Impulse Buy Theater - Killer Sofa
Updated: Feb 25
Seriously…like, what the hell is going on down under?
Is it something in the water? The food? Just the culture? Because, whatever they’re having, I want some.
Look, I’m not gonna pretend that I’m some sort of expert on Assie/Kiwi film…not at all. Most horror fans will lecture you on the early works of Peter Jackson and I can honestly say I haven’t seen a single one. But we’ve looked at What We Do in the Shadows, Deathgasm and Wyrmwood here on the site and my love of Black Sheep (2006) actually pre-dates the site (really should sit down to review that one) and I gotta say, I’m digging what they do with horror.
Today, friends of the site Shawn and Michelle have recommended Killer Sofa. From their description and the title, well, there’s a lot of ways that this could go wrong. Once the opening credits flashed that this was a Kiwi film though…I knew I was in good hands. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s get to that plot synopsis:
Francesca has a man problem. Every man in her life tends to get obsessed with her. When one of her former lovers turns up dead, leaving her his recliner, other men allured by her also start turning up dead. Has one of her men turned psycho? Or is there something more sinister afoot? Only her best friend Maxi and her mystic grandfather suspect that the killer may not be a man at all…but a Lay-Z-Boy.
Running only at 80 minutes, the film really wastes no time, even though it is surprisingly a little bit of a slow build. The small cast is totally committed, helping to make the outlandish scenario seem more realistic. Well, as realistic as a recliner hunting down people and killing them can be. Sure, I probably should have attached a spoiler warning to that, but come on, it’s called Killer Sofa, dammit, what do you think is doing the killing? [Actually, it’s a recliner, not a sofa. – Ed.] Take it up with the Kiwis man. But they all do a fantastic job of keeping the ludicrous situation pretty grounded. Earning a particular shout out is Grant Kereama as internet supernatural expert Tohunga Makutu who brings the same vibes to his role as Clancy Brown brought to Dr. Marconi in John Dies at the End, being flat-out hilarious in his earnastness.
Keeping up the Aussie/Kiwi reputation, gore effects here remain pretty good throughout. I particularly enjoyed the vacuum cleaner scene. There are some CGI moments as well but they’re pretty limited to when the recliner consumes the souls of his victims. Given that it emits a light with very 80s colors, well, what can I say, I’m biased, of course I’m gonna love it.
To circle back around to the plot, as much as just a recliner killing people would be fun enough, there are twists and turns to the plot that the viewer, much like Maxi’s grandfather, aren’t really aware of how they’re pertinent, but the way that they’re spread out between scenes of what the viewer would typically expect along with how all the loose ends are tied up in the end, everything comes together pretty nicely. Without giving anything away, the film does end suddenly, and I’ve gotta admit I would have liked to see it go on a bit longer, but ultimately, I get they decided to wrap it up where they did, as sometimes when dealing with subject matter so absurd, as this film does, it’s best to dismount when you know you can stick the landing as opposed to overstaying your welcome.
Short, taut and definitely absurd, Killer Sofa gives you a quick horror-comedy fix and maintains the high standard in Aussie/Kiwi horror that I keep forgetting exists. It’s currently available on streaming via Amazon Prime and there is a German Blu-ray release. Honestly, I’d love to see Joe Bob and Darcy tackle this one on Shudder’s The Last Drive in. Definitely worth checking out.
Again, big thanks to Shawn and Michelle for the fantastic recommendation!
TLDR: Better than it has any right to be, this quirky Kiwi horror/comedy wins viewers over with its charm, earnestness and unique premise. Truly worthy of our Happy Cat rating!