Amateur Porn Star Killer: The New Cut (2005)

This new cut of Shane Ryan’s “Amateur Pornstar Killer” (a film you must try to get a hold of) is much more sophisticated. Not only in terms of quality in which Ryan manages to improve his creation without tarnishing the original, but in technical aspects where Ryan is able to convey his story and imagery with much more coherency. While I loved the original, it was polarizing to one-minded people expecting a standard thriller and getting more of a thought provoking thriller. There’s no chase, no climactic battle, no back stories. It’s just a man running out of options and places to hide very quickly, and a young girl who gets snared in his trap. Much more is realized in this new version, and watching it a second time you begin to notice much of the nuances Ryan enlisted.

Our character sounds incredibly irate; he hates his camera, he hates having to drive around and he’s desperate. And then he comes across a cute young girl on a street corner waiting for her mother. Ryan fixes the problems that the original suffered from; and while the problems never detracted from the quality of the film, it was something that needed to be done. Ryan removes the chinks from his armor. This time the audio is clearer, there are subtitles to hear much of the dialogue, and the theme music sets the mood much more. For a film that’s only a little over an hour, it’s still a tense and creepy thriller that burns itself into your brain. Our character really lucks out when he comes across Stacy, a rather cute and charismatic girl who has no idea what to expect; and with this new version, it becomes a luck of the draw for a guy running out of places to creep into, and you can imagine, who will be drawn to prostitutes in alleyways soon enough.

Stacy is obviously a wide-eyed girl attracted to our main character and in her own misguided way, views this event as a possibility to garner his attention and respect, going to extreme lengths to do so. The transformation of Stacy from shy and cute, to easy-going and flirtatious, to uncomfortable and horrified is brilliant, and Jimenez handles this metamorphosis well. And much of this experience is interplayed with blurry and passionate footage of Brandon having passionate sex with the young blonde girl Loren, which could still be his delusional mind exploring the possibilities of this rendezvous. The character of Brandon is still a menacing wolf in sheep’s clothing that really plays off the Bundy archetype well. The biggest improvement is the delivery of the plot twist involving Stacy, which Ryan plays out with a subtitle, which will surely cause more gasps and sheer shock the second time around.

The new cut is much more coherent and manages to obtain its realism while unfolding as a film. Even though Ryan verifies it to the audience, viewers will still be left wondering if what they’ve seen is real or not. And that’s the genius behind this. Sadly though, the new cut of Ryan’s film is really signs of a somewhat hesitant director who seems to be anxious to convey that his film was indeed all fiction, thus it distracts from the “Is it real or not?” quality the film strives in. Though by now it’s become known the film is all fiction, Ryan seems to be afraid of his own creation and makes it as clear as possible that none of what is depicted occurred.

Ryan seems to intent on explaining this to us over and over instead of relying on the irony that snuff films are thought of as urban legends yet the film leaves the audience wondering if what they’ve seen was genuine or a fabrication. Watching it a second time really works in favor of Ryan’s creation, and I simply love this film. “Amateur Porn Star Killer” is not your typical thriller; it works outside of conventions of its own mockumentary sub-genre, and tests the audience consistently. This new cut is beautiful, and much more cohesive, even if Ryan seems to be hesitant to let the film stand on its own legs.