124 user 59 critic

Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)

R | | Horror | 1 April 2008 (USA)
A fashion photographer exposes his demented childhood and zooms his evil lens on the oldest profession under the moon, in quite possibly the most notorious serial killer film ever made.


Nick Palumbo


Nick Palumbo





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sven Garrett ... The Photographer
Cerina Vincent ... L.A. Girl
Tony Todd ... Clerk
Gunnar Hansen ... Mechanic
Edwin Neal ... Good Samaritan (as Ed Neal)
Jade Risser Jade Risser ... Jade
Valerie Baber ... Charlotte
Destiny St. Claire Destiny St. Claire ... Weight Bench Girl
Maria Keough Maria Keough ... Little Girl on Bus
Renee Baio ... Hooker #1 (as Renee Sloan)
Lauren Palac Lauren Palac ... Hooker #2
Andrea Mitchell Andrea Mitchell ... Model
Jessie DeRoock Jessie DeRoock ... Young Photographer
LeAnn Clinton LeAnn Clinton ... Girl on tracks
Shandee Lang Shandee Lang ... High Chair Girl #1 (as Shandee Long)


Set against Sin City, Las Vegas, "Murder-Set-Pieces" tells the story of a fashion photographer whose vocation is murder - a voyeuristic nightmare of blood, sex and brutality. Written by Fright Flix Productions

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Prepare yourself for the first American NC-17 horror film. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for grisly bloody violence, disturbing images, strong sexuality and nudity, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In director Nick Palumbo's Director's Cut of "Murder-Set-Pieces", the film opens up with one-of-a-kind 35mm footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. We suddenly hear a female child singing: "Just you wait a little while, the nasty man in black will come. With his little chopper, he will chop you up"! This is exactly what the little girls were singing in German in the opening of Fritz Lang's masterpiece M (1931). See more »


At some points when The Photographer slashes a prostitute with his razor knife in the Holiday Hotel, the cameraman's shadow is visible. See more »


Jade: Do you always eat your meat that bloody?
The Photographer: Yes, blood is good. It's good for you. Blood contains iron, and you need iron to reproduce new blood cells. See, that's the problem with women. Women have an iron deficiency...
[Charlotte giggles]
The Photographer: ... among other things. Women need iron more than men. It's ironic. Women suck blood out of men every day. But at the end of every month, it leaks out. It's just punishment. So, want some ice cream tonight?
See more »

Crazy Credits

executive producers Herman Goering Heinrich Himmler Joseph Goebbels Robert Ley See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical version (and workprint) of this film ran roughly 15 minutes longer than the new "Director's Cut" DVD of the film. Some of the scenes missing from the new DVD includes:
  • A different beginning. The theatrical version began with The Photographer taking shots of a bloody corpse. The DVD begins with a new credit montage featuring images of characters that will be murdered later in the film, thus spoiling who the victims will be.
  • Phone Arguement between Jade's sister and The Photographer while at work.
  • The Psychic Reading/Killing: The photographer visits a psychic who won't reveal "what the cards say", thus upsetting him and leading to the psychic's strangulation.
  • The Photographer watching a bizarre film strip of a girl tied on a bed wearing a pig's mask.
  • A scene where The Photographer is shown picking up the first prostitutes before the whole "red light, house music, slit throat/choke" scene.
  • The "bathtub" girl/stripper arriving late. She apologizes, and The Photographer asks her to take off her clothes. She does, then smacks her own butt and says something like 'these are my best ASSets'. After this he says "turn around", then is plays out the same as the DVD version after that.
  • Extended scenes of The Photographer driving the strip.
  • A rather artistic shot of The Photographer running towards the screen barefoot on a road, bleeding at the mouth.
See more »


References The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) See more »


Jesus Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Written and Performed by D.D. Verni and The Bronx Casket Co. (as The Bronx Casket Company)
See more »

User Reviews

From the "Naked Dead Girl Cult" school of juvenile film-making...
30 January 2006 | by Maciste_BrotherSee all my reviews

Here's my review of the "controversial" MURDER SET PIECES:

Story: beefy German-speaking serial killer murders tons of naked women in Las Vegas. For 90 minutes, we see various naked women getting killed by the serial killer. The women are tortured, sliced, diced, chainsawed, etc, to death.

That's it.

