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Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)
Movie Review by Professor Corpse Rot

Murder-Set-Pieces (2004) Here's another controversial piece that was officially banned in the UK back in 2008. A relatively unknown director, Nick Palumbo, brings the audience a 90 minute ride into the mind of a mad man. The story follows an individual who is a photographer by day and a serial killer by night. To make things slightly intriguing, it is slowly revealed that he is the grandson of Adolf Hitler...as if by some strange coincidence this justifies his extreme use of violence. Sadly, there are no additional details to discuss as far as plot progression...really just a series of murderous imagery and enough blood to swim through.

The film stock in general is reminiscent of grind-house cinema - it's raw, dark, and grainy...the utilization of this small detail really works wonders in this case. The production company responsible for the effects, Toe Tag, render an excellent and realistic portrayal of violence...which is probably the only thing this film has going for it. A great deal of the plot is incomprehensible - after further research, I learned that Lionsgate cut 23 minutes from the final product. I'm fairly certain I watched the uncut version, however, discrediting my previous notion and chalking the film's pace up to basic incoherence. I understand what Palumbo was trying to do here - it's for mere shock value alone that he decided to portray brutality against women and children with a smattering of Hitler and Nazi tie-ins. It's rare that a horror film, or a film in general, shows children being murdered on screen. Murder-Set-Pieces was apparently indifferent to this approach and decided to showcase things of that nature. It is for this reason alone that those who oppose the film will fight for its banishment.

The film advertises that it stars Gunnar Hansen and Tony Todd. Hansen most famously played the role of Leatherface in 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Tony Todd has played a multitude of roles throughout his career but is most widely recognized as the role of The Candyman/Daniel Robitaille in 1992's feature, Candyman. While Todd's presence on camera is a bit more substantial, Hansen only appears for a few moments. Everyone loves your neighborhood friendly Tony Todd - but unfortunately, without a mask on, only the most appreciative of horror fanatics will recognize Hansen, essentially pigeonholing the film's intended audience.

I've heard tale that Palumbo labeled his own film "the most controversial." That's just absurd and about as laughable as giving yourself a nickname. Again, Murder-Set-Pieces doesn't add anything new that other banned films haven't explored...the only noteworthy contribution is the skill and artistry of the effects team: they are the ones who have a future in this business.

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