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Review: MASTER PIECES (2020)

Being out of work during the Christmas holidays sucks. Society demands you lavish gifts on everyone around you, but you have to watch every penny. Any job you do manage to find is probably a short term seasonal gig. And come the end of the season all the other folk in seasonal jobs will be back in the job market competing with you. And that’s the situation the protagonist of Master Pieces finds himself in, and newly married as well.

Christian Twiste (Christian Twiste) is newly married and out of work. He seems to be happy to sit around with a cigar and a glass of Guinness. However, his wife (Lisa Goulian) for some reason would like him to find work. Meanwhile, the plumbing has gone haywire, and he’s finding bizarre messages from The Federated Collection Agency everywhere he turns.

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However, it seems Christian may be leading a double life. Or an imaginary one. When the plumber (Austin Lovell) pushes him too far, Detective Hamilton (Ryan MacNamara) gets involved. And that’s when things really get out of hand.

Master Pieces bills itself as a horror film on IMDB and its website refers to it as a slasher with “kills, laughs, and creepy characters”. But with its bizarre plotting and extreme overacting, it has to have been meant primarily as a comedy. This isn’t bad acting, this is deliberate overacting. But I suppose I should have been expecting something far from normal when one of the film’s writer/directors plays himself as an unemployed serial killer. In a plot inspired by his own unemployment.

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Writer/directors Geoffrey Ciani and Christian Twiste have crafted a film that starts with a killing played straight before veering off into left field. Master Pieces has domestic sitcom-style humour, killings played straight, killings played for laughs, and scenes that suddenly shift from humorous to violent.

If that sounds disorienting, it is. I went from grinning and chuckling to jumping to being confused and back again. The constant tonal changes will be off-putting for some viewers. I found Master Pieces amusing, but I also wished it didn’t switch moods at such a manic pace.

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However, for a film made for $5,000, Master Pieces looks good and held my attention. Unlike some microbudget films such as Amityville Island or The Jonestown Haunting, it has plenty of entertainment value. And while the effects are mostly blood splatter, it does serve up a well done slow-motion throat slitting.

Master Pieces may not be a masterpiece, but it’s worth a look when it’s released. You can check The Movie Agency’s Facebook page for release announcements.

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