Wednesday, January 20

The Little Known Alternate Cut of Murder-Set-Pieces

Still not feeling too great, so I'm going recycle a little something I posted way back on Film Talk for the sake of keeping the word out there for anyone interested as this tidbit doesn't seem widely addressed.

Many of you fellow gorefreaks are probably already aware of Nick Palumbo's infamous Murder-Set-Pieces. A 2004 sickie packed with extreme misogyny, wanton slaughter, disgusting rape, and even child murder that divided opinion and pissed off many of the actors involved upon seeing the finished product. Not to mention Palumbo apparently being a dick, known for fighting on message boards over even slight criticism and allegedly selling gifts received from those in the industry on eBay. I'm still out on Palumbo's creation myself. On one hand, the flick would probably be revered as something of a rough exploitation classic nowadays if produced back in the early '80s, but at the same time all the varied violence seems crammed in merely to guarantee everyone who sees it will at least find one aspect deeply offensive.

I did "like" the flick more the last time I persevered through the director's cut and what largely saves this abhorrent exercise (aside from the impressive splatter from Toe Tag) is the strange, cold feeling of being a fly-on-the-wall as we follow The Photographer (Sven Garrett) gorily tear Vegas's female population a new asshole. If this is your thing, the director's cut of Murder-Set-Pieces is the sickest American-made horror outing of the previous decade by a good margin.

But then, after Palumbo self-released his director's cut onto DVD, the feature ended up in the hands of Lionsgate for their own straight-to-DVD release. I can remember first hearing of this and immediately advising to buy Palumbo's disc because there was no way in hell Lionsgate would have the balls to throw this one uncut in stores nationwide. My assumption proved correct. The studio submitted the film to the MPAA to be slashed down to an R. According the IMDB's trivia page, an unbelievable 23 minutes of cuts took place. That should be it, right?

Not entirely, despite the Lionsgate release scorn of globs of vileness that might have resulted in the studio facing lawsuits from traumatized soccer moms and their kids who mistakenly rented it, the resulting R-rated cut is actually a hybrid version that includes unique footage only seen in Palumbo's theatrical release and workprint. Every snippet described on the IMDB's alternate versions page is included. I haven't memorized the director's cut so there might actually be more. The screenshots to the right reflect the "new" footage on the R-rated disc. Of course, the director's cut is the proper way to experience Murder-Set-Pieces and it can still be found for sale online (here for example), but those genuinely smitten either by Palumbo or this film might want to track down a cheap copy of Lionsgate's DVD as a curious supplement.

1 comment:

I Like Horror Movies said...

Im still surprised none of the indie publishers have picked this up for wide release just based on Palumbo's self-proclaimed notoriety. Still a shitty flick, but just sleazy enough to want to watch again.. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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