The Feminist Double Feature From Hell

Review of David DeFalco’s ‘Chaos’ and Nick Palumbo’s ‘Murder – Set – Pieces’

By Maureen “MO” Whelan for Girls and Corpses Magazine
©Girls and CorpsesMagazine  All right reserved

A while back I was asked to check out a double feature screening of ‘Chaos’ by David DeFalco and ‘Murder – Set – Pieces’ by Nick Palumbo.

I’m always intrigued by films that have quotes such as ‘Most brutal movie ever made’ and ‘Shocking, Controversial, and Horrific’ plastered all over their DVD covers.  These quotes make me wonder what makes a film ‘brutal’ or ‘horrific’ and who decides they are?  Both films have been bashed by several critics regarding the directors’ choices of torture and death scenes. I personally do not take offense to films with graphic content because the films are generated from an individual’s perception of a specific tragic event. I went to the screening expecting to cringe in my seat, carry a knife in my purse and vomit before exiting the theater.  I left the knife in my car, ate a candy bar without vomiting and did in fact cringe in my seat during a few scenes in both films.

The first film I watched was ‘Chaos.’  I actually found this film more disturbing than ‘Murder – Set – Pieces’ due to how the torture and death scenes were executed. Based in the lush green mountains, the film basically appears to be about a crystal meth’d out, White Trash Trio and son.  They are on the run, bored with life and looking for a thrill.  One day, the horny-jerk-off head of the household and his tweaked out bisexual girlfriend decide they need one last roll in the haystack with a lifeless corpse for the night.  So, they send horny-jerk-off’s whacked out teenage son out to find some jailbait.  Whacked out boy finds his way to an out door rave.  Two young, dumb teenage raver girls convince their parents to let them go to a party in the hills.  The raver girls find themselves bright and early at the same rave as the whacked out boy.  The girls decide to score some Ecstasy before the party starts. They are obviously inexperienced at scoring drugs at a party. The girls ask whacked out boy if he has ‘E’ he tells them yes, but it’s at his house.  They think he’s dorky looking enough to trust and follow him back to his house.

The girls are greeted by the tweeked out trio.  The trio begins to molest and torture the raver girls.  The trio gets bored of playing with the girls in the house and decided to take them on a trip to the wide-open wilderness. The girls are ‘let go’ into the wilderness so the trio can play a little game of cat and mouse.  The girls are chased through the wilderness.  One girl gets caught and horny-jerk-off cuts off her nipple then proceeds to feed it to her.  This scene made me cringe and want to vomit.  He then proceeded to flip her over onto her stomach and stab her through the back severing her spinal nerves so she is paralyzed.  She then goes into shock and dies. He and his male sidekick continue to have sex with her dead corpse. 

The tweeked out group proceed to search for the second girl.  They find her, she struggles, stabs whacked out boy, he dies, and she runs off into the wilderness.  The surviving trio catches up with her and horny-jerk-off takes his long knife and shoves it up her ass, cutting her straight through to her vagina. She then goes into shock and dies.  The move goes on, parents find the dead kids, and the local cops try to get involved but are too stupid to figure it out.  The trio meets the parents, they are killed, and horny-jerk-off gets away.

I think the killings in this film disturbed me the most, because they were quite violent and unnecessary.  They were very realistically portrayed, using very little special effects. The actors played their roles very well. The Director was able to get his point across and shock the audience on a low budget. The killings were based on actual events and did show the audience what a crazy person is capable of doing to an individual.  I guess in that sense, the film could be educational to the female who lives in a bubble and believes she’s safe from harm. However, would I show this film to my niece or mom?  I’d have to say NO!

The next film I watched was ‘Murder – Set – Pieces.’  This would be the perfect gift to give to a feminist you’d like to piss off.  The main character is a man whore killer, who fancy’s himself a photographer, loves bloody women, has mommy issues and is obsessed with his deceased, Neo-Nazi grandfather.  This was basically a balls out bloody gore film, with a ‘shock value’ intention.  These types of films tend to make me giggle because they’re not as realistic as films with less bloody gore. 

I found the Neo-Nazi twist interesting because it showed the killer was born evil. The director tossed in some footage of the 9/11 event.  I couldn’t help but wonder how much it cost to clear the footage. I honestly didn’t see a need to have the footage tossed in because there was no story to coincide with it.  The killer dated a woman in the film who he later killed when she finally had sex with him.  He obviously had issues with sex and must kill in order to get off during intercourse.  He developed a strange infatuation with his girlfriends little pre-teen sister and creeps the little girl out.  He eventually takes his infatuation to another level and senselessly kills a little girl in a public bathroom by stabbing her and then running off.  This infatuation and killing really didn’t make sense to me because pedophiles usually only pray on young girls and not adult women, and vice versa with serial killers of adult women. Killers usually have a preference of victims. The Director told me killing the little girl was a breaking point for the killer, but it still didn’t make sense to me because the killer was already crazy. Eventually, the little sister of the girlfriend snoops around the killer’s house, finds him, runs from him, and finds her sisters decomposing body and several other female corpses. The little girl harms the killer and get away, stumbling her way through the streets of a baron desert.

The end twist is a shot of the killer on a bus looking at a little girl. The killer has a few flash backs of watching his mom spin around on a train track in the middle of no-where, leaving him to sit on the track alone as a young boy.  In the same flashback, he later finds her body lying on the ground near the train tracks.  It’s unclear as to if she committed suicide or was murdered. So, that explained his mommy issues.  I found the rape / killing scenes viewable because of the extreme amounts of blood covering the victims. I was impressed by the special effects and gore.  Some scenes made me giggle because they were so bloody outrages, a couple did gross me out a bit. The film was shot well, but some of the acting wasn’t good.  The main serial killer character would switch his accent from sounding German to almost sounding British and the little sister actress was weak in her acting skills. This film was banned in Britain but I still can’t figure out why. I really didn’t find it that disturbing. 

However, I did find the photographer angle interesting because it was reminiscent of the Los Angles based serial killer, William Richard Bradford.  He posed as a freelance photographer from 1975 to 1984. He would set up modeling shoots with his victims, photographing them right before he would kill them.  Apparently, not all the victims’ bodies have been found, but the detectives did find 54 sets of photos of unidentified women. He was sentenced to death but died in 1998 of cancer.  You may find a list of the unidentified women on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau website.  The films concept was, however, unrelated to the event of this serial killer.

Would I show this film to my mom or niece?  Maybe... But would they watch it? No.

Two skulls out of 5

Read Girls and Corpses exclusive interview with Nick Palumbo here