True crime. Found footage. Conspiracy. Madness
This is a shoestring budget, uber indie horror/mystery that seems to have been completely filmed via smartphone. It is cheap, shaky, meandering…and is narrated by a guy you really want to punch in the face for the majority of the film. You would be hard pressed to find a lower-budget film a more bizarre story. The murder at the start of the film apparently did indeed take place, but the story that the film follows after is something else entirely. How is it then, with all of these potential problems, that I actually ended up enjoying the film? Because it is a whimsical, batshit crazy tale of human vagary and improbable conspiracy.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. If you can’t handle a really shaky camera and you find found footage difficult to watch, you won’t be able to sit through this. Period. The film is poorly shot and edited haphazardly on purpose as it is meant to be seen through the eyes of an amateur sleuth—a pretty bad one. If you think you might have a hard time watching a film shot through a phone, this one may not be for you. If you can’t deal with idiocrasy, turn away now.
Still here? Good. It takes a good while to understand what Murder Death Koreatown (MDK) is about, but that’s probably half the fun. The film follows the protagonist, who seems to be on the very lower end of what could be middle class or maybe a few rungs lower. He lives with his girlfriend in a small apartment in Koreatown of some unnamed city. He’s a white male that is clearly unemployed and perhaps a few colours short of a box of crayons. After an apparent murder in one of the nearby apartments, he takes it upon himself to solve the mystery…a mystery that he kind of makes up…maybe…or is he really on to something? No one else seems to think so. Or are they part of the conspiracy?
The film features a slew of colourful characters and a bizarre but unique story. There is a score of sorts, which is probably the only thing that makes it a film rather than a cut-together collection of cell phone videos. The acting is…different…but it needed to be the way it was for the film to make sense. The pacing is a little slow to start but—again—that needed to be the case. We need to be misled a bit while building our understanding of the character and the plot, which is not clear from the get-go. It is a mess of sorts that fortunately manages to all come together in a coherent discombobulation; an epiphany of absurdity.
This is not a film in the traditional sense of the word. It is part found footage, part “based on true events,” part detective documentary, and part something else: a look into the broken psyche and self-absorbed nature of conspiracy theorists and perhaps those suffering–untreated–with mental illness. I liked MDK, but I would have a hard time recommending it to folks unless they like different, dark, and unique cinematic experiences; people who are tired with Hollywood and want something off-kilter. In all honesty, I cannot even fairly rate the film. All of the usual criteria that I use to check off what’s good and what’s not, simply aren’t there…So, I’m not going to rate it. I’m simply going to leave you with the fact that I enjoyed the experience but I have no way of knowing if you will.
Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer, poster and purchase/rental links below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.