Office Killer

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Cindy Sherman

REVIEWED: 12-22-97

Being a copy editor sometimes seems a thankless job, but most of us don't actually harbor murderous sentiments toward our co-workers. Neither, at first, does Dorine, the dorky and rather mad anti-heroine of artist Cindy Sherman's film-directing debut. Dorine (Carol Kane) starts to crack, though, when the evil, chain-smoking editor of Constant Consumer downsizes the magazine's staff and forces her into the bracing new world of freelancing, telecommuting, and laptop computers. When Dorine, struggling to adapt, accidentally electrocutes the obnoxious office computer guy (David Thornton), it's like the moment in the old movies when the plain-jane schoolteacher takes off her glasses and lets down her hair. She starts dressing better, taking on new responsibilities at work, and discovering how much fun it can be to knock off her professional tormentors, prop them up in her basement rec room, and use her new e-mail skills to taunt the colleagues she hasn't got to yet.

Kane brings a merry dementedness to Dorine, chirping away in her baby-doll voice as she spruces up her victims' decomposing corpses with Windex and packing tape. But on the whole, this gruesome comedy is like one of those Saturday Night Live routines that are funnier to tell someone about than they are to watch. It's Psycho meets Working Girl, with an unfortunate incest-memory subplot thrown in to suggest a Lifetime movie-of-the-week. If that isn't high-concept, what is?

--Linda Lowenthal

Full Length Reviews
Office Killer

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