[Posted to Pop; Trivia on August 30, 2002 01:23 AM| Links to this post ]

I was at the local Blockbuster tonight and came across a title in the new releases section that I hadn't heard of before. "Dahmer".

"Interesting", I thought to myself. "Don't remember this one being released in the theatre." Which quickly took me back to thoughts of the first time I thought this - anyone remember "Supergirl"? (which incidentally had a theatrical release of about 3 days). Anyways, given the rather, shall we say, "interesting" subject matter, I added it to the other two movies I'd picked (got to love three day rentals) and was on my merry way.

Getting home, I mentally prepped myself for the 2 hours that lay ahead of me. Made sure I'd finished eating before sitting down, sat through the "Making Of" featurette with my wife to make sure that she was fully on board for the spectacle and then eventually hit "Play".

I must say that the movie wasn't nearly as interesting as it could have been. The entire two hours was spent detailing the pathetic life that Dahmer led. We start off the movie knowing that he's a grisly serial killer, get dragged through a bunch of flashbacks that support our initial knowledge and then end the movie knowing that he will always be a serial killer. Nor do we actually get to the real dark roots of his twisted tree, the details that most fascinated the gruesome curiosity of the world in 1991. The director avoided most of the less savory facts of Dahmer's life; the necrophilia, the cannabilism, the limbs, heads & genitalia stored throughout Dahmer's apartment...

What the Jacobson did do quite well though is draw a very direct, and disturbing line between the darker side of human nature and a pathetic creature that could quite literally be the person standing behind you right now. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the film is that he manages to pull  this off without the sensationalism that would have actually got this flick a decent run at the local theatre. Knowing however that the actual story was much more intriguing than what this cinematic veneer was portraying, I could never quite get to the heart of what I think that the director was trying to portray. Dahmer himself noted at trial that "It's hard for me to believe that a human being could have done what I've done, but I know that I did it." - this is what I wanted to see, this is what I had hoped the director was going to show me.

If you have a slightly twisted or adventurous taste in films, this one might interest you. 5.9 in my books. Kept my interest, made me think, probably won't rent it again, would possibly rewatch on cable - if I had cable ;)

(1 being the most amazing B movies ever made, 10 being the film that you've watched 35 times already and will 35 more, 5 being your average Hollywood blockbuster.)

Post a comment