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Murderlust (1985) - DVD Review

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Murderlust (1985)

“God, I love the desert!”  This is what is loudly proclaimed by the Sunday school teacher who is sitting squarely at the center of Murderlust.  Steve Belmont (Eli Rich) is a pathetic human being.  As a Sunday school teacher, he uses his post to ensnare pretty young women, kidnap them, kill them, and then dispose of their bodies off a cliff wall in the Mojave desert.  This is why he loves the desert so very damn much.

Available only on DVD and somewhat of a rental classic from the VHS era of horror flicks, Murderlust is made available once again thanks to Severin Films and Intervision.  The film, a creepy slasher that will make you feel icky all over, is not a great flick, but it is damned memorable.  It’s low budget, pretty grimy, and – thanks to an especially creepy performance from Rich – continues to resurface as this low-life, also working as a security guard, goes about his business as the Mojave Murderer, forcing girls to give him a blowjob at gunpoint . . . and then talk to them about Jesus. 

"a creepy slasher that will make you feel icky all over".


Directed by Donald M. Jones, Murderlust is a sick, sick flick.  It is also spellbinding thanks to its disturbing content.  While not nearly as gory as you might be expecting, Belmont has quite the relationship with the hookers in the town.  None of them suspect him to be the murderer of course.  We do, though.  We see it all. And the maestro is one of the biggest scumbags to walk the earth, pretending to be a normal human.

It is quite disturbing to see Belmont go from an all-around nice guy to a total shit stain of a man.  The dude can’t help himself.  While he loves the attention from the ladies, he also despises them, cutting them down and threatening them whenever he can.  As a character study – thanks to its deliberate pacing and eerie cinematography from James MattisonMurderlust does more with its time then you might be expecting. 

Written by James C. Lane and co-starring Rochelle Taylor as Cheryl, Dennis Gannon as Neil, and Lisa Nichols as Debra, Murderlust is infamous for its realistic, no-frills depiction of murder.  Sure, he mostly strangles the women, but it is so fascinating to see Belmont work his magic with the women he eventually abducts.  Spooky shit, really, and the poor quality of the transfer merely adds to the film’s overall affect. Murderlust (1985)

Modeling shoots, white wine, and one hell of a creepy dude behind the camera, Murderlust might not be the flashiest of flicks, but it makes up for it thanks to a grindhouse-like grandeur that continues to buzz, buzz, buzz within its skull.

This release from Intervision Pictures Corp also includes a bonus movie.  It is Project Nightmare, Jones’ first film, and it, too, is fully uncut and makes its appearance for the first time on DVD. 

It's crazy time once again, thanks to these two finds.

3/5 beers

Murderlust (1985)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Donald M. Jones
Writer:
James C. Lane
Cast:
Eli Rich, Rochelle Taylor, Dennis Gannon
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Meet a killer of a different sort....
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
 
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
 
Synopsis: By day, mild-mannered Steve Belmont (Eli Rich of THE JIGSAW MURDERS) is a clean-cut teacher and youth counselor at his Los Angeles church. But by night, he’s a sexual psychopath who murders prostitutes and dumps their bodies in the Mojave Desert.

Murderlust (1985)

DVD

DVD Details:

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films; Intervision
Available on Blu-ray

Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
:
Audio:
English: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented by Intervision, the 1.33:1 full screen image is as pretty shitty as you can imagine.  Colors are never bright.  The contrast is never clear and the picture is one big ball of fuzzed out pixels.  Nothing is crisp and the black levels bleed like all the fake blood that is NEVER flicked at the screen in all the death scenes. Wanting gore?  This is not the title for you.  The sound here is presented in an effective Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack.  Seeing as how this is the merely the third release from Intervision, more will probably be on the way

 

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are two commentaries included with the release.  One for each of the films that was recorded by Writer/Producer James C. Lane..

Special Features:

Only the two commentaries from Lane and a theatrical trailer for Murderlust.

  • Murderlust Theatrical Trailer

Murderlust (1985)

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