagined characters. Her best-regarded work is the collected “Untitled Film Stills”, a series of 70 black-and-white photographs of herself playing the female roles of arthouse films and exploitation films.

Working from a script that she wrote with Elise MacAdam, Todd Haynes and Tom Kalin, Sherman madeĀ Office Killer, a movie in which Dorine Douglas (Carol Kane) goes from taking the corpse of her friend Gary Michaels (David Thornton) after he accidentally gets electrocuted to going on a murder spree that includes artistic murders of Girl Scout, the office manager Norah Reed (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Reed’s lover Daniel Birch (Michael Imperioli). By the end, she’s on the road, a severed head in the passenger seat, looking for another office job.

Plus, Molly Ringwald works in the same office and Eric Bogosian appears in dreams as Dorine’s father.

This movie isn’t sure what it wants to be. Does it want to play the violence off-screen or shove your face in it? Is it a parody of slashers or just a bad one? It’s hard to tell. It reminds me of why I don’t really like C.H.U.D. because it seems like everyone in it is above being in a horror movie. I do like that the art for it tries to make it look like a 90s erotic office thriller, which it is not.

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