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Murder Party




A lonely loser (Chris Sharp) is destined for another night of despair in his dingy apartment, sitting in front of his TV and eating candy corn, when he stumbles upon an invitation in the streets to a Halloween "murder party." With a quick makeshift cardboard knight costume and a freshly baked loaf of pumpkin bread, Chris decides to go. And no sooner does he step foot inside when the hosts start trying to kill him.

They're a bunch of artists desperate for a grant, you see, and an installation utilizing a real dead guy may be just the ticket. Unfortunately, they're having far less luck killing their guest than they are offing each other, accidentally or otherwise.

On a tiny budget and featuring no one you've ever heard of, "Murder Party" wants to be a word-of-mouth cult classic "¦ and it comes awfully close. The humor is dark and deadpan, and sometimes even laugh-out-loud funny, with stretches of slow spots in between. Confined more or less to one set, the movie almost could be a stage play, and indeed, the characters talk a lot, even engaging in a "Breakfast Club"-style confessional. Good thing their lines are often barbed.

Occasionally, it tries too hard, but it's too witty to ignore. Some may be put off by the gore "? at least it's often humorously grotesque "? but fans of horror comedies will lap it up, if you'll excuse the visual.

"?Rod Lott


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