"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Reader plug: Murder Loves Killers Too

tn_mlktThis is not an official review, but I wanted to give some attention to a low budget independent slasher movie called MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO which just hit DVD and was written and directed by one of my readers, Drew Barnhardt.

Every once in a while somebody sends me their no-budget movie and I’m afraid to watch it because I know they put their blood sweat and tears into it and I don’t want to have to tell them “yeah, sure, I watched it… yeah, good effort, I liked the, uh, some of the lighting was very professional” or whatever. So I had this thing sitting around for months and forgot about it and then for some reason I decided to put it in.

To my surprise MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO is a very solid (if somewhat home made) slasher movie that’s just to my taste because it follows traditional slasher formulas and gets the mechanics right (tense chases and cat and mouse moments) but has a very weird and darkly humorous but not postmodern twist. There’s some funny shit, some cool DePalmian camerawork and I am told this is the first ever slasher movie with a reference to BARRY LYNDON. There’s not a huge amount of gore and it’s obviously the work of people with no money, but I had a fun time and hope I get to see Drew make a movie with a bit of a budget, because he seems to have the right idea. He told me he had that idea many people have after watching crappy DTV horror movies that he could do something better, but unlike most of us he then went out and did it.

My apologies to other readers whose works I meant to plug and didn’t, but I really want this one to succeed because he told me the idea he has for his next movie and it’s right exactly down the center of my alley.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

40 Responses to “Reader plug: Murder Loves Killers Too”

  1. Where would one get a hold of this?

  2. Is Steven Seagal in it?

  3. Hey, i want to see that movie.

  4. The distributor is called Well Go and its websight lists the usual corporate monoliths as having it, so I assume most places that carry that sort of thing.

  5. Print this on the DVD cover:

    “There’s some funny shit, some cool DePalmian camerawork and I am told this is the first ever slasher movie with a reference to BARRY LYNDON.”

    – Outlaw Vern

    In many circles this is a better endorsement than Ebert could provide…

  6. Cool stuff. I like hearing things like this. Congratualtions to Drew for going out and doing it. Definitely interested in the whole process and budget, distributing, etc. it took to get it made. Oh, and actually seeing it too.

  7. I watched it, and it is pretty damn solid. The characters aren’t too annoying, the camerawork is interesting, and it keeps switching up the format every 20 minutes or so, so you don’t get bored. Plus the music’s cool and it’s only 74 minutes long, which is the perfect length for this kind of thing. It comes in, does its dirty, sinful business, and gets the fuck out before you get sick of it. I think this guy’s got potential.

  8. Drew "The Giggler" B

    July 17th, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Hey Majestyk,

    Drew here. Thanks for taking the chance on the no budget flick. And believe me, no one feels the low budget problems more than I.

    Whether he’d admit it or not, Vern and his writings were a big influence, if, for nothing else, let me know there were other like-minded individuals out there.

    Thanks again.

    Drew

  9. Hey, no problem, man. I enjoyed it. I particularly liked how you used your location to your advantage with all the long takes that roved all over the house. It gave a good sense of the geography, so that when it came down to the cat-and-mouse stuff, I was already acquainted with the whole playing field. Great ending, too. Good luck with that new movie. I’ll watch it.

  10. Oh, by the way, Drew, I just watched the special features on the DVD, and I am jealous as hell of that Death Wish 3 poster you got in your office. Clearly you are a man of sophisticated tastes.

  11. Drew "The Giggler" B

    July 19th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for spotting that Majestyk. As my inside joke I positioned myself between my Death Wish 3 poster and my Bunuel ‘Phantom of the Liberty poster. That’s where I lay. Between those two.

    My bigger thrill was when our guy Vern mentioned me in his Death Wish 3 review. That’s when I felt like I had hit the ceiling and there was nowhere to go but down.

    Drew

  12. Drew "The Giggler" B

    July 19th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Also, Majestyk… If we can find some way of covertly relaying email info, I’ll send ya a couple things that might be fun for a fellow Bronson and Slaher fan. Try sending me a heads up at my full name, plus ‘hotmail.com.’ Yeah. I could never be a good spyt. But I could aashoot some creeps while ating an ice cream.

    Drew

  13. Anybody seen RONDO? It’s the sophomore feature from independent filmmaker/Outlaw Vern reader Drew Barnhardt, recently released on DVD and futuristic beaming services after a successful festival run, and I recommend it. It’s a sorta comic exploitation revenge thriller thingie with great style and a ton of personality. It’s obviously very low budget but extremely creative in how it utilizes that budget. It never feels like it needs to be bigger than it is, and in fact its modest scope is a huge benefit. It goes through multiple huge plot twists and tone changes extremely economically, with a slightly arch tone to the performances, visual approach, and score making it all gel. I’d describe the plot as Hitchcock. The script as Larry Cohen. The camerawork as De Palma. The soundtrack as Argento. The squibs Verhoeven. I don’t want to oversell it but it’s a different recipe for this kind of thing than you normally get.

