Metaphorically speaking, Killer Diller is a lot like a superhero movie. It's got a boy with special powers, villains seemingly bent on ruining the day, and sadly, very flat characters.
Wesley (William Lee Scott, The Butterfly Effect) is a 20-something blues guitarist who can't seem to keep out of trouble. Given a chance to rehabilitate in a Southern Baptist college halfway house specifically for young musicians, he's quickly bored—until he discovers that autistic oddball Vernon (Lucas Black, Sling Blade) is a bona fide piano-playing savant. Rounding up his housemates and sneaking Vernon away from his overprotective father, Wesley turns the religious group into an underground blues band.
Though this is essentially an uplifting, cutesy drama, humor is injected by the halfway house's director (Fred Willard) and the campus administrator (John Michael Higgins), both played by veteran actors with experience in Christopher Guest-directed mockumentaries. The most realistic character is probably Vernon's father, Holister, played by the extremely versatile W. Earl Brown (There's Something About Mary, HBO's Deadwood), who's clearly pained by inadequacies as a parent.
Unfortunately, while the simple subject matter and easy-to-identify morals make this film ideal for family viewing, the extremely limited character development makes it difficult to enjoy on anything other than a superficial level.
If you're not in the mood for a heavy think-piece, however, there's still a lot to enjoy here—especially if you're any kind of blues fan. There's a small role played by famous musician Taj Majal and music composed for the film by Keb' Mo'.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.