Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer

The Flick:
Dahmer. One of the few serial killers that has become a household name. Many films have tried to tell the story behind the Jeffrey Dahmer killings and plenty of them have failed completely. Out of all the films that were made about the story and how big the story was no one would've assumed that the low budget flick with a no name cast would hit the nail on the head when it came to accuracy. The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer essentially just gives the cut and dry story of the Dahmer murders and it does this quite well. The film doesn't contain any huge fight scenes or action packed moments because it simply does not need it to get the point across.

The story starts with Jeffery narrating, and throughout a solid portion of the film this continues. He is living with his mother and brings home a hitchhiker who he hopes will join him in his "fantasy". Unfortunately after doing a couple sets on the weight bench the hitcher wants Dahmer to take him to his girlfriends house. If Jeffrey can't have the young man nobody can, so he cracks him in the skull with one of the weights and chops him up. After a fairly big gap Dahmer strikes again, supposedly without even being aware of his actions. He has been living with his grandmother for quite some time at this point and his urges to kill are growing at an alarming rate. He has even kept the skull of one of his victims and is convinced that it is his "friend". Not long after all this occurs Dahmer gets a call from his father. His father is upset with him mooching off his grandmother and bringing his gay lovers into her house and tells Dahmer he needs to get his shit together and get his own place.
This is when Dahmer gets settled into his new place and the killing spree really kicks off. He lures in his unsuspecting victims by offering them cash to pose for pictures. Armed with a Polaroid camera the victims don't ever see it coming until it is too late. Dahmer not only begins to kill more often but he also keeps pieces of people in his freezer and does odd experiments with his victims involving acid. As Jeffrey gets more sadistic as time goes on the movie gets progressively more unsettling. Even though the film doesn't contain much gore it definitely still packs a punch in terms of brutality. Given that the majority of this movie features the killer narrating the events the movie really gives off that "into the mind of a serial killer" type vibe.

Many picky people could complain about the acting in this film, but in all honesty for the most part the main character and many of the others do a good job with their role. The voice actors on the phone are horrible but aside from that the acting really works once you get into the story. Carl Crews (who plays Dahmer here) should be a familiar face to seasoned horror fans. He does an excellent job playing the oddly calm Jeffrey Dahmer depicted in this film.

Overall this Dahmer flick delivers. It doesn't stray away from the story at all and it is clear that much time was spent to make sure it stayed as true to reality as possible. This is probably the most raw, bleak depiction of the Dahmer story ever put to film. Though it does shy away a tad from the sexual side of Dahmer it is able to remain disturbing without including all of the gratuitous sex and over the top gore. This is without a doubt the only Dahmer movie that should be considered "essential viewing" to all of those who are interested in the life of Jeffrey Dahmer and the murders that he committed.
DVD Contents:
Unlike Intervisions other DVD releases thus far this disc isn't quite packed with features. It does have a great commentary featuring star Carl Crew and director David R. Bowen. It is extremely interesting to hear Crew (who also wrote the film) express his thoughts on the other Dahmer films and how much he studied to make the film as accurate as possible. With all that being said the picture quality is decent and the sound quality is pretty good as well (excluding a few moments of quiet dialogue).

Special Features:
Audio Commentary With Carl Crew and David R. Bowen

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