The Doc Option: Watch ‘The Killing of America’ Instead of ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

By  · Published on August 22nd, 2014

Filmlink Corporation/Towa Productions/Fantasia Film Festival

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a fake of a movie. It is a concretion of film noir tropes that has none of the pathos or thematic richness that people love noir for. Its paper characters match its comic-booky aesthetic, which was interesting when the first Sin City came out nine years (!) ago, but is stale now. It aims for cheap thrills, which is not necessarily an unworthy goal, but it fails to deliver any of those thrills. The movie is just one bland act of violence after another.

The Killing of America is also one act of violence after another, but it actually has something on its mind. And as a cavalcade of actual death, assembled in an unpolished print and unreleased to this day in the U.S., this shockumentary has a billion times more outsider credibility than the hardboiled poser that is A Dame to Kill For. Both films depict worlds of total moral decay, where murder is a distressingly commonplace part of daily life. But Sin City invites you in to be turned on by this, to revel in the brutality, while The Killing of America wants you to question the kind of culture that would produce Sin City in the first place.