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  • Murder Set Pieces

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 8th, 2007

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    Sven Garrett plays the Photographer, who, when not exercising his profession of photographing beautiful women, is busy torturing and killing them. His girlfriend’s little sister (Jade Risser) thinks there’s something creepy about him, but isn’t listened to. Meanwhile, the bodies pile up.

    There’s not a heck of a lot more to the plot than that. The title is an apt description of the film: it is basically a collection of set pieces. References to Nazi Germany and footage of 9/11 are tossed in to no very compelling purpose. The acting is painful, as is the dialogue (what one can make out of it – more on this below). This is a film that has stirred up quite a fuss among the critics, horror or otherwise, but viewers wanting to see what all the fuss is about won’t be enlightened by this release. The film originally ran 105 minutes, according to IMDB. This version runs 83. So when I said this is a collection of set pieces, I should have said “truncated” set pieces, and all the really nasty stuff is completely absent. The result is akin to a hardcore porn film with the sex removed. The actual technical aspects of the film are quite slick, but that doesn’t make it watchable.

    Audio

    So let’s say you’re going to check this out anyway, for reasons that escape me. Good luck making it through. The music doesn’t sound bad, but that’s one quality is completely cancelled out by that the fact that the volume is so low, the movie is almost inaudible, and worst of all, the audio is constantly cutting in and out. At best, the dialogue is hard to follow. At worst (such as in the scene where Tony Todd makes a cameo), it is completely incomprehensible. I have never heard worse.

    Video

    Now, I accept the fact that not all DVDs will be released in an anamorphic format. I even expect that from smaller companies. But Lionsgate isn’t a hole-in-the-wall operation. A simple 1.85:1 non-anamorphic transfer (trumpeted as a “4×3 Letterbox” Bonus Feature) is just plain lazy. The result is that the film’s grain is even more apparent. On top of this, the image pulses in an out of focus. The colours, at least, are good.

    Special Features

    The managing editor of Ultra Violent interviews writer/producer/director Nick Palumbo and star Garrett. Palumbo is articulate about his film, even if one might find oneself at odds with his arguments. There are a raft of trailers here (though none for the film itself). The case lists deleted scenes as being among the features, but they have gone AWOL, so bang goes another half-star.

    Closing Thoughts

    The film isn’t very good. It’s been shorn of over 20 minutes. The sound is unspeakable. Features are missing. You aren’t still considering watching this, are you?

    Posted In: 1.85:1 Widescreen, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 2.0 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), DVD, Horror, Lionsgate / Maple Pictures

    One Response to “Murder Set Pieces”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      The Unrated Director’s Cut is a vastly different film than this butchered version.

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