Murder Party is one of those perpetual Netflix denizens that I always seem to skip by when I’m browsing., It’s got a good cover and an interesting sounding premise, but something else always seemed a little bit more interesting. Now that I have A copy of the DVD, it’s a priority. Especially having the special features that help me get to know the filmmakers, I feel like thats something we need. Murder Party was made by people who have been together hanging out and making movies since they were in junior high and had access to VHS cameras and super8 film. Murder Party has been an idea they’ve been kicking around for ages and finally got together the resources to do it properly.
An average Joe comes across an invitation to a party, blowing down the sidewalk on a windy day. It’s Halloween, he doesn’t think twice about the fact that they’re calling in a murder party, so he sets up a bowl of candy corn for the trick-or-treating (who have already smashed his jack-o-lantern), turn the pumpkin into pumpkin bread, and crafts a Knights costume out of cardboard, jumps on the subway and heads out. The partiers he encounters chain him up, and explain to him that he’s just a time for his own murder. We spent the next 40 minutes or so getting to know the killers. They really do want to commit murder as a sort of ultimate art piece, but at the same time are unsure about actually killing someone. The charismatic leader of the group leads them down some dark paths. The movie culminates in an exciting escape, with the murderers chasing our victim through a party, a club and an art gallery. It’s a satisfying conclusion, but overall, the film feels like it drags… and that saying something for an 80 minuet movie. I respect these guys but I can’t help but wonder if they’ve been off more than they can chew. The film looks slick, professional, well lit and well shot. The actors are all excellent but the story doesn’t fit into the traditional three act structure, and without that structure you begin to lose your audience. The middle part of the movie meanders and vacillates, much like the murders. It’s a one note gag that you really can only stretch so far, and Murder Party seems like it would have been better served yes a short film.
If I were to do my own cut, I’d tighten the beginning and then cut right after the first kill… Cutting over to the victims first escape attempt. I’d include the broom closet to scene, and from there Cut to the chase. If you seen the movie, you’ll note this sort of edit cuts out more than half the movie and and in excises entire characters but I think it would’ve been best for me. I don’t need to know really want to know the murderers. For me, we probably should lean on the wacky premise of the murder party and sell it.
Despite everything, it’s still a buy for me, because I wanna see more from these guys and I’d like to support future projects. Of course, the movies been out for quite a while now and I’m not sure how much my purchase actually helps them, but I really would like to see this casting crew given another chance. Even if this film doesn’t deserve it, they do