In 2004, Nick Palumbo released one of the most controversial slasher films of the new Millennium. Some horror fans praised the film, for it's balls and it's special effects (done by the ToeTag crew, of August Underground fame). And then you got the horror fans who dislike it. They say that the acting is terrible, the script is poor, and that M-S-P is very misogynist. We can say whatever about Murder-Set-Pieces, but I do have to say that Nick Palumbo created a film that got many reactions in the horror underground.
Shot on 35 mm film, Murder-Set-Pieces is said to be the most expensive NC-17 film ever made. It also features some horror icons like Gunner Hansen (Leatherface) and Tony Todd (Candyman). Cabin Fever's Cerina Vincent also make an appearance. Nick Palumbo has mentioned that when Cerina signed on, she had no idea what the film was about. But when she saw (or heard about) the film, Cerina called the director and asked him to cut her scene out of the film. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Murder-Set-Pieces, and thought it would be a good time to look back at this film.
The film takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. A city filled with bright lights, casinos, and of course prostitution. It is also the city where the films killer, who goes by "The Photographer", spreads his terror, when not taking pictures of naked women. Las Vegas is also the home to a little girl name Jade (Jade Risser), who's sister, Charlotte, is dating The Photographer (Sven Garrett). And just like little sisters, Jade isn't very fond of Charlotte's boyfriend. The Photographer is very tense and monotonous, which give Jade a bad vibe. And it also doesn't help that Charlotte's boyfriend has a picture of his grandfather with Adolf Hitler, in his bedroom. But when Charlotte is working in her hair salon, The Photographer goes around brutally killing random women, because he had some mommy issues when he was a wee lil lad (don't they all). Other than the misogyny of the character, there's a scene where a little boy (who was probably 2 yrs old) cries to his dead and bloody mother. Palumbo got a call from Maniac's director, William Lustig, and was called an "asshole", by Lustig, for making that scene. And then of course the on-screen murder of a little girl at a public restroom, which also caused an uproar. Especially since that would be every parents worst nightmare. But a lot of people have said many nice things about Risser's role. There are some who say that she was brave for taking part of a NC-17 horror. And then there might be some who are wondering what the Rissers were thinking of, by letting their daughter be in this film.
I consider M-S-P as a "angry virgin film", since this film attracts those sad, lonely, fucks, who have trouble getting laid. I knew a friend like that. He always got a kick when those "hot bitches" get butchered. The only thing I give credit to this film is ToeTag's special effects, which looked very realistic. Especially the bathtub scene. And to see it shot on 35 mm, really made the effects look great. Nick was also able to get some really great visuals. The crane shot after the "headless BJ" scene was also a nice touch. Don't know why Palumbo put footage of the 9/11 attack. And I really like to know what the Photographer and that German lady were saying. But other than that, the script and acting wasn't that great. Of course this is a slasher, so I can let it slide. Pretty much Murder-Set-Pieces is about a neo-nazi misogynist, who works as a photographer, and then goes out and rapes and kills women. I'm not sure if the unrated version is still available, but I know that Nick Palumbo sold the film to Lions Gate, who pretty much butchered the film. So sadly, you won't be able to catch any of ToeTag's gory effects. This is a flick that I would recommend to friends who are huge gorehounds. But I don't think your average moviegoer would enjoy the taboos that this film has. It's a brutal film, but nothing much going on.
When you put on "Hexental", you might think it's just another one-man band, creating black noise in his bedroom. But once you go deeper into the tracks, it's definitely a journey into misanthropy. The best way I can describe Swartwoud's latest effort is misery, agony, nihilistic, and very anti-sound. An appreciation to the lo-fi production is needed, as "Hexental" isn't meant to be a glamorous record.
"Morvandus" has a great doom riff going on, that I think people who love a heavy minimalism sound will dig it. The same can go with "Consoling a Crying Water Giant", with it's doomsday chugs. "The Calm" is probably my favorite and the evilest track on "Hexental". It's a track that does lo-fi black metal, proud. I love how"Only Deamons Play this HAARP" starts off almost a bit Neurois-ish, before going into full black metal assault. And speaking of Neurosis, Swartwoud goes in tribal mode with "Exploding Heads". "Crush the Cockroach" is also a well written track. Pretty much Lord Orgun's best vocal performance.
Seeing that this is the sixth release by Swartwoud, I guess I have a lot to catch up on. I did listen to Sex Daimones (Six Demo[n]s) and a couple of tracks from Lokval on Reverbnation. Really looking forward to listening to the other releases. I give Lord Orgun lots of credit for doing something different, vocal-wise. To me, that what gives Swartwoud their own sound. I highly recommend checking out "Hexental" if you want to get your lo-fi fix. I rate this "5 Hitlers punched inthe face".
After a good two years, I've finally created a Facebook page for Code 415. It's about time I get to know the few people who has followed Code 415. And I want to thank anyone who has shared links to reviews on Code 415. The whole point of Code 415 is to introduce music and movies to regular folks. The ones who really don't seek underground music or independent movies. So once again, thanks for the support and hope to see some of you on the new facebook page.
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