It’s difficult not to read a synopsis of Kill Keith and feel that the whole thing is a very bad idea – a cheesy joke that shouldn’t have been stretched into an entire movie. However this movie about a serial killer targeting British light entertainment veterans isn’t half as bad as you’d think it’d be. That’s not to say we’re going to see Keith Chegwin walking the red carpet at the Oscars next year (I really don’t know what America would make of him if he did), but Kill Keith managed to keep a smile on my face far more than I ever expected it to.
The movie follows Danny (Marc Pickering, who some may remember as R Wayne in Peter Kaye’s ‘Britain’s Got the Pop Factor’), who’s working as a runner on a popular breakfast TV show. The male host of the programme is about to leave, and in a basement somewhere, a serial killer is torturing a TV executive to find out the shortlist for his replacement. Once he has the names, it’s not long before he begins targeting the likes of Joe Pasquale, Russell Grant and Tony Blackburn (who rather oddly plays his own lookalike, while someone else completely different plays him), and he may also want to kill Keith Chegwin!
Danny may be the only one who can help stop the Breakfast Cereal Killer (and admittedly the film should be taken out back and shot just for that joke, but we’ll try to look past it), and if he plays his cards right, might even be able to land himself a romance with the TV show’s beautiful host, Dawn (Susannah Fielding – 4321).
It would be easy to rip into Kill Keith and pillory it for its many weaknesses. It’s silly, cheesy, many of the jokes are astonishingly lame, and the whole premise of killing past-their-prime celebs is as cringe-inducing as it is potentially amusing. And yet… the film is a lot of fun, as long as you’re prepared to stick your tongue firmly stuck in you cheek and don’t expect it to be anything more than you’d imagine from a serial killer movie starring Keith Chegwin. I’ll admit that you probably haven’t spent much of your life wondering what a serial killer movie starring Keith Chegwin would be like, but have a think about it, and whatever you come up with, then Kill Keith is a little better than that – not much, but enough that it’ll keep you amused through to the credits.
Perhaps most surprising of all is that ol’ Cheggers ain’t a bad actor. It’s often forgotten that before Swap Shop, Saturday Superstore, The Big Breakfast and a subsequent career that’s embraced his own slightly cheesy public perception, Keith was an actor who’s been working since he was 10 years old. Joe Pasquale’s quite fun too in a very small role, while Tony Blackburn doesn’t actually get to do all that much and Russell Grant hams it up like he were starring in a particularly camp panto.
There’s little doubt that anyone with a penchant for pretentiousness or who has no appreciation for slightly bizarre cheesiness (which occasionally borders on the surreal) will hate this film, but if you’re not above a bit of silliness or if you’re just intrigued by a comedy horror with Keith Chegwin in it, you might find Kill Keith is more fun than you imagined.
Overall Verdict: Kill Keith will undoubtedly become a forgotten curio very soon, but it’s fun while it’s here, and certainly better than a Keith Chegwin comedy horror has any right to be
Reviewer: Tim Isaac