03 October 2015

MURDER SET PIECES/2004

I was duped into this one by the so called rave reviews plastered on the DVD jacket, one comparing some of Palumbo’s shots “of visual brilliance” to “the best works of Dario Argento.” Well, that’s a load of crap. While I am not a big fan of Argento’s narrative style I do respect his technical ability with camera shots and movement. To say that even one frame of this movie comes anywhere near Argento’s best work is a blatant lie. I perused a few reviews before doing mine to maybe gain some sort of relevant insight in to the movie that I may be lacking and decided I was wasting my time. I am fully qualified to dismiss this movie as a load of garbage. Not because of the murders and gore and so called sickenly repulsive violence (which I did not find it to have but rather found the violence comic bookish in the way a Herschell Gordon Lewis film is) but because it is simply a poorly written, poorly acted and poorly directed movie.

The basic story is about some Nazi guy who takes porno pictures of women around Las Vegas but has a tendency to practice zero self-control and murders most of them as well as most other people he encounters. He seems to get away all this with utter impunity. He drives around and picks up hookers and kills them, kills his porno models, his girl friend and some woman who may be his German ex-wife or current wife, we never know, a little girl who is a schoolmate friend of his girlfriend's sister, a fortune teller who won't tell him what the cards say and a disgruntled porno book store clerk played by Candyman Tony Todd and it goes on and on into sheer absurdity. He is never questioned by the police or rouses any suspicion except in his girlfriend’s little sister played by Jade Risser but no one will believe her because SHE'S A KID!

The whole move feels like it was shot in the 70’s. Some great movies came out of the 70’s, but some shlocky ones did too. This one patterned itself on those substandard 70's movies that are sort of fun now in a bad movie way. But this movie is not trying to be a bad movie and we do not need the 70's done over except in parody. The music score is weird too, with some really poor heavy metal stuff that was probably done by friends of the director. The rest of the movie score sounds like typical incidental music from a 70’s exploitation film, which is what this feels like. I like exploitation films from the 70’s, they are campy and fun. This film is not either. Look, the murders here are not that shocking or brutal or original. There is one scene where the guy lunges out at Jade from a hole in the closet and is suppose to scare you, I guess, but it was so ridiculous I replayed the scene like six times for a laugh. I am tired of DVDs that advertise themselves as the “sickest movie of all-time” and then deliver Z-Movie entertainment at best. Sure, there is a ton of off color blood everywhere, again the type that looks like the too red goop used by Herschell Gordon Lewis, but so what. I like blood and gore and that is basically what I buy a DVD like this for, but to just pour blood all over the walls and on top of some moonlighting porn star because the film maker cannot do anything to get the story across simply gets boring after a few scenes and that is what this movie was, boring.
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I cannot believe the reviews that seem to see something more to this movie than poor film making. The victims never seem scared and all look like porn actresses, which is what I read Palumbo hired for this film. Original Leatherface Gunnar Hansen has a small role as a Nazi gun dealer. Sven Garrett, who plays the photographer killer, is not really too bad in some ways as a serial killing, misogynist Nazi, but it is simply too unbelievable and poorly made to get anything but a weak nod from me. And it only gets that because Tony Todd was great as the burned out porno clerk and Gunner Hansen made an okay suburban Nazi.




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