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Amateur Porn Star Killer (2007)
23rd Apr 08
Plot Amateur Porn Star Killer, or APSK as it will forthwith be known, is not about plot but we'll give it a shot anyway. It's just your average boy picks up thirteen-year-old girl in the middle of the night story.
A whiny voiced young man by the name of Brandon (Shane Ryan) picks up Stacey (Michiko Jimenez) and takes her to a hotel room where he films her, sexually abuses her before killing her. Oh yeah, apparently he's done this before and she is his third victim.
Anyone picking up a copy of APSK will read that there’s a warning on the reverse. The warning lets the viewer know that the movie they are holding contains 'nudity and graphic sexual content'. What it doesn't mention is that that's pretty much all there is to it. Starting off with details about the urban myth that are snuff movies, co-writer / director Shane Ryan's movie parades around under the pretence that it is something profound, taking Ted Bundy as a starting point for his own performance as a nut-job.
There are online chat rooms for all sorts of sexual fetish, so I've been told, and one such fetish is that of role-playing. Role-playing is where partners meet up for an agreed scenario, such as the man being headmaster and the woman dressing as a schoolgirl and they get their kicks from that. Ryan and his co-star / co-writer Michiko Jimenez have basically done just that for the camera.
He probably phoned her up and said, ”How about you wait for me by that shop. I'll drive by and pick you up around midnight. You pretend to be eighteen and I'll take you back to a hotel room and make out I'm filming you for fun but really I'm going to film you being killed. What do you reckon? Does that turn you on? It won't cost a lot for the hotel room, just $45 in fact (the budget for the film).”
”Yes,” she replies, ”I know how much it turns you on Chris. I've sat through those short films you've made and your Romance Road Killers and know that all you are capable of doing is making a film where inevitably you have sex with a girl and I'd love to be that girl (again). How about if I tell you I'm actually thirteen rather than eighteen? Does that make you hard?”
”Girl you know it does! I'll pick you up at midnight ok?”
”Sure, see you there. Are we going to try and sell this one onto a distribution company? What would our angle be? ”
”Not sure babe. I was thinking as I'm gonna pretend to snuff you out at the end that we put some stuff on the screen about 'snuff' movies. You see what I did there? I might nick a quote from Paul Schrader to make it more than it actually is. Maybe have some stuff on the website about Ted Bundy too, people might read something into that and think the movie is more than it really is. Given how crap our sound is I'll put subtitles on some frames. This will make it look arty but is in the movie for no real sense at all. ”
”I do like your way of thinking Shane. You know those college kids will buy into anything if they think there's a subtext to it. Remember to get some friends to write stuff on imdb.com about how great they think the film is too that will help bump up its points. ”
That imagined scenario above has more thought put to it than the two of them managed for the short seventy-one minutes duration. Look at it objectively, strip away the opening wording about snuff movies and effectively you have two porn movies spliced over each other. There is no subtext, no agenda, no point rather than a young filmmaker using the experience to get his rocks off. You’ve just paid to watch the two actors play with each other and have sex under the guise of being an actual movie.
Being a snuff movie doesn't mean that the standard of the filming has to be shoddy or the footage look tatty. I'm not sure what's with all the scratches and in this day and age of digital cameras why on earth doesn't he know how to use a camera or have a decent one? If the killer is looking for people to find these little movies he is making perhaps he ought to invest in some decent filmmaking equipment to make the experience more bearable. In fact my three-year-old nephew would have more an idea behind the camera.
Given that Ryan has allegedly won awards for his short films and his music videos (that's right and my local chip shop really is the best in the U.K.) you'd think that he would have recognised that he didn't have enough material to stretch this out any longer than fifteen minutes. Even co-writer Michiko Jimenez, who plays victim Stacy, looks bored when she isn't trying hard not to giggle. What I don't get is that we have established that the walls of the hotel room are thin so why does she never shout out?
I didn't go into this expecting gore or excellent framing, I was expecting my attention to be held and it failed to do so. I felt uncomfortable but not for the reasons the filmmaker would pretend this was all about. I was just watching two people role-play like perverts in an Internet chat room but rather than talk through their perverse fantasy they act it out for the camera and that's what sickened me.
If you want proof just look at the short films, it's all an excuse for Ryan to get his rocks off, he's entertaining himself rather than setting out to provoke or shock through the content. Drop the killer from the title and have exactly what Ryan is, an amateur porn star. If the film is meant to have a point other than an excuse for Ryan to fondle another girl then I've missed it. At just 71 minutes APSK felt longer than all three Lord of the Rings movies put together, and in their extended director's cut form too.
So given how awful I found the movie why have I given it one star? It gets that just for the star / director's sheer balls, which we also get to see along with his semi erect penis, at putting this out there and thinking people might want to watch his wank. And it doesn't stop there! Ryan has already got a release for a sequel, the imaginatively entitled Amateur Porn Star Killer 2. Be afraid! Be very afraid!
4 Trailers – Three of the four trailers are actually for this very movie. It’s worth just watching the first of these as it pretty much sums APSK up in just three minutes which is much better than you wasting seventy one minutes of your precious life on the main feature. You’ll thank me for this, probably add me to your Xmas card list and invite me out for a pint by way of thank-you. The other trailer is for a movie called Romance Road Killers which looks just as awful as APSK and just another excuse for Ryan to pout in front of the camera and let everyone see how beautiful he is as he snogs his Bonnie & Clyde style lover. It would very much seem that the camera is just an excuse for Ryan to grope a girl.
5 Short Films by Shane Ryan The titles are as follows...
The Snake’s Loss Good-Bye So, We Killed our Parents The Cold Heat The Pure Exodus Lucifer’s Mind
I got as far as the third one The Cold Heat but gave up on it once I'd gauged it ran to around 14 minutes and that yet again it featured Ryan snogging a girl and being all naked and stuff. Anyone else seeing a pattern emerging here?
Drive Thru Crime Scene Tour – Rather pointless, like we really want to see the location in daylight and hear how Michiko nearly got picked up by people prior to Shane driving up – big deal. Still it affords Ryan the opportunity to be in his favourite place – in front of the camera. Worth watching just to see that Ryan can actually manage to keep his clothes on and not snog anyone.
And finally there is a ten-minute interview with the stars / makers Michiko Jimenez and filmmaker Shane Ryan, both are fortunately fully clothed. They started waffling on about how they met, like anyone really gives a shit, and I could stand no more. By now I was close to losing the will to live so I turned it off.
8th Jun 04 The film opens with a very similar voiceover narration to the original (see Trivia) but with different footage as we tour the furnace room, all fingernail scratches and blood-clotted hair, of the Hewitt residence.