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You Can’t Stop the Murders

Year: 2002
Director: Anthony Mir
Writer: Gary Eck/Anthony Mir
Cast: Gary Eck, Akmal Saleh, Anthony Mir, Gary Who, Jimeoin
There's a column in Filmink called What's Wrong with the Australian Film Industry?. It deals with the general malaise the Australian film scene has wallowed in since the heady Priscilla and Muriel's Wedding days, where low returns, mediocre products and poor international sales are becoming commonplace.

And I've found the answer to that questions; somebody keeps funding shit. I saw this around the same time as Horse Play and they both suffer the same problem. Whether it's a continuity or a scriptwriting issue, the characters don't have clear motivations or identities, the 'humour' is appallingly written, and aside from a few chuckles at funny lines or set-ups, both films are cheap and stupid.

In this case, it's been marketed (including the title of the film) on a very specific hook that is never capitalised on. Whereas Muriel's Wedding catered to the retro, thirtysomething music lover by plugging Abba songs, not a single Village people track appears in the film - at least it would have got the punters' feet tapping once or twice.

A mess of a premise - two useless cops in a small town (one of them a keen line dancer) are confronted with a string of grisly murders inspired by members of the village people, their body parts spelling out 'YMCA' at each scene. There's a silly love interest and a character who you can't work out is a support or a main - the flashy, Miami Vice -obsessed cop sent from Sydney to investigate.

There's a few laughs, but no coherent train of thought in the story and no consistency in the character's identities or behaviour (where any discrepancies are explained as part of the plot).

And for the technically observant, the multiple changes in film stock (even within a single scene) betray an ultra cheap and uneducated production).

What's wrong with the Australian Film industry is that funding bodies (Miramax and Showtime in this case) don't see the risk in giving three stand up comics a whole lot of money to star in, write and direct a feature film.

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