A something to something something.

I needed two things after watching A Body To Kill For, a shave and to find Jesus. Thankfully there’s a Chick-Fil-A down the road from my house that works in a pinch on a Saturday afternoon. If you look through the new release list of Tubi you’re bound to come across a genre I’ve started calling Hood Tubi. There are a ton of films on Tubi that appear to be shot on cell phone whose plot is primarily about ghetto people doing hood shit. You know, drug deals, shootouts in the street, every man talks about his bitches, and each film has the notable ambiance of a gymnasium with a faulty air conditioning unit.

Most of these films are just over an hour in length. A Body To Kill For is not, coming in at two hours and sixteen minutes with some change and the directorial debut of Qeiyona Ne’cole. This is actually the first movie where I broke my normal rules on How About Notflix and went to look for any reviews, and they don’t exist, either on Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, or anywhere on the internet outside of maybe some comments on the movie’s YouTube trailer. And yeah I’m not exactly in the demographic for this movie’s audience, seeing as I once got kicked out of a Red Cross blood donation center for being too pale.

A Body To Kill For is an interesting 145 minutes. Is it good? I’m not sure, as much as I paid attention to the film I think about half of it was lost in my brain. The film stars China Magee as China, my first indicator that this whole thing might be a fever dream. China in the film is supposed to be seventeen years old at the start, a really awkward point when you realize that only a few minutes in, the movie shows a dude going down on her who is supposed to be about 22. The mental breakage here is that China is clearly not a 17 year old. My extensive internet detective work suggests she is in her early 30s, and she is an attractive lady. But she is not a convincing 17 year old. Neither is Shake, played by Charles. No last name credited.

The film takes place in Philadelphia, and I know someone with two thumbs who is never moving to that city after watching this film. I don’t have my math 100% down, but I’m pretty sure if this is any indicator you have roughly a 70% chance any given night that two guys in masks will bust your door open and flash their glizzies. After seeing it happen multiple times in the trailer I decided to take a tally on how many scenes involve people breaking into houses and flashing guns. I counted nine, although I may be off by one in either direction.

As for the plot, that is uh…Let me check the IMDB.

China White lived a life of privilege until a handsome young suitor exposes her to a dark side of the city that leaves her in danger of losing her soul, her mind, and her body.

Yeah sure. It’s a two hour film about dudes talking about robbing other dudes, and then going and robbing those guys they talked about robbing, coupled with dudes getting revenge for being robbed, people getting shot, people saying bitch and the gamer word, and cops doing cop shit. I’d wager nearly a quarter of the film is composed of b-roll footage of Philadelphia as well as slow motion shots that really don’t need it, and still images slowly being zoomed in on to let us know where we are. There’s an astounding number of time jumps in this film, some within a couple of minutes of others, interluded with scenes that don’t seem to be necessary to the plot.

All of this surrounding China who every dude in the film wants to bone down with. Every dude except her dad who I’m pretty sure makes his hair piece out of pavement. It’s also worth noting that China’s mom is supposed to be her mom, despite the actress actually looking younger than China Magee and actually convincingly closer to a teenager. The people in this movie are definitely not actors, which works because the plot and script doesn’t require them to be and nobody tries too hard to look like they are in a movie.

I actually find it hard to believe much of this movie was scripted, as the characters seem to be improvising most of the time.

Astoundingly it comes around full circle and it almost feels like I’m watching a home video someone recorded. There’s a whole side activity watching them almost break character and it seems like everyone is having fun during the filming. My favorite scene is when China and this dude get robbed and he asks “are you okay” to which the robber answers “no she’s not okay, she’s getting robbed.” I’m pretty sure I saw the actor sneak a smile with his head turned at that line.

This is the third Tubi movie in a row that I’ve seen where the ending gets really cerebral and I have no clue what the last few minutes are meant to imply. When I say I don’t really know what happened in this film, it’s not meant to be condescending. This movie pops a new time jump at least once every 10-15 minutes, and it’s actually hard to keep track of what is happening. There are some good looking women in this movie though.

I don’t know how I feel giving scores to this genre of film because I’m pretty sure they’ll all fall squarely in the C rating, so I’ll just say this; A Body To Kill For is an experience and I’ve seen plenty of films made by directors being directors with actors being actors that I came out with little more than contempt for, and at no point did I actively dislike this movie. I also don’t want to bemean a first time director who seems pretty genuine given this movie is based on a book also written by Ne’cole and probably covers something of personal importance.

The ending couple minutes remind me of the ending of a David Lynch movie. I love the judge in this film.