Graphic gore searches for niche on H'wood system
Writer-director Nick Palumbo is betting more than $2 million that audiences will embrace a slasher movie rejected by film labs.Technicolor, DuArt and Deluxe labs all refused to complete the ultra-violent “Murder-Set-Pieces.” Backed by $2.2 million in Silicon Valley equity, the pic was ultimately processed by Ascent Media and went through three grossed-out editors before it landed with Todd Ramsay (“Exorcist III”). Palumbo’s first pic, the direct-to-DVD “Nutbag,” spent 10 days inside the mind of a Las Vegas serial killer. “Murder-Set-Pieces” ups the ante by spending a month inside the mind of a Vegas fashion photographer-turned-serial killer who kidnaps, rapes, tortures and murders women and children. There’s some graphic 9/11 footage for good measure. “When the kids see this, they’re going to go insane,” crows Palumbo, who scoffs at so-called horror pics like “Saw,” just released by Lions Gate. “That’s like a Disney movie compared to what we made.” Nonetheless, he’s set up a screening for Lions Gate next week, just before the start of the American Film Market. Technicolor sales rep Dean Ramser says he can recall only a couple of films rejected by his lab for content over the last two decades, but Palumbo is thrilled to be part of that elite. He believes his film will be a hit just as surely as it will be rated NC-17. Of the 75 or so movies that have been rated NC-17 since the MPAA created the classification in 1990, the top grosser is “Showgirls,” with $20 million.