A film by Michal Kosakowski


by Harrison Engstrom | Sticky Trigger Entertainment, Sept 15, 2012

A documentary about the murder fantasies of everyday people, shot by everyday people, is an interesting experiment. However, without any premise or statement, the audience is left in the dark about the director’s purpose. We understand that this is a documentary about the darkness of ourselves, but is it showing the true nature of humanity or the freedom of cathartic art or something else entirely?

Kosakowski, mainly known for his own short form and experimental work, creates the premise for a good documentary but strays from certain subjects or questions for the sake of having people present their fears. There doesn’t seem much structure or direct link between one scene to the next, it’s even hard tracking which person is talking about which short film, sometimes until the very end. Some are just the usual torture porn/gorno stuff we’ve come to expect from the usual Hollywood mill but some have intricate and well-placed details when it comes to the fantasy.

Real showstoppers include a suicide bombing, a death via internet messenger and an incredibly well-acted sequence of euthanasia. Some short films are not necessarily murder fantasies, and something may have been lost in translation, but I think it’s more of fantasies of death rather than just straight up killing someone. There is a lot of interesting and well-thought out discussions on torture, violence, justified killings and the act of murder itself, but it’s all left a bit blank at the end, especially considering its running time is 80 minutes and it barely shows any complete short films.

I understand that not everything needs to be spelled out, but I had high expectations and thought it’d be interesting seeing the people who made the short films, actually making them. Hearing the thought process as they were writing or directing it, or even how they reacted to different ways of shooting, but in the end, we just have another horror film with little character or plot, and a lot of bloodshed and wankery along the way.

It’s not a bad documentary by any means, but with only a few notable scenes, quotes and talking heads, it ultimately seems flat. At times, it makes you conjure up your own murder fantasies while you’re watching it, before remembering you’re mildly distracted and haven’t been paying attention to the subtitles. Zero Killed is a mess of a documentary but its premise and subject matter are solid, at times with a definitely thought-provoking focal point, showing how often humanity thinks of violence without knowing how to react.

Highlight: The short films presented by the people.

Score: 6.5/10

Read the review on stickytrigger.com

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