YOU CAN'T STOP THE MURDERS
Constable Gary Raymond (Gary Eck) is a career cop obsessed by his dream girl, local tv reporter Julia (Kirstie Hutton), and line dancing. His offsider and childhood friend, Constable Akmal (Akmal Saleh), spends his waking hours brain-storming ideas for his movies. The two spend their days sorting out domestics, looking for lost pets and lying in wait for motorists to exceed the speed limit. Grisly murders in sleepy West Village come as a bit of a shock and Detective Tony Charles (Anthony Mir) is sent from the big smoke to investigate. Gary realises that this is a window of opportunity for him.
Review by Louise Keller:
It may not always totally succeed, but there are quite a few laughs in Anthony Mir’s quirky comedy about life in a small town. The charm of You Can’t Stop the Murders lies in its stranger-than-fiction characters with their ever-amazing peccadilloes. Mir has assembled a diverse team of players whose unique characteristics provide humour, simply by their juxtaposition. It’s the contradictions that lie in us all that never cease to fascinate, and in West Village, a tiny remote country town of 350 people, it’s not surprising that the daily routine is monotony and repetition. Nothing ever happens – well, until someone starts chopping off heads and body parts, that is. But first, we meet all the players. There’s the ambitious local television reporter who aspires to hit the big time on 60 Minutes, the local cop who fancies her and also fancies himself as a line dancer (Gary Eck, endearing). His cop side-kick (Akmal Salah, irritatingly wonderful) fantasises about making a movie – and comes up with trite and clichéd themes inspired from his dull, daily life. This is what they talk about as they sit on the edge of the road in the patrol car waiting for a speeding motorist to drive by. Stories about a man with only one sperm - but one that talks; a mailman with no mail; a dead dog…. But in the meantime, it’s back to reality, and there are domestic problems to deal with, the man obsessed by his missing dog, the gay champion line dancer, the bible bashing police chief, the butcher with the big knife, the randy construction worker, the bikie gangs with names that get muddled up and the French revue artists who leave their costumes on for kicks. Of course everything changes when the star detective from the big smoke (Anthony Mir, charismatic) comes on the scene – he is the closest thing to ‘cool’ that the townsfolk have ever seen. And he has actually killed people in the line of duty. Besides, he drives a Porsche, wears an expensive suit and has that smooth ‘je ne sais quoi’ that dazzles like a neon sign. The humour builds up from the incongruent minutiae of small town life. The pool comprises resentment, insecurity, jealousy, one-upmanship, anger, passion, complacency, and so the list goes on. Performances are nicely contained, allowing the quirkiness and absurdity of the situation to evolve naturally. There’s a little dip in the consistency and style of humour at times, but for many, this low budget droll comedy may meet the rub.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A patchwork quilt of comedic styles, YCSTM’s references range from YMCA and The Village People, to Strictly Ballroom – the latter by way of affectionate spoofing, the former by way of a serial killer’s signature style. This patchwork isn’t always seamless, and the film plays more like a series of comedy sketches stretched and manipulated like plasticine into the semblance of some sort of plot set in an industrial village - about a serial killer with a penchant for dismembering the village people. The characters are individually funny and all have distinctive styles, and there are several effective set ups and some good lines. The dance spoof, in which Line Dancing replaces Ballroom Dancing, is really a sketch. The running gag about cosmic musings of the small town police chief is a sketch broken into several pieces. The buddie cops at the centre of the story is a two handed routine spread through the film. And so on. But – and this is the $64 but – does the film’s crazy attempt at surreal comedy slapped onto its Australian terms of reference work as a movie? Not quite. For one thing, the script lacks an emotional core; there is little or no investment required of the audience, hence there is little or nothing at stake. The humour may be spasmodically entertaining, but it’s a series of little snacks, not a totally satisfying meal. But I liked it.
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ANTHONY MIR interview by Andrew L. Urban
YOU CAN'T STOP THE MURDERS (M) [Medium Level Violence, Lowe Level Coarse Language, Low Level Sex Scenes]
CAST: Anthony Mir, Gary Eck, Akmal Saleh, Kirstie Hutton, Stephen Abbott, Gary Who, The Umbilical Brothers, Haskell Daniels, Jimoen
PRODUCER: Anastasia Sideris
DIRECTOR: Anthony Mir
SCRIPT: Gary Eck, Anthony Mir, Akmal Saleh
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Justin Brickle
EDITOR: Rochelle Oshlack
MUSIC: not credited
PRODUCTION DESIGN: not credited
RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 13, 2003
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE
VIDEO RELEASE: September 17, 2003