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  Deep Murder One dark day in porn-land
Year: 2019
Director: Nick Corirossi
Stars: Jerry O'Connell, Christopher McDonald, Katie Aselton, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Nikki Benz, Chris Redd, Stephanie Drake, Quinn Beswick, Josh Margolin
Genre: Horror, Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's a typically debauched day at the Dangler household. While Richard Dangler (Christopher McDonald) is on the phone closing an important business deal his sexy wife Babs (Katie Aselton) is banging his brother Doug (Jerry O'Connell). Meanwhile their nerdy 'teenage' son Hugh (Quinn Beswick) and his equally suspiciously mature-looking high school buddy Jace (Chris Redd) are hot for their unlikely and oddly nameless albeit sexy babysitter (Jessica Parker Kennedy) who seems more than eager to get it on. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Doug is brutally murdered. Quick on the scene perpetually irate Detective Cross (Josh Margolin) is determined to catch the killer. Accompanying him is sexy scientist Dr. Bunny Van Clit (Stephanie Drake) who brings dire albeit predictably sexy warnings about the fallout from a vague science experiment making everyone in the vicinity even hornier than usual. As the perplexed inhabitants try to crack the case before the gimp-attired killer claims them as the next victim they find themselves unexpectedly pondering whether there is more to life than being a sex-happy stereotype in a silly porn movie.

Given many no-budget slasher movies resemble pornos anyway it is strange no earlier comedies ran with this idea. However Deep Murder takes an already eccentric premise one metaphysical step further. It hinges on a high concept wherein characters inhabiting a tacky late Eighties-early Nineties porn video become trapped in a nightmare that makes them self-aware and wracked with existential dread. Imagine Last Year at Marienbad (1961) crossed with a silly porn spoof. This sparks the odd life-changing revelation in some characters. Babs belatedly realizes she spent too much time seducing her son's friends and not enough trying to be a good mother. Meanwhile the hitherto happily horny babysitter (who does eventually land a name) discovers the Dangler house has a library. Having expanded her mind through reading she evolves past her role as a one-dimensional masturbatory fantasy. More often than not however these revelations occur shortly before characters fall victim to the gimp-suited, dildo-wielding killer. Thus adding a seriocomic tragic dimension to proceedings that underscore philosophical leanings inherent in the script stars Quinn Beswick and Josh Margolin penned together with co-writers Benjamin Smollen and Nikolai Von Keller.

Arguably too clever for its own good, Deep Murder may likely alienate viewers simply seeking cheap laughs. Yet it is conversely so slight it might have worked better as a Saturday Night Live skit (a fact underscored by the presence of SNL alum Chris Redd). Nevertheless Deep Murder nonetheless scores points for ambition. Its sheer weirdness coupled with moments of twisted pathos played disarmingly straight (as when one victim comes out of the closet or another dies watching a vision of their past life) make for a memorable experience. Amidst a well-observed pastiche of trite spank film conventions complete with day-glow photography and hilariously god-awful dialogue, a cast of seasoned improv comedians make surprisingly convincing porn actors. Indeed Katie Aselton, an accomplished filmmaker in her own right, proves an especially good sport spending her entire screen-time in racy black lingerie. Alongside moments of hilarity, including an inspired gag about the Bechdel test, director Nick Corirossi orchestrates surreal and disorientating murder set-pieces that prove genuinely unnerving. Plus the film fades out on one of the most absurd yet catchiest theme songs in recent memory.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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