This movie opens with a fearsome man named Jake (Ralph Ineson) entering a run-down restaurant in Negacion, New Mexico (pop. 209, according to on-screen credits). The Hog Heaven Barbecue is the location of the murder spree that opens the movie. Jake blows off the guy he came to kill, then shoots the grumpy cook, who demands he put out his cigarette. Just in case, he also punches holes in one of his henchmen who inexplicably attacked him. Before the shootout starts, Jake babbles in nonsensical, fake existentialist sentences, telling his victim that nothing really matters. Jake should be reminiscent of Javier Bardem from No Country for Old Men with his spectacular figure and unchanging facial expression, but he is not even as scary as Tom Hanks in The Ladykillers.
Jake is also responsible for the film’s rewritten narration. Ineson’s hauntingly listened deep voice is more gravelly than serious, but even Morgan Freeman at his best couldn’t make this material work. “All I know is that ignorance is bliss,” Jake tells us, “right up until the moment the knife goes into your back.” Later, we hear him growl, «a bullet is cheaper than a lawyer.» So, good script.
But I digress. When we’re not with Jake and the dimwitted minions he hires to help him hide the splattered bodies in Boar Sky, we spend time with Sheriff Hickey (Ron Perlman) and his nerdy girlfriend, Deputy Mindy Gaboon (Camilla Legg). They are responsible for finding out what happened and identifying the person. A severed thumb is their only clue. Pearlman, whose deep voice is as hoarse as Ineson’s, also betrays a bad letter. He deliberately mispronounces his assistant’s name (he refers to her as a «homosexual gift») and tells twisty stories that do little to advance the plot. This movie is 111 minutes long, but it seems even longer when dealing with this strange couple. The sudden, violent plot twist at the end of the film does little to make any of these characters watchable.
Oddly enough, the most absurd storyline of The Last Victim works just like that. At the very least, it provides a level of gonzo excitement that makes one wish the filmmakers had thrown everything else overboard. Susan (Eli Larter) and her husband accidentally stumble upon Jake and his team disposing of bodies in an abandoned nature reserve. It was her husband’s idea to take this shortcut on the way to her new job at the university, and he pays for it by getting his brains blown out. Susan witnesses the killing by Jake and escapes into the wild. She is pursued for several days, using her wits to survive. It is sometimes accompanied by off-tone songs on the soundtrack that leave the viewer wondering if the film’s music department is playing them.