Amateur Porn Star Killer

Amateur Porn Star Killer is the debut film from director/writer/actor Shane Ryan. The entire movie is filmed from the perspective of Ryan’s character using a hand held camera. Ryan plays the part of Brandon, an 18 year old who’s on his way to visit his mom, and decides to make an overnight stop in a small town. While he’s staying the night in a motel, it seems that he has a lot more planned for his night than just having a quiet evening alone. While he’s stopped off in this town, he picks up his video camera and decides that he’s going to cruise around and during his drive, he finds a young 18 year old girl named Stacy (Michiko Jimenez) that’s outside waiting for her ride. Filming the entire encounter, he prefaces it as going out and having some fun with this girl, and maybe a little more.

Brandon takes Stacy back to his motel room and asks her if she’d ever thought about being in the movies. He tells her that he’ll help her with any type of movie she wants to do, and she stays withdrawn, not really giving up too much information on herself, and generally shying away from the camera. Brandon suggest making a “romantic” movie and coerces her to go a little further than she intended on going.

As the movie progresses you find out more about both Brandon and Stacy, and learn a few surprising things about both of them. When Brandon first drives up to Stacy, you don’t really know much about either. The only thing you really know about Brandon is that he’s trying to start a career as a director and star of porno films. The opening scene is his first encounter with a young woman that he’s filming for his movie. My first impression of these characters is that they were both pretty annoying but by the end they were both fleshed out well. Brandon was kind of like a used car salesman, trying to talk his way into a situation where he could pick up this girl and basically get her to do what he wanted. Stacy was a shy teenager that never seemed comfortable with the situation she put herself into. By the end, you learn that she’s a lot younger than she said she was, and her character appropriately never changes. Brandon on the other hand transforms from that used car salesman to a more sadistic character that’s really relishing the position he’s put himself in.

The sound quality of this film is overall pretty bad. The music that provides a backing track fits well and is actually pretty good, but is a little too loud against the ambient background sounds. Most of the dialog from the character Stacy is inaudible either because the music overpowers it or because she mumbles her lines. In some ways it’s annoying, but in another way it leads to a more believable character. The sparing use of subtitles helps get across the more important dialog that you miss because of either music, the mumbling, or rustling sounds from the camera. The rustling sounds are a problem throughout the film. Most of the time you only hear Brandon because for most of the movie he’s holding the camera,.

The entire film has this effect on it that makes it appear as if it’s being seen through a small viewfinder, were the edges are black, and they gradually fade into the big picture. There’s also a lot of flickering on the tape, and it has what’s supposed to look like film scratches, complete with the little hairs that you’d see on older films on reels. The whole thing appears off because you’d expect to see that effect more on an 8mm camera, not a modern video camera.

Most of the movie is presented in black and white, with a nice effect of the scene that is introduced at the very beginning of the movie overlayed on top of the current scene. Somewhere around the middle of the movie it switches to a more saturated palette that is dominated by mostly reds and blacks. The effects that are poured all over this aren’t particularly my cup of tea. I’d prefer to see it raw, I think it would add to the realism that APSK is trying to maintain.

The runtime clocks in at 71 minutes, so it’s pretty short. I think an issue I have with this movie is that it seems a lot longer than that. A lot of the dialog is stunted and irrelevant to the story. Each element is drawn out, and the whole thing could easily be cut down easily to 40-45 minutes without losing a lot of the feeling that Ryan is trying to maintain. Because of this, the suspense that builds is extremely slow and plodding. You know something is going to happen, but it feels like it takes a looong time to get there. While this gives the impression that these are two real people, in a real situation, it doesn’t necessarily make for compelling film.

With a name like Amateur Porn Star Killer, you have to expect that there’s going to be some nudity involved. While it all contributes to the story, some of Brandon’s dick shots seem excessive. Overall, this movie is filled with suspense, up until the chilling and disturbing end. This isn’t for the faint of heart because of it’s difficult subject matter, and it might be too much for some viewers. While it’s not a great film, it’s a good start for the young filmmaker Shane Ryan. Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 has already been filmed and released, so I’m looking forward to watching that, hoping that he can build on the experience he gained from making his first film.

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