Murder Death Koreatown is a found footage film that takes the concept seriously. It’s alleged to be footage from the now missing amateur detective who shot it. Found by a friend checking up on him and finding him gone it was passed on to an editor known only as K Anon. Whether he’s a Korean relative of Q Anon is a different conspiracy theory.
The film launches right into the story as there are no credits apart from the title. The unnamed investigator walks by a cordoned-off crime scene, a murder based on the real-life killing of Tae Kyung Sung. The killer is quickly apprehended, but some of the details don’t sit right with our humble narrator. Being out of work and with plenty of time to kill, he starts to investigate.
That investigation quickly leads him into a shadowy world of sinister pastors, messages disguised as graffiti, ghosts, and a very unhappy girlfriend. All of which he takes as signs there’s a conspiracy behind the murder. Is there, or is his overactive imagination pushing him into madness?
Before I go any further let me give you a warning. Murder Death Koreatown is full of very shaky camera work. This is the video journal of an amateur detective and it looks he shot it on a handheld smartphone. Something to keep in mind if you’re one of those folk who gets headaches from shakycam footage.
That aside, Murder Death Koreatown is a truly weird and fascinating film. It’s actually hard to tell if some of it is the result of very bad writing or the result of very good writing of a cringe-worthy character. I’ll give the film the benefit of the doubt and assume that they intended for him to sound like he’s a bit slow and socially challenged. Paired with his voice I kept thinking of him as one of the less intelligent Sesame Street muppets.
The cult/conspiracy/supernatural angle is bizarre enough to make you shake your head in disbelief. But Murder Death Koreatown makes sure to tie everything together just enough to make you wonder if he could be onto something. It’s just enough to leave a creepy feeling in the back of your mind. One that doesn’t go away easily.
For some Murder Death Koreatown with its zero budget aesthetics and lack of polish will be a frustrating and probably boring film. Much of it is what appears to be walking tour footage of the area with the narrator talking over it. For those who can deal with this kind of film making, and can buy into the premise, it should be an interesting watch.
Murder Death Koreatown is available to stream and on DVD. You can check the film’s website for more details.