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Mainstream - Killer Diller

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Killer Diller
Lucas Black, Fred Willard, Taj Mahal,
Mary Kay Place, William Lee Scott
Directed by Tricia Brock
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2008
95 minutes

You might want to toss off Killer Diller as Sister Act meets Rain Man but that's just the surface of this DVD. Killer Diller is a feel good movie with some kick ass music, good comic moments, and an interesting story.  This is a smart dramatic comedy about a bunch of people with problems coming together and becoming better. If you think you've seen it all before, you have not seen Killer Diller.

Killer Diller stars Fred Willard as a very sincere Baptist preacher running a halfway house. His idea of reform is healing criminal minds through music, hymns to be more specific. Unfortunately, the band is so bad little old ladies in walkers flee from their free concerts and his whole project is in danger of closing down. Even Wesley, the new guitar player (William Lee Scott), can't do much for this ragtag bunch of off key unmotivated wonders and if they don't shape up the reverend's program will shut down and they will be shipped back to jail.

Things do a 360 when Wesley runs into Vernon, an autistic piano player who can rock the joint and give the band the energy it needs. Getting Vernon (Lucas Black) to join the band is not going to be that easy; getting the preacher to accept the Global Defenders of the Throne becoming the Killer Diller Blues Band is going to be even more difficult.

What I really liked about Killer Diller is how subtle, poignant, and out of the blue some of the comedy on this DVD is. Even the story structure -the band saves itself and its program at the beginning of the movie- is turned on its head from time to time so you never know where this movie is going to go next and this keeps this at times dramatic comedy fresh.

What most impresses in this movie is it is able to tell its story in a little over 90 minutes, doesn't waste a single one of them, and can surprise the viewer. Killer Diller features a few subtle pause-the-DVD-to-see-them jokes -such as what is written on the chalkboard outside the reverend's office.

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