Alejandro Fadel has been writing and directing movies since 1999 with his debut “La Familia Peterson”, but it is his most recent, Murder Me, Monster (Muere, Monstruo, Muere) from 2018 that will have you talking.
Murder Me, Monster sees craggy, sombre Cruz, Victor Lopez, a police officer in the remote mountains of Argentina, embroiled in a horrible series of murders that sees the victims decapitated and sexually violated.
Cruz is having an affair with a local married woman whose husband becomes prime suspect, particularly when she turns up decapitated and violated.
But Cruz isn’t convinced the husband is the murderer and when he begins to listen to the interviews from the psychiatrist interviews with the husband, he learns of a monster. Murder Me, Monster is what the husband says, who claims to be hearing voices.
Despite his best efforts, Cruz can’t convince his Capitan, Jorge Prado (“La Flor”, “Wild Horses”), or the rest of his comrades who aren’t really much use, spinning lyrical, meandering yarns or staring blanky at him.
When the husband, somehow, manages to escape he is found in some remote mountains by Cruz and his three comrades. But things don’t go at all to plan when the 4×4 gets stuck and, later, is found upside down in a ditch.
They decide to trek out of there in the pouring rain and shack-up in some remote building they find. Capitan goes a tad stir-crazy and trigger happy. This, coupled with the monster taking one of the group, sees him tell Cruz to get the hell out of there whilst he sorts it all out. As Cruz, in the dark, tries to find his way out of the rugged mountains he comes across the monster.
Murder Me, Monster is a bizarre film. It’s slow and confusing. Whilst the opening is strong, our first decapitation, the rest meanders along, throwing up surreal images; three motorbikes revving their engines, their lights piercing the darkness, a monster’s roar or deep, throaty growl.
It is beautifully shot though, cinematographers Julian Apezteguia (“The Clan”, “The Wild Ones”) and Manuel Rebella (“Harpoon”, “The State Of Fear (Short)”), capture the remote, rugged mountains wonderfully.
In fact, in the first 20 minutes or so I seem to remember thinking we were in for a modern, horror cum-western film as Cruz and co, head out on some pack-horses and it’s all long-shots and little dialogue.
Instead, well, things just turn weird. The monster is completely bizarre, a strange mix of throbbing, phallic imagery, and almost comedic man-in-rubber-suit-ness.
The people are odd, without exception. Cruz is meant to be known for his dancing moves but whenever he’s dancing the film looks like it’s straight out of the seventies, and not in a good way.
Murder Me, Monster looks great, starts strong, but by the end you’ll be left looking at your partner and wondering what on earth you’ve just sat through. Completely bizarre.