Robyn Malcolm on This Town and challenging subject matter for comedy

The first Kiwi film out of the gates post COVID-19 lockdown is This Town, a story about love, murder and finding the one that might sound eerily familiar. 

Sean's a wacky-outfit-wearing, gun-loving Kiwi bloke reinventing himself after being charged and acquitted for a terrible crime.

Having come to terms with the script, Queen of Kiwi screen Robyn Malcolm took on the role of Pam the ex-cop, on a mission to prove Sean guilty, getting him off the dating apps and into jail. 

"[It's a] really challenging subject matter for comedy, and also a story that a lot of New Zealanders will see some similarities in, certain events that have happened in NZ history and I think that gives it a little more kick," Malcolm says.

The film's writer, director and star David White maintains the story is simply a fictional tale of persecution, and any links to the infamous Bain family murders in Dunedin are just a coincidence. 

"The great thing about comedy is that very few things are sacred, and they shouldn't be, because sometimes with comedy you can say something that you might not be able to with a drama," Malcolm says.

In an age when outrage can be the judge, jury and executioner of edgy comedy, This Town encourages Kiwis to laugh at the unlaughable. 

"It's one of the great weapons against tyranny and the tyranny of righteousness, which is problematic and so if you put rules around comedy, I think there's a really strong political component to that."

Beyond all the murdery stuff, there's romance and all the swiping that goes along with it. It can't be easy writing a dating profile as an accused murderer - it's hard enough for everyone else.