Murder Death Koreatown Movie Review
Written by Stuart D. Monroe
Written and directed by anonymous
2020, 80 minutes, Not Rated
Released on March 21st, 2020
No one credited.
As a professional film reviewer, I knew it would happen eventually – the movie that perplexes me so much that I will not be giving it a legit rating (as it defies something so simple as a rating). As a found-footage junkie, I want to be impressed…but I’m unsure of what I’ve watched. I’m starkly reminded of the old adage in pro wrestling that basically says it doesn’t matter whether they’re booing you or cheering you, so long as they’re out of their seats and making noise.
Well, I’m standing. I’m damn sure making some noise. Granted, it runs the gauntlet between raucous boos and cheering with tears in my eyes, but Murder Death Koreatown is one mean motherfucker of a unique film.
Our anonymous cameraman is investigating a murder that happened right next to the apartment he shares with his girlfriend in Koreatown, Los Angeles. A woman named Mi-sun Yoo murders her husband, Tae Kyung Sung. While there doesn’t seem to be any motive for the crime, the anonymous cameraman sees something much more ominous between the lines. He feels that Tae is reaching out to him for help, and he simply must have the answers to the mysterious act of violence. As he descends further and further into madness, you’re left to wonder whether he’s just lonely and disturbed or if he’s onto something via his encounters with sinister preachers, homeless prophets, shady landlords, slaughtered chickens, and voices from the sewer.
I can safely say that I’ve never hated a main character as much as I hate this guy. He’s whiny. He’s delusional. The sound of his voice makes me want to punch a baby. However, if there’s any legitimacy to the story and the character (and the internet seems to think there is), then he just might be the most well-written douchebag in the history of film. His descent into full-blown, ranting and raving in the street lunacy is frankly uncomfortable to watch. If that’s what the writer truly intended to do, then it’s deserving of serious praise. He’s still an utter turd, but crazy people are rarely ever fun to deal with in my experience (and I’ve got a PhD in crazy).
That’s the crux of Murder Death Koreatown – there is a real story at the center of it. The marketing campaign (if you can even call it that) is the most elusive and potentially effective since The Blair Witch Project. Go ahead and exhaust all your skills as a cyber-sleuth on this one; you won’t find a damn thing. It’s the kind of film that has the potential to reinvent the wheel to some degree within the found-footage subgenre if people get it.
That’s a pretty big “IF”. I’m writing the review, and I still don’t get it. Murder Death Koreatown takes an awfully long time in getting to the payoff, and even then it’s a fairly ambiguous thing. But in the real world, that’s how things shake out most of the time. Neat and clean endings are about as rare as spotting the world’s horniest pixie making sweet love to a unicorn or hearing Donald Trump say something that sounds fully coherent.
If there’s one place that you absolutely have to stand up and give the Shia LeBeouf-style slow clap for, it’s sheer dedication. You can’t have zero reaction to this film; whoever made it ensures that. Whether you love or hate Anonymous, you will believe that he believes. Also, it’s a scathingly accurate portrayal of the sort of desperation and edgy vibe of Koreatown, Los Angeles, from everything I’ve read (I’ve never been there, but the consensus opinion says so).
From the pointedly vague marketing campaign to the unhinged lead performance to the maddening ambiguity of the whole affair, Murder Death Koreatown is a film that will run you through some strong emotions. Hugely flawed and zealously dedicated in equal measure, it’s going to make the rounds and be hotly debated.
When you figure out whether I love it or hate it, drop me a line here at Horror DNA and let me know. I’m giving this an informal rating of “Impossible stars out of What the Fuck Blue Moons”…is that enough of a rating for ya’?
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