. Com For Murder - . Com For Murder(Blu Ray) [Arrow Video - 2023]
. Com For Murder is a tech thriller from the early 2000s, which as its title suggests focuses on an internet serial killer- who sets his sight on a wheelchair-bound woman, in an upmarket security tech-heavy home. The film is helmed by Greek schlockmeister Nico Mastorakis- of taboo-breaking nasty Island Of Death, action slasher mash-up The Zero Boys, etc. Here from Arrow Video- both in the UK and Stateside- is a new Blu-Ray release of the film, taking in a new HD scan of the film, as well as a few extras.
. Com For Murder appeared in the year 2002, and was Mastoraki's sixteenth director's credit. It was filmed in and around LA, with the focus on a large up-market modern mansion at night time. Visually the film takes influence from the then very popular found footage genre- as we get dwells in POV filmed on video camera footage alongside standard filmmaking. Another key influence here is Silence Of The Lambs, as we get a fair bit of use of night sight POV too- both elements are used to create fairly effective tension. Though we do also get some corny/ unbelievable plot points along the way- but ultimately like all of Mastoraki's output it’s an entertaining film, that certainly has some interesting ideas & neat thrills.
The film opens up in an arty tech early 2000s manner- as we get rapidly cut-up collage of inversed imagery, creepy victim stalking night vision, online texts, etc. As we get into the film we get the first use of the killer's POV, as we see a surgical gloved-up figure breaking into a house- picking up a kitchen knife, making his way upstairs to a woman whose shower, and we get a bloody stabbing.
Then we meet the film's lead character- Sondra(Nastassja Kinski) the wheelchair-bound wife of successful architect Ben(Roger Daltrey). Ben is just about to leave Sondra in the pairs high tech LA home- and we get chat about internet chat rooms, and the talking computer system that controls the house the pair mockingly call Hal.
Ben heads out as night is setting in, and we see their CCTV around the property, and a security gate. Sondra decides she going to have a look at what Ben has been up to on the net, and finds out he’s been regularly logging in to a lonely hearts/ dating website chatroom. She finds out he’s been chatting with one woman Lynn(Kim Valentine), and is concerned it may have gone beyond just chat. Unfortunately in the chatroom at the same time is Werther(Jeffery Dean) a rich hacker, who just happens to be very unbalanced- and he’s the POV killer from the start of the film. As Sondra and Werther have more threatening back and forth in the chatroom, her sister Misty (Nicollette Sheridan) turns up at the house the stay.
As things unfold it’s clear Werther, with his swanky red lite keyboard set up and finger lights is a very talented hacker. First, he hacks Ben's profile on the chatroom, then he gets hold of Lynn’s address. In the meantime, the two sisters are panicking, trying to disconnect from the net & the chatroom. Werther hacks into their webcam, and then sends a message he’s on his way to Lynn’s- and we get another clunk of POV and the first use of green night vision, and as you'd guess things don’t turn out too well.
Sondra & Misty get in contact with working late FBI agent Matheson( Huey Lewis), and try to get a late-night tech guy/ hacker to help with their locked up & in control of the killer PC. In the meantime, Werther is setting his sights on going to give the two women a visit, as the house's security system starts to play up.
The whole thing unfolds at a good & largely nicely tense pace- yes, of course, the technology looks very dated now, and the overuse of security system talking is a little trying- but in a way, I think this adds more retro charm to the whole thing. Kinski is a good enough leading lady, Valentine as her system is maybe a little flat in places- but later on, comes into her own well enough. Dean is effective as the poetry-spotting hacking psycho, when we first meet him in his large high-rise apartment I got rather American Psycho Patrick Bateman vibes- with him having blood-bound hallucinations. As he goes out stalking the more unbalanced romantic poetry gone-mad vibe comes out. As for our two rock stars turned actors- Daltrey is ok, but is only in the film for around ten mins total. And Lewis, well is basically Lewis not doing a terrible amount of acting.
As enjoy both retro tech thrillers & late-night killer stalking films I enjoyed what . Com For Murder had to offer- finding it both fairly tense in places and entertaining. I’d say you’ll certainly have to either enjoy the retro tech elements or be able to ignore them- as they are a big part of the film's plot & unfold.
The film gets an HD scan, and really it looks on par with any early 2000s film- but that’s really to be expected with such a (relatively) recent picture. On the extras side, it’s all archive features/ or new features created with edited archive material. First off is The Making of .com for Murder (38.01) which takes in interviews with the director, and a few of the film's stars. Stunt set up footage and a brief look at some of the true-life cases that influenced the film. . com for Murder: The Unknown Story (28.10) which finds the film's director talking about memories of the film's production- with behind-the-scenes footage. Also featured is the original POV short he filmed, and in detail discussion about how certain scenes were filmed like the opening shower scene. We get on-screen/ archive interviews with Roger Daltrey(20.27) and Huey Lewis(9.56). Image gallery and trailer. The first pressing of the film comes with Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by David Flint.
It certainly is great to see Arrow Video carrying on with their reissuing of Nico Mastorakis's filmography. And . Com For Murder is an effective tech thriller, that like all of the director's output is both entertaining and well enough scoped, with some interesting visual ideas.Roger Batty