Murder-Set-Pieces is a movie for only real hardcore horror fans who eagerly await anything to get their hands on. As for the more discerning horror buff, this is one that you could safely skip without really missing much. Far be it from me to tell you what to and what not to see - please, see it for yourself, make up your own mind.
Frankly, I was bored and on the verge of sleep a couple of times. I finally started it over and made it through to the bitter end. It is a movie that really doesn't offer much to the genre, and it strikes me as something of a demo reel of an amateur filmmaker desperately trying to get ahead by going over the top.
The disk I viewed is the recently released R-rated cut from Lionsgate; it had previously been released in an unrated form by Fright Flix. That unrated version is long out of print. The R-rated cut runs 83 minutes, while the earlier DVD is 90 minutes. I have also seen reports of the short-run theatrical release being 105 minutes in length. It seems that wherever the movie goes it loses something along the way and I am left to wonder if either of those longer versions have anything more to offer than this heavily sanitized cut.
The cover for this release contains a disclaimer: "Warning: Shocking, Horrific, Controversial," a claim that I found to be rather laughable when I saw the R rating on the back. If the film was able to pass the MPAA with an R, I seriously doubted the validity of the marketing blurb slapped on the front to dupe unsuspecting gorehounds. This doesn't even mention Gunnar Hansen, Tony Todd, and Cerina Vincent's names on the cover when they have a combined screentime of under 10 minutes.
Well, back to the matter at hand. The movie centers on a rather unsavory character known simply as the Photographer (there are only two characters with names in the entire movie). He is a fashion photographer, I presume, who also happens to go around killing strippers and prostitutes. You know, everyone has to have a hobby. He also happens to be the grandson of a proud Nazi officer, and the sins of the past are sure to haunt the present. Frequently, he is shown shouting German epithets at his soon-to-be victims.