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Murder Party

Winner of the audience award for narrative feature at Slamdance, writer-director Jeremy Saulnier's debut, "Murder Party," is an amusingly over-the-top horror comedy about a milquetoast who gets an offer he shoulda refused.

Cast:
With: Alex Barnett, Macon Blair, Paul Goldblatt, Beryl Guceri, William Lacey, Stacy Rock, Skei Saulnier, Chris Sharp, Beau Sia, Bill Tangradi.

Winner of the audience award for narrative feature at Slamdance, writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s debut, “Murder Party,” is an amusingly over-the-top horror comedy about a milquetoast who gets an offer he shoulda refused. Low-budget effort might be a tad marginal for theatrical release, but will score with genre fans at fests and on disc.

Office drone Christopher (Chris Sharp) is so personality-deficient even his cat bosses him around. Finding a mysterious Halloween party invitation on the sidewalk, he creates a suitably dorky cardboard knight costume and heads to Brooklyn’s warehouse district. There, a bunch of infighting, pretentious art-school students are indeed hosting a “murder party,” just as billed — and as the only stranger dumb enough to show up, Christopher is the designated terminal art event. Fortunately for him (though he spends most of the night gagged and bound to a chair), others present prove more dangerous to each other than to their planned victim. After an hour of entertainingly crass buildup, pic erupts in a riot of outrageous, quite funny violence that leaves almost no one alive. Punk/metal soundtrack is in keeping with gonzo tone.

Murder Party

Production: A Lab of Madness production. Produced by Chris Sharp, Skei Saulnier. Executive producers, Sharp, Macon Blair, Jeremy Saulnier. Directed, written by Jeremy Saulnier.

Crew: Camera (color, Sony HD cam), Saulnier; editor, Marc Beroza; music, Brooke Blair, Will Blair; production designer, Christina Barth. Reviewed at Slamdance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 21, 2007. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Alex Barnett, Macon Blair, Paul Goldblatt, Beryl Guceri, William Lacey, Stacy Rock, Skei Saulnier, Chris Sharp, Beau Sia, Bill Tangradi.

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