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Theatrical poster cover
Directed by Nick Palumbo
Produced by Nick Palumbo
Written by Nick Palumbo
Starring Sven Garrett
Gunnar Hansen
Cerina Vincent
Tony Todd
Music by The Bronx Casket Co.
The Giallos Flame
Cinematography Brendan Flynt
Edited by Todd C. Ramsay
Fright Flix Productions
Distributed by Blackwatch Releasing
Release dates
Running time
NC-17 theatrical cut:
105 minutes
Director's Cut:
91 minutes
Edited cut:
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million

Murder-Set-Pieces is a 2004 American horror film written, produced, and directed by Nick Palumbo.[1]


The film follows a wealthy immigrant serial killer: a German photographer, who leads a double life: by day he shoots erotic photos. By night, he rapes, tortures, and murders prostitutes.[2]



Murder-Set-Pieces was given a limited release on December 24, 2004 with an NC-17 rating. The film was released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment with an 'R' rating on DVD.[4] In comparison with the theatrical cut of the film, the 'R' rated DVD version was missing approximately 22 minutes.[5] Most of the cuts were to obtain the 'R' rating and removed several intense scenes of sexualized violence and torture, however, some scenes were also removed by the director himself which he intended to edit out of the film before going into theaters but never got the chance.[6]

Murder-Set-Pieces was released by Universal Studios in Spain, The Weinstein Company in Sweden, 20th Century Fox in France, and Anchor Bay Entertainment in Russia.[7]

UK ban[edit]

The film was submitted for release in the United Kingdom to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) who refused to give the film an '18' certificate, therefore making the film illegal to supply within the UK. The BBFC stated they rejected the film because of sexual violence, and the film was potentially breaking UK obscenity laws.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews; Film Threat gave it four stars out of four, calling it "incredibly good" and "well made."[9] Metacritic gave it a score of 13, signifying "overwhelming dislike"[10] and Rotten Tomatoes had a critical consensus of 36%.[11]

Debra Birnbaum of The New York Post wrote it "aspires to be a highly stylized exploration of the mind of a serial killer, but it's nothing more than a gory, blood-soaked snuff film, reveling in its own shock value." Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote that the film's "nastiness is so insistent, one-dimensional and excessive it risks self-parody."[12]

Home media[edit]

A director's cut DVD was released after its theatrical run. The theatrical version runs at 105 minutes, the uncut DVD version runs at 91 minutes, whereas the 'R' rated version runs at 83 minutes.[13]


External links[edit]