    Full ethical disclosure: After the exchange seen in the thread above, Drew and I became internet friends, occasionally sending each other obscure soundtrack snippets and sharing our works in progress. I was lucky enough to read and give suggestions on an early draft of the script several years ago, and Drew let me see the completed film before it had its festival run. So I may be a little biased, but this is also the kind of style-heavy, personality-saturated pulp thriller that is right up my alley so I feel comfortable recommending it.

    He uses the word “filmatism” in his director’s commentary, you guys. He’s one of the good ones.

  14. Bias!! You sold out!! I hope all the money Drew gave you to pimp it was worth it!!

    Adding to the ‘ol queue and to-watch list now.

  15. I hadn’t found this site yet in 2009 when this article orginates from. But I’ll gladly check out both RONDO and MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO. Sounds cool and great!!

  16. Geoffreyjar- I’m sure that when you see the flick that Majestyk will be exonerated in your eyes, as it is clear that Drew has absolutely no money.

    Thank you and thank you so for putting it in your queue and taking a chance on it. I hope you won’t be disappointed.

    And Tigger, MLKT was a seriously no-budget affair, but I tried to do it with some style. Hope you get a chuckle or two out of it. (Rondo is much more ‘me’ for better and for worse).

  17. I only email with one person from here.

  18. Drew & Company,

    Watched RONDO this weekend and thought it was great. Really loved overly sincere narration (brings to mind something like BABE) and the inciting incident and the overall sleazy world it took place in were fantastic. Kind of reminded me of Hitchcock meets Elmore Leonard (52 PICK UP in particular). Some really great plot twists in this as well!

    Good acting, good shooting and great filmatism! Good work overall!!!

    As for MLKT, I know where it’s budget and style lay from Vern’s articler and the discussion so far. Believe me, I am ready for and used to no budget affairs! I am a lifetime fan of guys like Tim Ritter, Chris Seaver, J.R. Bookwalter, etc. etc. etc… That whole late 80s/90s/early 2000s very indie Shot On Consumer Video horror boom. Grew up on that stuff lol! So I know what I’m in for! Next time I am in “that mood” I’ll track it down and check it out!

    Hope Vern does a review for RONDO…it is good stuff.

  19. Glad you liked it, Tigger. I can definitely see the 52 PICK UP resemblance.

    I have nothing else to add. I just want to keep this review in the Recent Comments.

  20. Thanks for the kind words Tigger. I do like 52 Pick Up and especially Frankenheimer’s film of it and, even more especially, Clarence Williams III and John Glover in that flick. Thanks for rolling the dice of your time on an unknown low budget indie. That bravery is much appreciated.

  21. So The Fucking AV Club’s typical bad faith reading of my boy Drew’s RONDO (and the subsequent pile-on by all the lemmings in the comments section) has finally convinced me to give that site the heave-ho. Can anybody recommend any alternative sites where I can get entertainment news that seems like it was written by and for people who actually want to be entertained?

  22. What if they’re right about Rondo though?

    Also, the site you’re looking for doesn’t exist.

  23. BTW, I was just joking. I know they’re not right about Rondo even though I’ve never seen it.

  24. I gave up on AV Club when they switched to Disqus, most of the smart commentariat left, and some idiot named Laserface tried to get me blacklisted just for liking some aspects of BATMAN V SUPERMAN more than CIVIL WAR. It had its day, but it’s one of those formerly good sites that I’m surprised is still around.

  25. I meant to say they switched to Kinja. I miss Disqus.

  26. I like Tom Breihan’s on-going features (History of Violence, Age of Heroes etc) but they’re the only thing left with the faintest whiff of pre-Kinja AV Club.

  27. Clarifying that this is a query rather than a gripe, as I’m aware it could come across as either, but what does it mean when people say film (or other criticism) is “Bad Faith” these days? Not to get all Dalton on you but I studied the concept of “Bad Faith” for a philosophy unit at university and I don’t think people are using it in the same context now and it confused me a bit at first.

    Also, I enjoy some of the articles at AV Club, but I always found the comments section leaned unpleasant.

  28. Pacman- I can’t speak for Mr. M, but the article series he’s referring to here is called “Home Video Hell”, and basically exists just to dunk on films with low budgets. When he says it’s a bad faith review, I assume he means that *nothing* that gets reviewed under that banner is getting much of a fair shake. It’s basically a “point and laugh” series.

