Newest Reviews
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Blue My Mind
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Danger Within
Battle in Outer Space
H-Man, The
Painted Bird, The
Finding Steve McQueen
Five Easy Pieces
Queen of Hearts
Chinese Evil Technique
3 and a Half Kung Fu Girls
Newest Articles
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
  Murder Set Pieces splatter by numbers
Year: 2004
Director: Nick Palumbo
Stars: Sven Garrett, Jade Risser, Valerie Barber, Gunnar Hansen, Cerina Vincent, Tony Todd, Edwin Neal
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: A nameless photographer (Sven Garrett) leads a double life as a Nazi-obsessed serial killer, secretly abducting beautiful girls whom he rapes, tortures and dismembers. His girlfriend Charlotte (Valerie Barber) is completely clueless, but her kid sister Jade (Jade Risser) remains suspicious. When he isn’t violently sodomising victims in his grimy dungeon, our hero arranges tacky, nude photo-shoots, prowls the streets of Las Vegas for strippers and prostitutes, and delivers rambling, idiotic monologues. “I’m just a regular guy looking to blow off a little steam. Maybe a little self-esteem.” Amidst hallucinations and flashbacks to his whorish mother, the psycho continues killing, until the disappearance of a close friend prompts Jade’s descent into the basement.

Murder Set Pieces is so bad it could almost be called funny, if not for the nauseatingly explicit scenes of rape and torture. Wooden, Schwarzenegger sound-a-like, Sven Garrett is a woefully inadequate lead, but the biggest offender is the pompous, mock-philosophical posturing of Nick Palumbo’s script. Between murders, Garrett’s Elvis haired, Nazi voyeur/rapist/serial killer (any boxes left to tick?) is prone to brain-addled conversational asides like: “Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, the Al-Qaeda bombers are all my pen-pals in hell” and “Are we serial killers or surreal killers.” Palumbo previously helmed the appalling Nutbag (2000) - name-checked here as a snuff movie - memorably described by critic Kim Newman as: “the kind of film shit looks down upon”. Murder Set Pieces represents a slight step up. The killer’s ménage a trois with two gorgeous blondes he razors to death mid-coitus displays a modicum of visual flair, but this is such a smug, hateful movie there isn’t much to admire. The gore scenes are gruelling stuff, but disjointed storytelling robs them of any power. There is no explanation for how Garrett’s killer keeps getting away with it (he leaves trail of evidence Inspector Clouseau could follow). Nor why Charlotte sticks with him when he ignores her during sex, makes wisecracks about menstruation and lovingly strokes pictures of Adolf Hitler.

Scenes of Sven pumping iron recall American Psycho (2000), but the attempts at satire are wafer-thin. Palumbo borrows ideas and images from genuinely intelligent horror films like Deep Red (1975) and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1987) and plays to the gallery by casting genre favourites like Gunnar Hansen and Edwin Neal from Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1973), Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever (2001)), and Tony Todd (Candyman (1992)) (in one of the most ridiculous scenes you’ll ever see). In the absence of genuine wit, he indulges in trite shock-tactics: a blowjob from a severed head, real footage from the 9/11 attacks. It amounts to little more than nihilistic chic. Away from the dross, young Jade Risser shows some promise, portraying a believable child heroine even though her subplot is ineptly handled. Her final face-off with the killer is awkardly staged, but nightmarishly effective. The conclusion is a strained attempt at ambiguity that satisfies no-one. Palumbo apparently cast real Vegas strippers as the murder victims. A handful of striking beauties prove surprisingly good actresses - they scarcely deserve being splattered in sickening detail. Maybe that’s the point. Murder Set Pieces is so in love with its misogynistic asshole anti-hero it has zero empathy with his victims.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 3492 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: