Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)

Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)

A photographer by day, serial killer by night is roaming the streets of Las Vegas with only a young girl suspecting that anything is wrong.  Will she uncover him or fall victim to him as well?

Actually, I just made the film sound far more interesting than it is.  Maybe I’m missing my calling.  That sounded sort of suspenseful, like there are some angles that you could explore.  None of that happens with this movie, though – but don’t tell that to writer/producer/director Nick Palumbo, who apparently thought he had a gritty look into the mind of a killer.

Sven Garrett is The Photographer (seriously, almost none of the characters in the film even have names) – a creepy as hell German immigrant who is apparently supposed to be charming (although we certainly never see any charm from him).  He’s also a deranged serial killer for reason that are somehow over-explored but never explained.  He had some sort of twisted childhood with his mother and is also a Nazi sympathizer for no good reason other than that he’s German.  His “girlfriend” can’t see him for the abusive nutjob that he is, but her younger sister thinks he’s creepy and doesn’t trust him and is out to find out what’s really going on with him.  The rest of the film makes no sense as murders a bunch of prostitutes and women he meets in casinos for no obvious reason.  SPOILER: He’s eventually discovered by our young heroine, who uses the key to his house that he ridiculously gave his girlfriend and leaves town in a conclusion that some would call disappointing if they weren’t already so disappointed.

This movie fails as the psychological suspense film that I think it wanted to be because there is neither suspense (we don’t care at all about the nameless, nondescript victims) or any serious psychological exploration – just various flashbacks, including a completely random 9/11 montage.  It’s not nearly as shocking as billed, either, so it’s not even a good gore film.  The killings are clumsily shot and poorly acted.  The sound quality throughout the film is atrocious as well.  At some point, there may have been a story that Palumbo was going for, but like the rest of the film, it’s a failure.


Stars: 1.5/5


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