There are movies within movies within movies in Bernard Rose's provocatively titled Snuff-Movie. Shame all of them are pants. Part silly horror flick, part po-faced treatise on how the camera always lies, this no-budget, no-sense cinematic atrocity follows reclusive horror director Boris Arkadin (Jeroen Krabbé) as he restages the 1975 murder of his pregnant wife for thrill-seeking internet viewers. Is it supposed to be a real-life snuff flick? Or just another slasher movie? You probably won't know - and definitely won't care.
Opening with a Hammy House of Horrors sequence (scenes from Arkadin's last film, Premature Burial), Snuff-Movie jumps to scratchy home video footage of Arkadin's pregnant wife (Lisa Enos) getting murdered by a gang of Manson Family-style killers (no doubt Roman Polanski's already talking to his lawyers). Then we're in the present where four actors, including Wendy (Enos again), are lured to the creepy director's equally creepy mansion and filmed with hidden webcams. Arkadin's new film is called Snuff Movie. Will it really do what it says on the tin?
"HARD TO TAKE SERIOUSLY"
Despite it's come-on title, it's hard to take Snuff-Movie seriously. Utter cheapness pervades every frame: actors wear ridiculous wigs; blood is squeezed out of Heinz Ketchup bottles; a plastic unborn foetus is ripped from its mother's womb. The film tries to suggest that everything's supposed to look fake because nothing is real (to which the only answer is: yeah, right). Horror fans will remember Rose as the director of the fabulous psychological thriller Paperhouse and creepy franchise-starter Candyman. In comparison Snuff-Movie is a bad day of epic, career-snuffing proportions.