Dahmer (2002) C/D

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They've been doing a few of these - Ed Gein and Bundy were the past two. Personally speaking I find it really insensitive. I know of one film critic who walked out of the London premiere of Bundy when the director introduced the showing by saying it was "Alright to have a laugh along with ol' Ted". I switched off Ed Gein. It just didn't sit well with me. This guy was a very real psychopath and they're basically re-playing the events graphically in the name of entertainment. Real life will always influence entertainment (Gein's case influenced a few movies) but to make an exploitation film out of other people's misery... nah, I just don't like that.

Exception that proves the rule: The TV movie "The Deliberate Stranger" which was about the search for Ted Bundy. I'm not sure how it did it, but the film managed to focus on the man hunt and the increasing sense of hopelessness felt by the police without going into the grisly details of Bundy's crimes.

Calz (Calz), Sunday, 25 May 2003 14:19 (twenty-one years ago) link

two years pass...
I mentioned Dahmer here:

ted bundy v. dahmer - FIGHT!

It's not obviously an exploitation film (tho I'm not free of qualms) ... but JD's "dating" life, or rather fumbling attempts to connect with men, have a lot of commonplace Isolated Gay Nerd content (stopping short of the drink-drugging, power-drill lobotomies and murders, obv). It made my flesh crawl in a way the Hannibal-type nonsense wouldn't.

The two primary actors and director (who's subsequently done this Ed Norton-Evan Rachel Wood film that just came out -- in Japan!) do a commentary track... the young African American actor who plays the film's primary pickup, Artel Kayaru, is really good. Guy who played the lead has a supporting role in North Country.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 13 January 2006 16:58 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm working with one of the EPs of this film on something. he's a good guy.

gear (gear), Saturday, 14 January 2006 02:05 (eighteen years ago) link

and he produced Gacy as well, so there seems to be a running theme.

gear (gear), Saturday, 14 January 2006 02:06 (eighteen years ago) link

sixteen years pass...

If you object to the very existence of Netflix's Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, I can appreciate that. Otherwise, a few things make it worth watching. I think it's very respectful to the victims and their families--one of its obvious objectives is to redress a variety of injustices. The most horrendous stuff is--as you would expect with a television serious, even one on Netflix--more implied than shown; sometimes it crosses that line. There's a really great performance from Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland, the woman who pleaded with Milwaukee cops on numerous occasions to investigate Dahmer. Evan Peters as Dahmer is (surprise) exceedingly strange, but not in a movie-clichéd way. The episode with the deaf victim is stylistically memorable: long sequences involving signing, with the soundtrack given over to a kind of low-rumble white noise. The array of directors is impressive: Carl Franklin, Jennifer Lynch, Paris Barclay, Clement Virgo, Gregg Araki.

Negatives for me: 1) first time I haven't liked Richard Jenkins, although I'm not sure if it was his performance as Dahmer's father I recoiled from or the character itself--found him to be a simpering fool; 2) much too long at 10 episodes/almost 9 hours--all of five minutes shorter than the three Godfathers combined.

Had no idea till after I finished that that was Molly Ringwald as Dahmer's step-mom.

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 October 2022 21:33 (one year ago) link

The families themselves do not agree about it being respectful to them.

barry sito (gyac), Tuesday, 4 October 2022 22:27 (one year ago) link

I did hear that, and was going to mention it. I'd be interested in hearing from someone else who's seen it what they thought. To me, it dealt with the victims, the families, and Glenda Cleveland as much you could in the last three or four episodes. I haven't read the piece you link to but will. You can't really tell the story without lots of Dahmer.

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 October 2022 22:37 (one year ago) link

Maybe there's more, but the piece you link to isn't a sweeping indictment from the families; it's one piece written by one person.

I don't need to watch it, I lived it

When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said.

If I didn't know any better, I would've thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. That's why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.

I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should've asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn't ask me anything. They just did it.

She says they used her words verbatim, and the actress looked just like her; but she's angry because she wasn't contacted ahead of time.

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 October 2022 22:42 (one year ago) link

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