Fanaticism is a hell of a thing. The line between simply admiring one’s work and being downright obsessed with it can be a fine one at times and when that thought process makes its way into art, it’s always an interesting subject to approach. Whether it be “Stan” by Eminem, Adrian Lyne’s FATAL ATTRACTION or the always fun stalker film THE FAN, the “being obsessed with one’s favorite actor or musician” trope is a fun one to watch. That similar trop is alive and well in actor/director Oliver Robbins’ film CELEBRITY CRUSH.
Following Jonathan Blakely (Robbins), a man living in the shadow a slasher film he starred in as a child, CELEBRITY CRUSH shows its viewer that while CHAIN FACE CLOWN might have be a tour de force to horror fans, but to Jonathan, it’s a chance to be recognized for something, even if in the worst of ways. Agreeing to sign autographs for a new deluxe Bluray release of the slasher, Blakely quickly succumbs to the desire of using his celebrity status to bed Emily (Alissa Schneider ), a woman, who not only ends up being secretly his most obsessive fan, but one who will kill anyone or anything standing in the way of keeping Jonathan to herself. Almost immediately after talking Emily into sex, Blakely realizes that he broke down the artist/fan boundary a little too hastily and ends up spending most of the running time trying to figure out how to escape with his life and the lives of the people he cares about.
CELEBRITY CRUSH is far from a perfect film. The pacing seems a bit off and it moves forward a bit too quickly. It would have been nice to allow the characters to breath more, allowing its viewers to get to know the characters more, but the scenes tend to jump right to the action without much a setup. With that said, it’s a lot of fun to watch and the back and forth game between Schneider and Robbins is a fun one to experience. The parallels between Robbins’ past being in the POLTERGEIST films as a kid and that of Blakely’s past of being in the CHAIN FACE CLOWN film seems to run with some similarities and CELEBRITY CRUSH’s look at how sometimes that barrier doesn’t seem to exist to some fans is a fascinating one. We hear stories of fans biting actors at conventions, stalkers trying to find their favorite actors’ addresses and various other way out there lines of reasoning, and that mentality of not knowing that though you appreciate an artist’s work, you don’t own them is a fun one to watch via Robbins’ film.
While CELEBRITY CRUSH isn’t reinventing the wheel of the stalker gone crazy subgenre of horror, it is a fun time and one that celebrates just that: having fun with your horror. Robbins and Co. do a great job of giving genre fans a film that you can have a wild time experiencing and it’s well worth your time.
Reviewer: Jerry Smith