Fall Down Dead 

Oh, you said “serial killer”? Yeah, I guess there’s that, too.

In “Fall Down Dead,” a decent little straight-to-video effort, said greenie/murderer is dubbed by the press as the Picasso Killer, because of his propensity to create gory artwork based upon his crimes. When attacking his lady victims, he says funny things in his German accent like, “Bee-yoo-tee-ful gurrrrl, I like your skin!” At least he offers compliments before the blade, right?

On Christmas Eve, single-mom waitress Christie (Dominique Swain, “Alpha Dog”) narrowly escapes death by the Picasso Killer (Udo Kier, naturally) and runs in a panic to the nearby Hitchcock office building. The security guard (the late David Carradine, in one of his umpteen final roles) calls the cops (Turkish actor Mehmet Günsür and R. Keith Harris of “Junebug”), and thanks to the pesky blackouts plaguing the town, they all get locked inside with a few horny workers and the Picasso Killer.

Anyone who’s seen more than one horror movie knows the copulators don’t stand a chance.

Anyone who’s seen more than one horror movie knows just what will happen in the rest of “Fall Down Dead,” but it’s executed — no pun intended — in such a polished, efficient manner that it’s oddly comforting to watch the carnage all go down.

Maybe it’s just me and my love of films with people trapped in towers (there are more built upon this cat-and-mouse scenario than you realize), but director Jon Keeyes does a fine job delivering all the ingredients from a one-night rental: blood, boobs and ... well, Carradine hanging, if you’re into scenes of the prescient.

Günsür’s accent is so thick, it’s a distraction; perhaps it’s a side effect of all the pain pills his brokenhearted cop pops. Swain, meanwhile, exhibits a natural presence on camera; did no one tell her actresses in these things aren’t actually required to act? —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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