30 user 69 critic

Small Town Murder Songs (2010)

A modern, gothic tale of crime and redemption about an aging police officer from a small Ontario Mennonite town who hides a violent past until a local murder upsets the calm of his newly reformed life.


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6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Bondarenko ...
Steve (as Eric McIntyre)
Officer Kevin
Erin Brandenburg ...
Officer Michelle
Kat Germain ...
Andrew Penner ...
Worker 1
Alan Penner ...
Worker 2
John Penner ...
John Penner


Walter is the chief of police in a small Ontario town that has its first murder victim, an attractive young woman who is found naked on the shores of the nearby lake. The woman isn't local and while the Ontario Provincial Police have taken the lead in the investigation, Walter assists where he can. The town is mostly a close-knit Mennonite community and Walter has recently returned to his church. He is also trying to deal with his own temper that led to a violent incident some months before. As the young woman is identified, it becomes apparent that Walter's former love interest may be lying. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images, a scene of sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 September 2011 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Small Town Murder Scenes  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,825, 3 June 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,858, 14 August 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jackie Burroughs final film. See more »


The lights on Walter's squad car are not flashing as he walks towards Steve's truck after pulling him over for speeding. When Walter walks back to his car after writing the ticket, the lights are flashing. See more »


References CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) See more »


Free To Be Loud
Written and Performed by Damian Criswell
Published by S.I. Publishing
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User Reviews

Quiet emotional thriller. Too bad the music wasn't quiet.
31 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

The movie itself is a haunting, powerful experience, much like the excellent Gothic thriller "Septien" and the short film "The Abattoir". These films are set in provincial towns, seemingly cut off from the world, and that adds to the suspense and mystery.

But check the discussion boards, I'm not the only one who thought the overbearing music killed the mood. The music itself was appropriate (jarring religious hymns), but they were just so loud and harsh that they distracted from the poetry of what was on screen. My advice to you would be to turn the volume down as much as possible while still being able to understand the dialogue. If you have it up too loud, I guarantee your neighbors will start pounding on the floor thinking you're starting a weird psycho cult and sacrificing first born children or something twisted like that.

Back to the movie, like I said above, it's suspenseful and mysterious. There's not a lot of action. In fact, basically there's no action at all. Instead you get a thick disturbing atmosphere, occasional dramatic flashbacks and unyielding tension building up. Very effective.

The DVD cover compares it to the Coen Brothers. I can definitely see some similarities with their serious side ("A Serious Man", "The Man Who Wasn't There"). It also reminded me of the 2005 film "Capote". If you like slow, heavy thrillers with interesting characters but not much action, give it a shot. Just beware of the loud soundtrack.

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