Raise your hand with pride if your country of origin is Belgium, just like this utterly brilliant (ahem
) and obscure horror movie! What? No response? Well, that's understandable because this movie is, in fact, a complete turkey and probably our country's worst export-product since that cargo of poisoned chocolates. Perhaps if you lived in Belgium all your life and grew up watching all the lackadaisical TV-shows of the 80's, you can still somewhat enjoy the stereotypes and typical clichés, but the awful script has absolutely nothing to offer to foreign horror fans. "The Pencil Murders" is Belgium's very own attempt to make a giallo. This magnificent sub genre is pretty much monopolized by the Italian horror industry, as they brought forward numerous compelling murder-mysteries with convoluted plots, fascinating killers and some of the world's most ingenious red herrings. "The Pencil Murders" is an extremely primitive imitation of the Italian giallo. Oh yes, there's a demented killer on the loose in the big city and the local police detective faces enormous difficulties to catch him/her, but that's it! Writer/director Guy Lee Thys is completely unable to create tension or even to mislead his viewers with red herrings. The cast of characters is very limited, so you can pick out the culprit pretty early in the film. Even if you don't bother to guess along who the killer is, it's still pretty obvious and you'll pity the 'heroic' cop for not being smarter. The only interesting element in "The Pencil Murders" is the killer's modus operandi. He/she carefully selects the female victims and rams a pencil up their noses and through their brains. The only thing that connects the victims is that they were all single/divorced women with the reputation of being sluts. Hence, the hunt is open for a deranged woman hater. The murders aren't as bloody as I expected (or hoped) and there's only a bit of sleaze, and yet this film somehow totally escaped the attention of the censorship committee! The use of language is overall very foul and vulgar and the screenplay is unbelievably racist! At a certain point in the film, the prime suspect is a black guy and the police promptly organize a hostile round up of every colored person in the city. The hero-cop's attitude towards the foreigners in his town is very aggressive and I hope from the bottom of my heart that this isn't an accurate portrayal of my country during the early 80's. Any police officer with such racist convictions would be taken from the job nowadays, and rightly so! Bottom line: "The Pencil Murders" is a very rare and hard-to-find horror film, but that's okay, since you shouldn't look for it.