  29. That’s exactly it, Kurgan. It’s a hatchet job, like nearly everything they write nowadays. I’m through giving them clicks for that kind of bullshit. I can be kneejerk negative all on my own, thank you very much.

  30. OK, thanks guys, I know the type

  31. “It’s basically a “point and laugh” series.”

    Yup.

    I gave up on the AV Club months ago. Never found a good replacement really. Just use Coming Soon and all they do is Press Release stuff.

  32. I used to follow Dread Central and I would get all my horror news. Foywonder (who him and Vern need to do a podcast one day) would write these hlarious reviews. They had a great podcast called Dinner For Fiends that was awesome. However, all those guys who started it all left to do various things and now it’s just a shill for their video line. I think the only reason why Terrorfier has been as popular as it is because they shove that shit down your throat. Now I don’t know of a good place to get my horror movie news anymore.

  33. Yeah, the AV Club joined not too long ago the prestigious club of websites that I hate so much, that I have actually blocked them in browser. They are (at least when I checked the last time) still a good place for reviews of single TV episodes, but everything else was just snarkety snark snark. Now I’m unfortunately running out of popculture news and review sites. Coming Soon is okay, but also a bit personality free and I really don’t like all those listicles they keep posting these days.

  34. The AV Club started on a slow but steady downhill slide when all their best writers left to start The Dissolve (RIP), then took a precipitous plunge after the Kinja-pocalypse. Birth.Movies.Death is the closest to a replacement I’ve found, supplemented with personal sites owned by writers, i.e. this sight right here and Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place. Now that I think about it, Letterboxd is probably my most number one place for reviews now, since I can curate it to friends and people whose opinions I trust.

  35. The way I see it, the realities of making money on the internet means that all popular pop-culture review websites will either disappear (The Dissolve) or morph into clickbait-driven snark machines (AV Club). No point getting wound up about it, just support the websites you like while they’re still around.

    Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place is a good one. That’s a guy who knows how to balance snark with a genuine appreciation for movies.

  36. I second the letterbox thing. Though, for some reason, I hate when a person only just logs what they’ve seen without a star rating or, even better, some comments. I like knowing why somebody liked something or didn’t like something.

  37. Hold on a second and stop what your’e doing. I need to give a shot out to The Action Elite. They have all the action movie scoops and they’re written by people who love action movies. I also think it’s charming because sometimes they are written by somebody who isn’t the strongest writer but you can just feel how excited they are to talk about the action genre. So thanks Action Elite for existing. You rock.

  38. Thanks, guys. Some good recommendations here. B.M.D. seems like it might work for the kind of thing I need, which is just to learn about what’s coming out and who’s working on what. I’ll be honest and admit that reviews don’t mean much to me anymore. With a few exceptions, such as when I’m researching a potential blind buy, I already know what I’m interested in seeing and am rarely swayed either way by positive or negative reviews. I read our man Vern here for sheer entertainment value, not for tips on what to watch. In recent years, his viewing habits have skewed toward a lot of stuff I wouldn’t watch if you paid me, but I like the way he writes so I happily read the reviews anyway. The basic thumbs up/thumbs down consumer reports aspect of criticism is more or less surplus to requirements for me these days.

    That’s why I’m also glad to learn that Nathan Rabin has his own site now. That guy overwrites every sentence like a motherfucker but I like his attitude and his commitment to following his own weird little bliss. Half the stuff I ever liked on the A.V. Club was his anyway so his site seems like a suitable replacement for the long-form pieces and recurring columns they used to do before before the place became a snark and outrage perpetual motion machine.

    I’ll also check out Action Elite, though the promise of bad writing has me wary. I can handle bad food, bad beer, bad acting, bad coffee, bad special effects, bad dubbing, bad company, and bad news, but bad writing is often a dealbreaker for me. I was driven to the point of despair in the AICN/Arrow In the Head heyday when it seemed like online film reporting was ruled entirely by subliterate dorks who assumed good writing meant lots of alliteration, ellipses, and semen metaphors. They had all the enthusiasm in the world and it didn’t stop me from cringing.

  39. Guess I’ll have to learn to forgive and forget and be the better man and also add B.M.D. back onto my sites to visit… Can’t hate forever I guess…

    Good to hear about Rabin, will add him to the ‘ol RSS feed as well.

  40. I haven’t really kept up on Nathan Rabin’s new site, but I liked his old My Year Of Flops feature for very similar reasons I enjoy this site- a willingness to take a look at movies others have prejudged and dismissed and give them a fair assessment, and the Ebert-approved philosophy of at least *trying* to meet the movie on its own terms. I’m generally a terrible critic specifically because I’m inclined to love everything unless you give me a real good reason not to, so I’m drawn to enthusiasm more than disdain.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>