‘An Allegory of America’, Kill the Monsters is the tale of three men struggling to keep their polyamorous relationship together whilst travelling across the US.
This epic journey is all in search of a doctor to save the most naive of their three way relationship, Frankie (Jake Ball). Frankie is sick, but ‘it’s not cancer’, he is suffering from a ‘general feeling of malaise’ that leaves him regularly hospitalised and unwell.
Announcing itself as an allegory in its opening credits, the relationship in Kill the Monsters is not the only plot within the film. Their entire adventure is a nod to American history. We start with Frankie’s break from an oppressive British employer to a round table with German and Russian lesbian couples as they fight over the rights to an apartment block and disagree about how romantic relationships should be managed.
The entire relationship between Frankie, Patrick (Ryan Lonergan) and Sutton (Garrett Mckechnie) seems to a representation of political powers (Patrick & Sutton) vying for the affections of The American People (Frankie) as they make decisions about their money and relationship.
This includes the partners’ interactions with a menagerie of lesbian couples from different nations with Frankie always having the deciding vote following arguments from either side (which he doesn’t really listen to).
Most of it is clever and subtle. The French doctor who convinces them to break west, the British Banker who employs Frankie are not overt and don’t directly mention their connection to American history. As Kill The Monsters develops it becomes more in your face as we reach modern history. The German characters directly out our American throuple for thinking ‘their relationship’ is equally as oppressive as theirs.
Later it becomes so obvious Sutton is a republican allegory and Patrick a Democrat it loses itself a little as it becomes easier to decipher the allegory’s meaning.
None of this makes it any less enjoyable though. I actually loved watching American history through the eyes of director Ryan Lonergan and I was incredibly impressed how this film changed my mind minute by minute. As a lifelong cynic, whenever I see a film which appears needlessly in black and white I roll my eyes and guffaw at the silliness. Jim Jarmusch must have been watched numerous times before making this film, and whilst I still don’t see what it added other than an aesthetic to fit the old timey font with which they introduce each chapter.
Luckily Kill the Monsters had a very obvious comedic and satiric element that made it bearable. Though I won’t admit it if you ask me face to face, I ended up not caring it was in black and white at all, or even noticing.
With snappy cuts, fast paced excited dialogue, some intense moments of fantastic acting, Kill the Monsters is a genuinely GOOD film. It may not streak the awards ceremony but anyone interested in American History, or ANY history should definitely watch this film.
It may not be a choice for fans of Donald Trump though as he’s hilariously alluded to towards the end of the film. Kill the Monsters surprised me with how it kept me engaged and I didn’t actually want it to end. I thoroughly recommend giving it a watch.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.