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Killer Diller

Killer Diller (2004)

January. 01,2004
| Drama Music

A guitar playing car thief meets an autistic savant piano player, and together they transform a group of reluctant halfway house convicts into The Killer Diller Blues Band.


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Tammy Helms

This movie is phenomenal ... an out of this world performance and perfect depiction of autism by Lucas Black! Astonishing! It certainly sheds light on the world of the autistic savant as well as delivering some of the best blues guitar and piano that I've heard in a long time. TOTALLY HYPNOTIC AND MAGICAL without being overacted and killing the message - Music heals! It is raw and real and shows the good that can come from the hearts of our troubled youth if given a positive outlet like music. I laughed, cried, danced, and sang through the whole thing. You are left with a satisfied smile and positive outlook after watching this movie. I suggest it to all my friends!


I had never heard of this movie. It was only perchance that I saw it in Lucas Black's role credits. I watched it all the way through and found it was a charming, very funny but not in a harmful way, foot tapping film. It was not going to win Oscars but anyone can watch this and end up smiling all the way through. Sometimes it doesn't matter whether you take films seriously as long as you enjoy the 90 minutes without looking at a clock. This film will cheer you up and make you take life not too seriously which is sometimes what people need in this day and age. I like Oscar winning films or serious films as much as the next person but people are so desensitised to emotions that they forget that life is too short and you should relax & enjoy yourself along the way. Smile, it won't hurt you!


I saw this at SXSW 2004 and must say it was one of the most terrible films i had the displeasure of seeing at the festival.The story follows a young delinquent blues guitarist named Wesley who lands himself in a Baptist halfway house after getting in a barfight over a woman and his guitar. He is forced to play crappy Gospel music with a bunch of bandmembers who hate him, until he starts sneaking a little blues into their setlist. This isn't without the help of Verne, an autistic piano virtuoso named Vernon who drives an invisible car and has a sheltering father. Not only does Wesley have to earn the respect of Vernon's father and the band, get past Vernon's jam session inhibiting disorder, but he also has to deal with the band director's hatred of the devil's music: the blues. Vernon is the wind up monkey in this movie, his social disorder turned into a quirky little personality trait that produces great comic one liners and a voice reminiscent of Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade. The serious issue of autism is delt with in the most dismissive and objectifying manner, and will offend some, but probably entertain many.This movie has next to no character development, most apparent in that of this legendary black guitarist who we are to assume is the deceased mentor of Wesley and previous owner of the guitar that means so much to him. He appears in the credits, and is never mentioned (unless you want to include a brief visit to his gravestone).This movie is cheesy beyond all recognition, and painfully predictable. The acting is at best not spectacular, and the story is beyond clicheThere are a few redeeming aspects of this movie, well two to be specific: the music in the film (props to Keb Mo and Tree Adams), and the hotness of Niki J Crawford. But sadly this isn't enough to sway me to give this terrible film a 5.

Jenn Brown

I almost didn't see the movie because of the title, then I read the description in the SXSW directory, and I'm glad I did; it's up there amongst my favorite films from the 2004 selections.A real killer diller, can really play, according to Vernon (Lucas Black), an austic savant at piano, who crosses paths with Wesley (William Lee Scott), a car thief sent in a halfway house. Wesley has a way of getting into trouble, but this time, manages to get something right, by striking up a friendship with Vernon, and turning the halfway house gospel group into a rockin band. The music is real killer diller, the acting engaging, and the crisis is plotted out very realistically. Scott and Black both do outstanding jobs in their roles, and they have chemistry as unlikely friends; you believe the bond. W. Earl Brown is equally believable as the gruff, loving father who does what he can to love and protect his son. Fred Willard, as the director of the halfway house, provides comic relief by believing in his mission to help the kids and in joyfully spiting his brother, who doesn't think a bunch of criminals belong in their community. The music is outstanding; director Tricia Brock got the blues, by bringing in real bluesmen like Keb Mo' and Tree Adams to work the soundtrack and to work with the Killer Diller Blues Band. And actress Niki Crawford does her own singing (and the SXSW audience heard live proof of it). I hope there is a soundtrack released; the music is hot, rocking blues. See this movie!