DVD Review: Killing Hasselhoff

By , Contributor
Is there anything less funny than a kitsch celebrity getting in on the punchline that his/her career has become? A very little bit of David Hasselhoff goes a long way and he has, in fact, had quite a summer. Big screen cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Baywatch have given "The Hoff" a much higher profile than anyone would expect from such a has-been. But a co-starring role as himself in Killing Hasselhoff, a direct-to-video release (from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) that drops on DVD and Digital HD August 29, is a bridge too far.

Certainly there are filmmakers involved in Killing Hasselhoff who tried very hard to make it a boisterously funny comedy. But the humor mostly misses the mark. Ken Jeong is afforded the rather rare chance to headline a film as Chris, a nightclub owner who owes some $400,000 to loan sharks. With a bunch of buddies, he's been part of a celebrity death pool for years—no one has won, so the pot has grown from a modest $9,000 to over $500,000. Chris has let it ride on David Hasselhoff, convinced that the '80s icon's days are numbered. Desperate to pay off his debt, a light bulb goes off in Chris' head: eliminate "The Hoff," collect the death pool jackpot, problem solved.

There are some almost-funny moments along the way, mostly thanks to side players Rhys Darby (as Chris' mentally unbalanced friend Fish), Jon Lovitz (as Hasselfhoff's beleaguered agent), and comedian Jim Jefferies (as another of Chris' friends, Tommy). There's also a ton of cameos throughout the mercifully brief 80-minute film. But mostly Killing Hasselhoff is a strenuously unfunny vanity project designed to show what a great sport Hasselhoff is about his own status as a pop culture punchline. The whole affair might've worked better had Hasselhoff chosen to endear himself to the audience rather than peacock around like a VIP megastar. 
 
rsz_killing_hasselfhoff_dvd.jpg Thanks to a clear-cut R rating (lots of vulgar language, a bit of nudity, drug usage, and moderate violence), Killing Hasselhoff will undoubtedly play well to any young teens who manage to sneak a viewing. I'm sure I would've found it hilarious when I was 12. Lowbrow comedy can be a lot of fun, but this one is a chore.

Killing Hasselhoff is not available on Blu-ray. The DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen framed at 1.85:1 with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The special features are limited to an eight-minute collection of deleted scenes.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is film and music. His new jazz album Good Merlin is now available.

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