In this special series on the Pioneer LaserActive, guest author Taylor Pinson will be discussing some of the games released on the Sega PAC, an add-on for the LaserActive that could play Genesis, Sega CD, and Mega LD titles.
DIRECTOR: Gerard Schmidt
RELEASE DATE: 08/25/94 – (JP)
Murderous Decisions – Zapping Requested (AKA Zapping TV Satsui) is, in a way, two movies in one. It is a dual-sided title released in Japan only and available for both the Sega and NEC PACs. The footage was originally produced for a German Public television station experiment in the early 1990s.
The director filmed a detective/crime thriller story from the perspectives of two characters, Christine and Stefan. Instead of editing both perspectives into a single movie, he made two, one for each character. The movies were then aired simultaneously on two different channels, and viewers were encouraged to switch (or ‘zap’) between the two to see how the story unfolded.
This release for LaserActive takes those two movies and lets you switch between them on the fly (as well as letting you switch between an English or Japanese audio track). I’m sure this feature was interesting to see in the days of VHS tapes, but nowadays its the same as watching a DVD that uses the multi-angle feature.
The movie itself is dull and meandering. The story revolves around around an artist named Stefan who travels to a different city in search of work, only to realize he’s been duped into transporting a bag of drugs for Christine. He then decides to stick around the city instead of just going home, and inevitably gets drawn into a clumsy not-quite-love-triangle with Christine and her boss, Octave. Octave then decides to frame Stefan for other crimes just because. There’s also a generic subplot about prostitutes being killed that never leads anywhere.
Murderous Decisions… is a bad made-for-TV movie. None of the characters are particularly interesting or likable, the visuals are dull and ugly, and for a detective/crime thriller, there’s practically no detecting or crime-related thrills. The only real crime here is having your money swindled yet again by the Pioneer con artists.