The worlds of Michael J.
- Magic, Myth and Mutilation review by NP
Michael J Murphy was a prolific, mostly unknown writer and director who died quite suddenly in April 2015.
He leaves behind a film legacy contained here in what must surely be its entirety. 26 films on 10 discs, together with a plethora of extras.
The first thing that grabs you when watching is that the 'micro budget' label on the cover is painfully true - you cannot help but be thrown by the DIY quality of many of the productions; it's also very interesting to see how they progress technically and professionalism over the years. Very cheaply made to the end - Murphy talks about at length in the interviews - they are nevertheless engaging in terms of story and situation. There are more twists, turns and revelations than you might imagine, and that - for me - outweighs the deficiencies in budget.
My preference is for the thriller/horror featured here rather than the sword and sorcery efforts (although the three visitations to the story of 'Tristan' are very strong and surprisingly touching). Perhaps 'Torment' is my favourite - a twisted story that balances the brutality of celebrity culture with full-on horror - although 'Death Run', 'Moonchild' and the last film 'The Return of Alan Strange' all come a close second. It's difficult to place them in order.
I knew nothing about Michael J Murphy, but I'm really glad I took the plunge with this set. His repertoire of actors became his close friends, their fondness for him evident in the interviews. The only question that remains after watching, is 'what could he have achieved if he had a budget?'
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.