Driven to Kill… Again! (2012) – By Josh Samford

The world of independent cinema draws all types. Although there are plenty of brilliant minds who pop up in the world of microbudget cinema, sometimes the filmmakers turn out to be more of a draw than their actual films. While I can’t profess to have much insight into the life of low budget renaissance man "Rocco," I can certainly say that he is enough to elicit my attention in his project. A musician who also stepped out to become producer, director, cinematographer, composer, editor, and actor within his own films, Rocco turns out to be an interesting character. As a filmmaker, he is either completely oblivious to his own weaknesses or is completely experimental in his cinematic approach. Whether or not Rocco had a great deal of film theory involved in his film is something that should be open for discussion, but there seems to be a certain amount of naivete present in the movie. Completely ridiculous, words can barely describe exactly what Drive to Kill… Again! actually is. It has been labeled as a horror-comedy-thriller, but it hardly seems to fit into any of these genres at all. Driven to Kill… Again! is a project that is intriguing only for its peculiarities and its general lack of logic.

Driven to Kill… Again! follows a very disjointed narrative that somehow revolves around a young man named Rocco (played by Rocco, obviously) who becomes involved with a pot dealing gentleman named Antun who is secretly quite the sociopath. This madman thinks himself a film director and occasionally shoots real snuff videos in order to place them in his own collection. As things move on, and Rocco’s group of friends start to dwindle down due to Antun’s maniacal rage, Rocco finally starts putting the pieces together. However, will he figure everything out while there’s still time?

The elephant in the room when it comes to Driven to Kill… Again! is its obviously padded running time. Clocking in at nearly two hours in length, Driven to Kill is excessively long for a project like this. Padded with pointless scenes and artistic flashes that make up relatively long montages, Driven to Kill holds its attention span for mere moments. With little ability to focus on telling a story within any sort of conventional format, the movie jumps around at all times. The filmmakers use a lot of tricks in order to hide their lack of budget, but shooting hospital scenes in closeup is not the most clever way of going about this. The way the camera moves in and out during shots, and the way scenes move from different grades of photography, seems to imply an artistic sensibility, but ultimately viewers will be more concerned with deciphering the plot than any artistic implications. Some scenes even appear to be shot via a low budget digital camera or perhaps with a phone. I wouldn’t discredit the film for that, because it is actually an inventive idea that could produce something fresh and appealing, but with the plot as it is, it adds to the overall confusion of the film.

Seeming as if the movie is partly a surreal trip into the serial killer genre, Driven to Kill is more of a head-scratcher than it is an expert game of cat-and-mouse. Plot lines are abrupt and at times the characters in the movie make very quick decisions or become very passionate about certain ideas without any narrative exposure. Instead, things just seem to happen and the audience is expected to make the logical jump and support this movement. This is not the case, unfortunately. Instead, we are left wondering why there are scenes such as the one during our introduction: a squence where we watch for five minutes (or longer) as a man and wife feed one another food in the park. The scene has a slightly humorous side to it, the man and woman are incessantly eating throughout the sequence, but the inclusion of this much screen time for such a pointless scene hurts the movie.

Unfortunately, Driven to Kill… Again! Has many problems going against it and not enough charm to sustain it. There are some strong elements that I believe the film has. The gentleman who plays Antun, our lead villain, is surprisingly strong, and with a more concise script I could see him being a good heavy. Some of the edited sequences are also quite strong and many of the montages do look good, and the music that accompanies the movie does certainly seem professional and strong. Although it has its weaknesses, there are glimpses of talent within the movie. If you’d like to read more about it, you can check out Rocco Pagliacci’s YouTube page: