Sunday, March 24, 2019

MURDER PARTY (2007) DVD review

Murder Party (2007) d. Jeremy Saulnier (USA) (79 min)

Chris (Chris Sharp) doesn’t have much going for him in terms of a social life; his Halloween plans consist of a war of wills with his chair-dominating feline and watching a few scary movies rented from the local video store. When a seemingly random “Murder Party” invitation floats his way down the sidewalk, he seizes the opportunity to create an impressively off-the-cuff cardboard knight costume (designed and constructed by Sharp himself) and heads out for the night, pumpkin loaf in hand. He finds himself among an eclectic group of artists who have assembled in a secluded warehouse, only to discover that he is to be the object of the described festivity.

What starts off as a black comedy, with the self-absorbed creatives bickering among themselves, quickly turns blood red as the evening progresses; the messier things get, the funnier they become, with gag reflexes trading time with belly laughs. The fantastic cast (Macon Blair, Stacy Rock, Skei Saulnier, Paul Goldblatt, William Lacey, Bill Tangradi, and Sandy Barnett) exchange barbs and shards while Saulnier’s camera floats and dances in time.

In addition to time well-spent in front of the camera, many of the players – longtime friends and collaborators known collectively as the Lab of Madness – shouldered behind-the-scenes responsibilities, with Goldblatt designing the grisly make-up effects, Sharp and Skei Saulnier (aka Jeremy’s bride, who also did props and location management) sharing producing duties, exec-producer Macon Blair’s siblings Brooke and Will handling the soundtrack, and almost everyone listed as having performed their own stunts.

A smart, splattery, spectacular debut that remained (shockingly) the director’s only credit until Blue Ruin made its award-winning debut at Cannes six long years later.


Audio commentary with writer/director Jeremy Saulnier, actor/exec producer Macon Blair, and actor/producer Chris Sharp

“Extreme Truth: The Making of Murder Party” (25 min)

Bloopers and Outtakes (4 min)

“How to Make Your Own Brown Knight Costume” (5 min)

“Valediction in Black” Lexi’s Art Installation Video (2 min)

Chris’ Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Murder Party is available now on DVD from Magnet Releasing or streaming on Netflix


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