See No Evil

You have no idea how happy I am not to know who Kane is. He’s a WWE wrestler, you see, and not having heard of him means I have no connection to that world.

But there are people who love professional wrestling, and who love Kane, and they will surely be thrilled with “See No Evil,” a gruesomely funny dead-teenager movie in which Kane gets top billing despite having only one line of dialogue. Which means whatever his other advantages might be, what Kane really has is a good agent.

Kane, who is 6’9″ and must weigh about 11,000 pounds, plays a serial killer who is fond of removing his victims’ eyes. (Who isn’t?) He lives and works out of an abandoned hotel, where eight young inmates who are guilty of second-degree felonies are going to spend the weekend cleaning up in exchange for time off their sentences.

It’s an unbelievably bad idea, and not just because there’s a maniac who lives on the top floor. (No one knows about him yet.) Consider the logistics: Eight felons are going to “work” in this nine-story hotel, but they only have two officers and an elderly caretaker to supervise them. That’s basically the same as having no supervision at all, a fact that comes urgently to light when they start getting killed.

First-time writer Dan Madigan is careful to observe all the clichés of this genre, including the gratuitous shower scene and the scene where having sex means you get killed. But maybe movies like this are ritualistic: You go because you WANT to see the same thing every time. You’d be disappointed if it DIDN’T have a gratuitous shower scene. In that case, I guess the disappointment here is that she’s only nude from behind.

The director, Gregory Dark, has previously worked mostly on music videos and porn (I’m not making that up), and both skill sets are brought to bear in this project. Voyeurism? Creepy fetishism? Jittery editing? Check, check, check!

But for what it is, it’s not a bad movie. In addition to those gratuitous shower scenes, fans of a slasher film want creative deaths, and “See No Evil” has them, giving many of the characters grotesque farewells that fit their personalities (the one eager to find money is crushed by a safe, etc.). And the final vanquishing of the foe is one of the more energetic ones I’ve seen, not just for its thoroughness but for its sheer enthusiasm.

So the movie delivers some of the goods. It isn’t the least bit scary — a considerable liability for a horror film — but it’s watchable in its own rancid, special little way.

C (1 hr., 28 min.; R, abundant harsh profanity, tons of graphic violence, some non-sexual nudity.)