Newest Reviews
Bird Island
Devil to Pay, The
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Salon Kitty
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Newest Articles
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
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble 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 3399 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
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: