Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Nature Morte
Director: Paul Burrows
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Paint me dead! The strange case of ten beautiful paintings, ten victims of a deranged serial killer and the suicide of a brilliant painter is investigated by an American art guru. From the south of France to Thailand, noth... more »
A pleasant surprise
Mr Ho Pek Ong | HK | 01/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watch an awful lot of low budget exploitation stuff, to be honest 99% of them stink. Once in a blue moon, I watch something that is very good. I thought this movie was great! It had the proper amount of nudity, with beautiful women. It had some very good gore scenes, although I would have preferred it be a bit more graphic. And most importantly, it had a great story! It's so rare to see a movie that combines all three, and does it well."
Disappointing film... Terrible photography... Rent at most
dooby | 03/25/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This was disappointing on several fronts. From the DVD cover and Amazon reviews, I was happily expecting a horror-gore-exploitation film. It wasn't. If it was meant to be, then it fell far short. There is too little horror, gore, nudity or sex. My biggest bugbear however is the photography. It is too self-consciously "arty", filmed with dark filters throughout. Most of the film is unwatchably black. Visually, it looks ugly. People's faces are practically always in shadow. There seemed to be no lighting technician on the set. You can hardly see anything. Even the "action" sequences are filmed in near blackness. How can you enjoy horror, gore or sex when everything is black? It's exasperating to watch. To add to the steadily building frustration, is the stilted acting. Especially of the main character Oliver. I'm not sure if he intentionally meant to parody bad acting or if he was really just a bad actor. To top it all of, there is the loud throbbing, syntho-pop music which I presume is meant to be menacing but is just downright annoying.
I actually liked the story itself. A series of apparent copy-cat serial killings take place in France and Thailand. An American art expert and a French cop go over to investigate. It is a variation of the classic novel, "Picture of Dorian Gray". In the movie, the central painting, purportedly a self-portrait of the killer, keeps changing, not to mirror the change in one man's twisted soul as in the book, but to indicate the identity of the person whose body has been taken over by the roving "evil" spirit that is the cause of all the killings. This "evil" flits from person to person turning the one it possesses into serial killers all with the same modus operandi. They torture and kill their victims while immortalising their death throes on canvas. Very promising material. Sadly not realised.
The only gore I could make out through the gloom were a few skin-deep slash marks on a victim's arm. There is a bit of nudity but you won't see much through all those filters. The victim with the bit-gag and blinkers (shown on the cover) was cute but her scene ended all too quickly and I couldn't make out what actually happened to her. All I know is that she died.
The film is also a sad waste of location shooting. After spending all that money travelling to France and Thailand, the cameraman slaps on so many weird filters that you can barely tell where you are through all the murk. Thailand is a land of brilliant sunshine and this film was supposedly shot on the famous Koh Samui resort island. I could not recognise it at all. I have never seen Thailand look so grey, drab and dull. Might as well have shot it in a studio decorated with a few palm trees. And just where in Thailand is there a French colony with people speaking French? The producers seem to mix up Thailand with French Indochina. All the French portions come with English subtitles burnt onto the print. No way to remove them.
The film is shot in 1.85:1 widescreen, letterboxed into a 4:3 standard frame (Non-Anamorphic). The picture quality is mediocre. All those artsy filters make the picture look flat and dead. I was squinting and straining to see what was happening all throughout. Totally annoying. There are 20 minutes worth of deleted scenes with director commentary. Those were pretty good. The bloopers reel was also fun. With hindsight I shouldn't have bought it. Worth a rental at most."
Not as bad as I'd heard, but not great.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 02/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Nature Morte (Paul Burrows, 2006)
Nature Morte has everything--a compelling script, gorgeous locations, one of the better soundtracks I've heard in recent years (composed by Steven Severin of Siouxsie and the Banshees), girl-on-girl action that's hotter than anything you're likely to find in any softcore and most hardcore films, an always-surprising mystery angle, some passable gore... yep, it's got everything. Everything, that is, except for the talent needed to pull all this together in what could have been the best erotic thriller of the decade, not to mention the first true erotic thriller/gore film crossover. So many possibilities, all so deliciously close to the surface.
The main thread of the film has to do with an art historian, Oliver Davenport (Killing Time 24/7's Troy McFadden), who's an expert on a deceased artist believed to have been a serial killer known as the Marseilles Monster. When a new painting turns up that could only have been painted by the artist after his death, Davenport and French policeman Georges (Jeso Vial) head to a small island off the coast of Thailand to find out if, perhaps, the Marseilles Monster had an accomplice.
It's great stuff, and as the film progresses, it gets greater and greater, with the exception of one thing--the acting. Troy McFadden was about as wrong a choice as one could have come up with to play Davenport (okay, it's possible Ron Jeremy would have been less appropriate, but that's arguable); his delivery is not so much wooden as it is sheet metal, one note that's in a constant state of shimmer. And really, if not for McFadden, I think this movie would likely have gotten a much better reception than it has. Really, there's not a single other thing wrong with this movie. I grant you, it takes a little more attention than most films of this stripe take, which I'm sure some people had a problem with. If you follow it, though, the reward at the end is more than worth it. I just wish a bit more care had been taken with casting the lead role. ***
Sexy, Spooky, Arty, what more could you ask for?
Maddo | UK | 04/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a movie that stands out from the pile of low budget productions I usually watch. The story is thought-provoking, the cinematography is daring and very very stylized, the sexy scenes are... super sexy, in particular the sapphic one illuminated only by thunder:)The score is by an ex-member of my favourite bands ever (Siouxsie and the Banshees), which was a bonus! For a first movie, I have to take my hat off to Paul Burrows, shame the marketing of the movie seems to concentrate on the slasher elements rather than the Noir genre Nature Morte definitely belongs to (and the movie's website certainly reflects this). I believe that if you watch it expecting another Hostel movie, you'll be disappointed, but don't dismiss it if you like a good psychological thriller or are a fan of Giallos, like me!"