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Love at First Kill



Also known as "The Box Collector," the film finds its biggest star in Margot Kidder, now a far, far cry from Lois Lane as Beth, one kooky, miserable old hag who lives alone with her long-suffering, socially awkward son, Harry (Noah Segan, "The Brothers Bloom"). They're both on meds of some sort, but things look decidedly up for Harry when French hottie Marie (Lyne Renée) moves next door.

Marie is a nurse by day and massage therapist by night, so you know what that means: MILF affair forthcoming! While Harry is hit with a case of the insta-smittens, Beth isn't so kind: "You sound foreign. Are you foreign?"

As Harry and Marie start that fling, Beth goes super-bonkers over it and makes thinly veiled death threat while trying to give her boy a guilt trip. All kinds of strange things happen that feel tonally off and even campy, but a last-minute twist explains why, I suppose.

Then again, Guy Lee Thys' script does contain presumably unintentionally hilarious exchanges like this:

"Why did you have to come back or try to rape me and then break my windows?

"Awww, I didn't break your window!"

Directed by John Daly (who had quite a run in the 1980s as a producer of "Platoon," "The Last Emperor" and "The Terminator" under his Hemdale Film banner), the generic but competent picture is livened by Segan's likable character and Renée's lusty one. As seen in the recent "The Hessen Conspiracy," she's more than willing to appear in the altogether.

Lower your expectations and watch out for snakes. —Rod Lott

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