"Murder" was a webshow from 1994 showing footage found by a unknown host, Balan. The footage consisted of uncut and uncensored killings and/or accidents relating to death. "Murder Collection" shows footage collected by Balan after all the old material was seized.
"Again?" was my first thought when I first saw the trailer for this film. Had Toetag Pictures made another film like the "August Underground" trilogy? Of course I did see that there was a difference to it all, and my main thought was that the film was gonna show random snuff footage, unlike the "August Underground" films that was a home video from just one group of people. I was told by a friend that the film is pretty much what you would expect from it, so I didn't really thinking about it much more until I saw it, to prevent building up too much expectations.
The film is hosted by this unknown person, Balan, who we actually never really see, except for close-ups of eyes, mouth, etc. His voice has been edited so we can't hear what he says, but subtitles are there. These scenes appear after some of the "footage scenes", and I do think it was a good idea to have the Balan scenes. But I would've enjoyed seeing him just sit on a chair, maybe being shadowed so we can't see who he is anyone, rather than having weird filtered close-ups along with subtitles. Anyway, this is just a small portion of the film of course. Then the found footage is shown, and to my surprise it wasn't yet another fake snuff film like Toetag's messed up trilogy. No, this was more in style with "Faces Of Death" and any other death compilation that we've seen. It was very interesting to see them recreate a phenomenon that most people aware of stream sites and with a slight interest in "odd" stuff has seen before. We're shown stuff like robberies, accidental killings, hostage situations gone wrong and of course some intentional killings. Most of them work pretty well, and the scenes that involves us looking through a security camera might be the ones that work the best as far as reality goes. Security camera footage is something everyone has seen on the news and cop shows, so we know how the real thing looks, and out of the things found in "Murder Collection Vol. 1", it's probably the ones that are the easiest to recreate too. There are plenty of different scenes and all are very different from each other, but I couldn't help but get bored by some of them, especially the ones that never really get to the point. Sure, real footage is like that, but since this is footage that is found by someone who is showing it to us, he could've just as well have cut some of them down. That way, we would've gotten plently of more footage during these 80 minutes too! Win-win!
All footage has the right quality. The first one seems to be a webcam, so the quality looks like a bad webcam should look. I was kinda surprised by the pissy quality there, but through-out the film, it becomes clear why it's like that. The security tapes are black and white, and usually silent. We have a execution tape that is also in black and white, and they have really captured the feeling of those military murder tapes, even though these people clearly weren't military. Then we have the home videos, that have that crispy and shitty look that old VHS tapes has. A look that we've seen alot in the "August Underground" films, pretty much.
A Toetag Pictures film always promises excellent gore, and this one didn't let me down. Maybe in amounts of gore, I was a little disappointed, but they are masters of this art and there is no way it could've looked any better than it did. Since all the scenes are shown in bad quality, some of the smaller wounds, like hits and knife stabs, become pretty invisible to our eyes except that we see the blood. This is a shame, especially in a scene that features an axe murder. But we have scenes that will please every fan of gore. I don't want to spoil too much, because this film was intended to be watched with little to no knowledge of it, but it has one of the better decapitations out there. That much I can guarantee. It also has a scene of a dead person that looks extremely real, and anyone who has seen "Orozco The Embalmer" will agree with me there.
"Murder Collection Vol. 1" was at times very boring, but sometimes it shined more than the sun. It's a fake death footage film that I hope to see more volumes of, but hopefully they will learn from their mistakes, and fix the things that bothered people the most. I would also like to see more gore, because when all is said and done, that's the main purpose of watching a fake death footage film, wouldn't you agree? Toetag Pictures succeeded with what they tried to do yet again, but it's so far the worst of their films, let alone the one that drags the most. I have to admit it wasn't what I had hoped, but I still liked it alot and respect them for succeeding with this as well as they did. And like I said, the gore that we do see is fantastic.