Chris Sharp as Chris
Alex Barnett as Alexander
Macon Blair as Macon
Paul Goldblatt as Paul
William Lacey as Bill
Stacy Rock as Lexi
Skei Saulnier as Sky
Bill Tangradi as Zycho
Have you ever heard me complain about the “horror inteligencia”? Well, Murder Party takes it one step further than my least-favorite “I had one semester of film school so I know horror better than you do” movie critic morons with ultra-hip “too avant-garde for school” tortured and brooding artists.
But first there is Chris (Chris Sharp). Chris is a boring, nerdy but hard-working loser type, and today he is walking home from work. It is Halloween but Chris has no plans, as usual. Just a trip home to fight over the “good chair” with his cat and watch T.V…But wait! As luck would have it Chris finds an invitation to a “Murder Party” blowing in the wind on the sidewalk. Plans after all!
Chris didn’t anticipate having a party to attend this Halloween, so he has no costume…But never fear; Chris is industrious. A cardboard box, a pair of scissors and some duct tape and voila! Chris is transformed into the saddest looking knight in King Arthur’s court.
A bus, a subway and lots of walking later Chris arrives at the warehouse scene of the evening’s Halloween festivities. He would have been better off staying home with the cat.
The invitation read “Murder Party” and that is exactly what is planned – a party surrounding the artistic murder of whoever is dumb enough to find the invitation and show up. A group of struggling artists, each competing for an artistic grant wielded mercilessly by king-stud avant-garde Alexander (Alex Barnett), decided that a real murder is the ultimate in artistic expression.
Murder Party has an excellent and original concept and is a brilliant parody of the struggling artist stereotype. The characters are awesome, each whacked out and defeated in their own dysfunctional way, and Alexander as the New Jersey boy masquerading as the keeper of the grant steals the show. There is a scene with truth serum that actually takes a stab at real pain and emotion, filtered of course by the absurdity of the art house crowd. The gore is inventive and graphic, and actually encouraged a few “yell out loud” moments…something I absolutely love.
The trouble with this one is that is just takes so long to get there. Great characters are important and it takes some time to develop them sufficiently, but Jeeze Louise…get on with it already! I actually almost gave up on the film altogether because I was getting so bored…luckily I hung tough because the final 20 minutes make the whole thing worth while.
I appreciate this film for the story, the acting, the gore and the satire of the black-wearing artsy crowd…I just wish it hadn’t made me feel like I was having to sit through an actual boring art-house film. I recommend this one, but keep your expectations in check.