This took longer to watch than anticipated: after five minutes, Chris turned to me and said, "I can't watch this." Not for reasons of content, but simply because the shaky camerawork made her nauseous: it's entirely hand-held, and makes Blair Witch look like Lawrence of Arabia. Brandon (Ryan) drifts from town to town, picking up women, having sex with, and then killing them, all the while videotaping events as they unfold. While occasionally intercut with flashbacks to earlier incidents in his life, 95% of this is the footage depicting the process on his latest victim (Lanette). This seems to be the current fad in indie horror, pseudo-snuff [the DVD also comes with another version of the film, without music and the flashbacks, "as the killer intended"]. I'm pleased to report that, after 20 years or more of watching the genre, it clearly hasn't corrupted me, as I found this purported 'realism' tedious and uninteresting. If anyone gets off on this kind of thing, they need to go out more: read a book, see a play, attend a sporting event, dammit. I keep realism as far away from my escapism as possible, thank you very much.
Probably the most interesting thing is to contemplate why this is so utterly ineffective, compared to things like, oh, the home invasion from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. The use of cinematic trickery enhances things there; here, neither the performances nor the directing are able to make you forget, even for a minute, that it's not 'real'. At least, not in the murderous sense: the sex between the two leads, initially consensual if rough, undeniably is - I suspect the title should be read as 'Killer who is an amateur porn star', rather than 'Killer of amateur porn stars,' though both may apply. Offering absolutely no insight into anything at all, this wears its cheapness [a $20 budget] on its sleeve like a badge of honour, but Ryan forgets [or, more likely, doesn't care] that in order to work, horror needs more than a parade of pseudo-sadistic nastiness. That's all this has, and there's nothing here but Z-grade film-making. I'd chip in ten bucks for any future installments, however - if only Shane promised to buy a damn tripod.