Killer's Kiss ★★★

Film #2 of The Unseen Films of Stanley Kubrick

Where Fear and Desire showed very little potential for Stanley Kubrick as a director, Killer's Kiss. Beautifully shot and well told, Kubrick's direction has improved considerably from his previoue effort. Where Killer's Kiss indeed suffers is through the dreadfully bland performances of the two lead stars, Irene Kane and Jamie Smith. The story in itself is not particularly interesting and tells very little story but Kubrick's improvement as a director and displayed talent is what to take from this film.

Waiting at a train station for an unidentified girl, a man named Davey (Smith) recounts his meeting with a woman named Gloria (Kane) and their falling in love. The film deals with pointless narration and constant switches in its structure, shifting from one flashback, to another flashback to narration. The worst case is a scene where Davey saves  Gloria from being raped by her boss, Rappalo (Silvera) and she then recounts how he came into her apartment. The narration adds very little impact and importance to the way in which the story is presented that it would have been better told through dialogue form.

The lead performances are absolutely horrendous. Seeing as how they aren't even actors, it is impossible to complain but the two add no energy to their roles, coming off as complete and inconvincing script readers. Silvera's performance is beter but fails to balances out the two terrible lead performances. An atmosphere of some sort is generated throughout the film, due to some fine music and good cinematography.

The thing to look out with Killer's Kiss is Kubrick's improving talent as a storyteller which would later be perfected in future films, including his very next film The Killing.