“KILL THE MONSTERS”— Traveling Across America


Traveling Across America

Amos Lassen

Ryan Lonergan’s “Kill the Monsters” is Patrick (Lonergan), Frankie (Jack Ball) and Sutton (Garrett McKechnie), a triad of adventurers who, when one of them becomes ill, the two others decide to head west in search of new adventures and holistic treatment. As they travel, they revisit key points in the history of this country.  

Frankie (Jack Ball) becomes mysteriously ill and his partners  Patrick and Sutton agree to go west to fid seek holistic treatment. Frankie had been stuck in a dead-end job and becomes ill with a mysterious ailment. His partner Patrick is practical and suffocating and Sutton is fun and careless. Yet the three love each other very much. They believe that the only way to cure Frankie is go across the country and find a doctor that will cure Frankie of the way he feels.  

 The film opens with a Benjamin Franklin’s quote,  “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch” and we learn later that this film  He later explains that the film is an allegory of American Democracy and is structured in chapters named after key points in American history. As they travel, the three argue, separate and come back together.  They never miss an opportunity to sell their relationship arrangement to all that come along.  

The black and white cinematography is gorgeous with its American landscapes backed by wonderful classical melodies. This allegorical comedy is replete with fun and witty dialogue. We see what love is all about and that it is like American politics, multi-faceted and multi-layered. This is a film filled with romance and eroticism as we see the high and low points of some of America’s history. I found the way Patrick and Shannon seemed to both want to gain more of Frankie’s affection to represent how the right and left joust for power. There is a raunchiness to what we see with the guys’ desires , jealousies, highs and lows portrayed honestly and freshly and the fact that the trio approaches life with abandon so do we find ourselves wishing  to be able to do the same.

The performances are excellent all around and we sense the  chemistry between the three man even as each seeks his place in today’s world. Everything is totally real and believable. I believe that we will be seeing a great deal more of Ryan Lonergan as an actor and as a writer-director.

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