There's very little attempt to create suspense or understanding into the few characters populating this claustrophobic flick. It's all surface. No depth whatsoever. And any level of realism in MSP was thrown out of the window because the abysmal acting, certainly from all the bimbos. I mean, we are talking HG Lewis level of acting here.

The main actor, Sven Garrett, was OK but he's definitely not a seasoned pro. He looked more like he belonged in the WWE than a horror film. The lack of coaching or practice, which is standard in low budget films, was evident with Garrett. For instance, he was totally unconvincing as a photographer. I'm sure he never held a 35mm camera in his entire life before making the film. He should have spent a bit more time researching for his role than doing weights at the gym. Oddly enough though, the casting of Garrett is one of the few "original" aspects about MSP. Garrett is a somewhat good-looking, somewhat Neantherdal looking (depending on which angle he's shot from). Unlike MANIAC or DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE type of films, where the psycho is always homely, the director probably thought having a hunky serial killer would make sense due to the humongous amount of women murdered in MSP. His presence and the director's intent to show off his physique are the only things that contrast with the plethora of naked girls in the film. This includes the pointless scene with Garrett in a swimsuit and having visions of 9/11.

The serial killer's psychosis is confused and, like the rest of the movie, hopelessly muddled and badly written. Why does he kill all these women? Because is grandfather was a Nazi? In one scene, you see him chew on a corpse. Is he a cannibal? Is he a Neo-Nazi cannibal? He also has sex with his victims while he kills and tortures them. Does this mean he can't get it up without blood or violence? Is he a an impotent Neo-Nazi cannibal?

If it wasn't for the really bad acting on the women's part, the movie and the level of violence towards women seen in it would have been impossible to watch. The ONLY truly "disturbing" aspect of MSP is the unrelenting violence made towards women, which is numbing. The women all blend together and I couldn't tell who he was killing after a while. Just look at the film's credit to see the number of anonymously named women written for this flick: Basement Girl #2, Hooker #3, High Chair Girl #1, Tree Girl #2, Dildo Girl #1, etc. Because the violence made towards women is so unrelenting (I've lost count after 20 minutes into the movie...) but also because of what is left out of the landscape: we basically only see the beefy psycho killing naked, screaming women. We see almost nothing else. Are there any other people out there? Whatever happened to the scene with the medium/card reader seen in the trailer? This somewhat minimalist approach to the "story", more to do with the director's complete inability to come up with any other idea than killing naked women, accidentally creates the film's only distinctive quality, and indirectly, the film's unrelenting violence shown towards women became more and more disturbing as it went along. Disturbing because I suddenly realized that what I was watching was something clearly made by people with, hmmm, a *lot* of issues.

The direction is stilted and awkward. You can really see that the director was "influenced" by films like "Texas chainsaw Massacre" (the film starts with flashbulbs illuminating a corpse of a naked woman...) or HALLOWEEN, and a lot of nights spent at strip clubs trying to woo investors. Oddly enough, the look and direction of MSP reminded me more of THE BOOGEYMAN (1980), Ulli Lommel's horror opus. The filmmaker has no vision or understanding of what horror is. He just used clichéd aspects of horror movies (gore, naked girls, Nazies, chainsaws, naked girls, Halloween, etc) and tried to make something shocking. The director's inexperienced is obvious throughout the film and seeing him try to combine heavy subjects like serial killings, sex, violence and 9/11 was the only true entertaining aspect of MSP. Watching all these missteps was fascinating, to say the least, and the reason I gave this 3 stars instead of 1.

Here's a question I have for the director: Would the film have been more effective if, let's say, the women actually had kept their clothes on? Probably. Because the nudity is so gratuitous (and, in the end, unrealistic) that the only thing I got out of watching MSP is the number of "actresses" out there who are willing to take their clothes off for a few bucks for roles in a low-budget film; how many of them actually had sex with the producers; and how "interesting" the casting sessions must have been ("Can you scream but with your clothes off?"). Scenes of the Photographer taking pictures of two naked 'playmate' women against a tree were included only to titillate the male audience. It's eye candy, for sure, but in the end it's more of a disservice to the film's 'realism' than anything else.

MURDER SET PIECES suffers from the fact that it's too trashy to be seen as a serious "shocking" portrait of a killer and it's not fun enough to be seen as great exploitation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | German

Release Date:

1 April 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Girls Wanted See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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