Serial Killer Movies
Films about Serial Killers
Two young and bored French women, Manu (Karen Bach) and Nadine (Raffaela Anderson), simultaneously kill their roomate/lover over trivial arguments. Very soon after, the two women meet by chance at a train station. There are no trains, so they take the dead boyfriend's car and head for the city. They stop at the seashore and soon become fast friends. The pair decide to try a little armed robbery and kill their first victim, a woman at an ATM. They pick up two guys in a bar then go out for a little hit and run action. They rob a gun store for more fire power and shoot the owner for kicks. Don't be lulled into thinking this is a French Thelma and Louise. The sex is gritty, the violence is, well, violent, and the guys are all assholes. Their brutality starts gaining velocity when they stomp their next victim to death in a hotel room. I was still hoping for a happy ending, but the ladies start drinking heavily and set out to pick up a few more guys/victims. They form a pattern of sex sandwiched between violent acts, and their next victims are two cops whom they waste at a traffic stop and they add a third woman to their party (Coralie Trinh Thi). She takes them home, and she and her boyfriend take in the homicidal pair. Not to spoil the rest, let's just say it escalates. Directed & written by Virginie Despentes. French w/subtitles. 2002.
Tell Me Something
Black garbage bags full of dismembered corpses are appearing around Soeul at the most inopportune times and places. They are all connected to an attractive museum curator Su Yeon, and she cannot seem to help Detective Cho in his search for the killer. Like many Korean shock films, the horror scenes are gruesome and realistic to the point you’ll be asking if this is a snuff film rather than general entertainment. We won’t give away the ending because it was not quite clear what happened, and nobody would watch this one twice to sort it out. 1999. Korean w/subtitles.1999.
Jake (Robert Forster) can't make a decision without flipping a coin, which is pretty odd for a psychiatrist. He meets up with Sandra (Amanda Plummer) when he helps her out in the desert. They book a double room at the nearest hotel, and we never see her again. The next morning Jakes meets Alice (Fairuza Balk) ,who has come to meet her sister, Sandra. Jake says nothing about Sandra, and the two of them head out together, pursued by a pissed off con man. Well paced, moderately anxiety inducing, and kind of entertaining. 100 minutes. 1999. Rated R.
If Happiness left you feeling uneasy, this Atom Egoyan film may affect your sleeping pattern. Ostensibly a film about a super nice, seemingly normal guy, Joseph Hilditch (Bob Hoskins) who is a serial murderer of young homeless girls and prostitutes. He casually stalks them and befriends them in a slow, spider-like fashion. Ultimately, when he gains his victim's confidence, they unburden their problems. After that, he helps them out by drugging and killing them. It all has to do with a slowly evolving fixation he had with his dominant television star mom. The tale is ordinary enough, but it is the ordinariness of Joseph's life that makes this such a fearful tale. Hoskins is at his best, as a character who is truly the dark side of Humbert Humbert. Elaine Cassidy is very convincing as Felicia. This film left me feeling smarmy and nervous. Somehow it is rated PG-13. Go figure. 116 minutes. 1999.
Copycat features amazing acting, by an all-star cast--igourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Harry Connick, Jr, and William McNamara. Sigourney Weaver plays a psychiatrist who specializes in serial killers. She suffers from agoraphobia, and her only link to the outside world is her computer. A serial killer who copies the methods of famous serial killers (hence the title) threatens her online. Holly Hunter plays a cop who is on the trail of the killer. Together they try to identify and dispatch him. Reviewed and recommended by Kim ArinWeiner. Thanks, Kim.
A Lamb in Despair
A Hong Kong serial killer, Ted, returns home after a homicidal stint in the USA. He was accused of 25 murders in the US, but he was acquitted on all counts. The local media hound him, and a lonely social worker decides to help him out. Through flashbacks, we see how poor Ted was abused by mom, which explains the chained up sex slaves in his garden shed. He eventually gets caught by a consortium of a newspaper reporter, his social worker, his dad, and the police. Cantonese w/English subtitles. 90 minutes.
Bill is a twisted English twit but an accomplished serial murderer. Until he falls in love with Heather. He only wants to keep her happy. He finds her a real nice house by killing the occupants, and he drugs her when he has things to do. Heather's boyfriend is hot on their trail, and just about everyone dies by the end. Mildly amusing. Filmed in Danbury, Connecticut. 90 minutes. 1999.
Summer of Sam
Spike Lee sets out to remind us what it was like during the summer that New York was rocked by the .44 caliber killer, the Son of Sam. We get an overview of the crime and a microscopic view of a neighborhood in the Bronx throughout that summer. Acting is good, the story is poignant, and the murders are brutal. This is a good one if the subject appeals to you.
Dennis Quaid stars as a New York fireman living in Queens in 1969, the year the Mets won the Series. The film flashes forward 30 years, and we follow Quaid's son, who is now a NY policeman assigned to a serial murder case that spans the 30 year interlude. Due to unusual solar activity, the father and son contact one another over a ham radio over the three decades. They combine their efforts to catch the killer and completely screw up the future by messing with the past. Really schmaltzy stuff, but the science fiction parts are excellent and worth slogging past the heavy emotional sequences. By the way, real New Yorkers can tell when you film in Toronto, so don't try to tell us it's really Queens, okay?
