Ready to head down the rabbit hole with director Jay Lee (Zombie Strippers) for his trippy pscho-horror film Alyce Kills? This is anything but a Wonderland for Alyce though, running madly around a city full of cheating boyfriends, vicious bitches, and perverted drug dealers. The only white rabbit that guides her way comes in a white powder form, and Jefferson Airplane starts us on our journey by playing none other than, you guessed it, “White Rabbit.” Don’t think Lee’s film plays close to Alice In Wonderland though, it’s more just a notion with nods to characters and themes. Plus you wouldn’t want to mix up Alice with Alyce – one is whimsical and innocent, while the other mutilates anyone in her path.
Alyce Kills, as you could have guessed, is about a girl named Alyce’s (Jade Dornfeld) downward spiral into drugs and serial killing after she accidentally pushes her best friend Carroll (Tamara Feldman) off her apartment roof while in an ecstasy induced haze. Thinking Carroll is dead, she lies to the police about letting her friend go on the roof alone, only to find out Carroll is in fact alive. Battered, bruised, maimed, and disfigured – but alive. Not knowing how to approach the situation, Alyce finally agrees that anyone involved has to die, if only to reclaim a mere shred of the sanity torn from her.
While entirely more grounded than the zany shenanigans of Zombie Strippers, Alyce Kills is still an entirely two-headed beast. We’re promised a serviceable portion of horrific gore and killer encounters, yet a majority of the film is actually spent on Alyce’s drug-filled binge of self-restoration – or self-destruction, however you’re looking at it. Still, Alyce’s inevitable explosion doesn’t happen until much farther into the film than expected, as the build-up to this moment encompasses a large chunk of the film. While it’s hard to hate because it’s necessary to show Alyce’s use of increasingly stronger drugs and rapidly deteriorating mental heath, you can’t help but feel Lee dragged this out a little too long for audiences waiting for the more graphic horror environment to kick in.
With that said, when Alyce does finally lose it and people start getting hacked up, Lee creates a bloody proper horror scenario that blurs the line between Hollywood and realism pretty damn well. Alyce is a mousy girl who doesn’t look like she can pack a wallop, so Lee rightfully beats the ever-loving shit out of her. This isn’t some fantasy realm where some pretty bimbo can easily kill bulky men twice the size of her, and I love that aspect. Alyce absolutely works for her goals, and in a constrained time-frame which also seems reasonable. Part of the reason I appreciated Lee filling so much time with Alyce’s backstory is because it only left a small amount of time for her to act as a killer, avoiding the whole scenario of Alyce running about killing in a town with zero police influence for days.
Kudos to actress Jane Dornfeld for playing the titular character Alyce, a drug-popping monster who isn’t afraid to get her hands a little dirty – and by dirty I mean covered flesh matter blended to a pulpy state. Yes, as Alyce is deciding how best to dispose of her bodies, testing different methods of hiding her evidence, we see a truly psychotic side to Dornfeld’s character which she shows so well, joking and almost playing with the corpses of her victims. Alyce is a fantastic example of the innocent girl who can get away with atrocious things because no one believes it, literally telling people the heinously vile acts she’s committed to their faces, as they just shrug it off as a sick joke. It’s a sad but true statement about perceptions, but one that Dornfeld has a ton of fun messing with.
Here’s how I picture Jay Lee’s movie. Alyce Kills is like a tasty craft beer you’ve poured into a glass, only to realize three fourths of your glass is only a frothy foam. You chug away at the overabundance of head, getting hints of the beer’s flavor, until finally stomaching enough fluff to yield the absolutely delicious liquid gold awaiting your palate at the bottom.
When Alyce kills, she does so with attitude and style, but with a hefty amount of lead-in material, we're left wishing we'd spent more time with Alyce the killer - but appreciate the time we had.