I Like Killing Flies tells the simple yet thoroughly entertaining story of a West Village Café called Shopsin’s and its cranky proprietor. One of my favorite kinds of documentary is the character-based kind. Of course, you need an interesting person to fill out an entire movie, and director Matt Mahurin triumphs with his choice of Kenny Shopsin.

By turns beguiling, mercurial, intelligent and maddening, Shopsin, with his family, succeeds in running an eclectic and sometimes infuriating restaurant in his own quite particular and whimsical way in the middle of New York City. Unlike other restaurants, fighting desperately for customers – something like 70 percent of restaurants fail – Shopsin’s does its best to keep customers away.

This is especially true of the people that Kenny or anyone else in the family take a personal dislike to or don’t like the look of – a sort of reverse snobbishness that penalizes any group larger than four, those on cell phones or even just the unfamiliar.

A foul-mouthed, card-carrying Freudian, Kenny Shopsin will amuse, provoke and entertain you with theories and opinions about everything. Intelligent and abrasive, the man lives the opposite of a politically correct life – beholden to no one and nothing except his own integrity and maybe his family, including five children.

Forced to move a couple of times, Shopsin’s now exists in the Essex Street Market. The man, the restaurant and the film are all American classics.

Grade: A

I Like Killing Flies is currently available.