Robert Forster is a widower truck driver whose fate coincides with and out of work clown, a stripper, a one legged Amerindian beauty, her grandmother and a serial murdering physiatrist. They spin separate interwoven stories, filmed mostly in the front seat of moving vehicles. The excellent soundtrack is spun by DJ Taj Mahal who works with the his nervous station manager, Meatloaf. The cast includes Kevin Pollak, the great Swoosie Kurtz, Lois Red Elk. Sherilynn Fen and Fergie. Directed by J.S.Cardone. 1998 Rated R 99 minutes Thanks to Murkymurk for the recommendation.
Dad's a crack head, moms a hooker and poor Vanessa never had a stable home life. When mom gets busted, she does a Little Red Ridinghood and heads off for grandma's house. She hitches a ride with Keiffer Sutherland who is the notorious I-5 killer. She shoots him, gets busted and her troubles begin. Directed by Matthew Bright, Amanda Plummer is the mom and Reese Witherspoon, Dan Hedaya and Brooke Shields are also on the roster. Weird stuff. There's also a sequel, but not as good. 1996 Rated R 102 minutes
Michael Mann directs this serial murder chiller in his inimitable Miami Vice style. If you can get past that, you'll find an early Hannibal Lecter story with William Peterson playing the part of Jody Foster. He is an ex FBI guy who stalks a serial killer by adopting the pysche of the murderer. It ain't as good as Silence, but it's pretty spooky in parts. 1986 Rated R 120 minutes 12/98
A Shadow of Doubt
This recently re released Hitchcock thriller was written with Thorton Wilder in 1942. Uncle Charlie leave Philadelphia for an extended stay with his sister and her family in Santa Rosa. Charlie has been followed by a pair of detectives who are searching for the "Merry Widow murderer" . Charlie's niece (Theresa Wright) begins to suspect her uncle and he in turn is inclined to cover his tracks by killing his niece. B&W 1942 unrated.
Diary of A Serial Killer
Gary Bucey plays a hack magazine writer who trails a serial killer in search of a vicarious thrill/story. Boy was this a lousy movie. Bad writing, insulting gaps and enough clichés to fill out a sit com season. Just possibly this is a lame rip off of Man Bites Dog. Skip it , even if it's on HBO and you're bored.
Vengeance is Mine
Kind of strange Japans serial killer movie that is quite unlike the others on this list. If there weren't so many corpses, you wouldn't know this was a wholesale slaughter film. Something definitely gets lost in the translation and you'll never know what it was. A mild mannered guy, Enokizu, goes around killing women in otherwise peaceful surroundings. The murders are graphic and disturbing even though the main character is not. I was more confused than anything else. Directed by Imamura Shohei and is considered a classic by most Japan filmophiles. Japanese w/subtitles 120 min 1969 Unrated.
Natural Born Killers
My aversion to Oliver Stone movies has kept me from renting this. There is an unrated directors cut that is a full hour longer than the 118 minute general release. In the spirit of thoroughness, will someone please send a review of this film so I don't have to watch it. Please. Angel Trobbiani was kind enough to send us this synopsis: A young girl (Juliette Lewis) is raised in a sexually and physically abusive home. She meets the meat delivery man (Woody Harrelson). They kill her parents, run off, get married and go on a shooting spree. They get caught and end up in jail, but that's far from the end. The way Oliver Stone portrayed these two and the strength of their love was wonderful. Even though they were heartless killers, they would die for each other. They were invincible and nothing could touch them. Performances from Rodney Dangerfield, and Robert Downey Jr. were excellent but nobody could touch Juliette or Woody. The soundtrack kicks ass. What more can you say ? Thanks Angel.
A young woman's obsession with murder lures her into a job cleaning up crime scenes and soon she crosses paths with a local serial killer, bringing her dangerously close to her subject of fascination. This is an amazing screen play that draws one into Gabriella's world and holds you there until the grizzly end. Grab you latex gloves and join in her "danse macabre", it's a tango you will never forget. Starring William Baldwin, Directed by Reb Braddock. 1996 Rated R 94 minutes Recommended and reviewed by Kim Danbert. Thanks Kim.
Silence of The Lambs
If you didn't like this movie, please write and tell us why. Of course you saw it when it came out, but have you seen it lately. Fairly durable and you know what, Anthony Hopkins is still very scarey. 1991 120 minutes You might also want to see Silence of The Hams with Dom Deluise and Phyliss Diller.
Man Bites Dog
Certain people will be offended by this French quasi documentary
about an out of control murderer. I no longer recommend this movie
to friends, and suggest you do the same. If you enjoy (?) this
movie, you're going to love Henry-Portrait of A Serial Killer.
French w/subtitles 90 minutes unrated
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