Good serial killer flicks?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Colin Jacobson, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I just watched Suspect Zero, a pretty lousy flick that I would NOT enter into the category of "good serial killer movie". However, it made me try to think of other quality efforts in the genre.

    All I could come up with were Se7en and Silence of the Lambs for really GOOD movies. I suppose Manhunter and Red Dragon will have some support too - never saw the latter, didn't much care for the former.

    So what are some other good serial killer movies?
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer

    Monster

    From Hell
     
  3. Bob Turnbull

    Bob Turnbull Supporting Actor

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    Michael Powell's great Peeping Tom is a highly disturbing look at a serial killer with a very inventive way of dispatching his targets.

    Hitchcock's Frenzy was pretty good, but a bit of a disappointment (I felt it was quite slow in spots).

    Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Cure is an excellent film that's a twist on a serial killer storyline.

    Minus Man is a pretty quiet and slow serial killer story with Owen Wilson. Not great, but worth a view.

    Of course, there's also Natural Born Killers (which I'm still mixed on), but the main characters aren't strictly serial killers in the typical sense.

    Boy, I thought it would be easier to come up with some more good ones...
     
  4. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    If you're looking for something in the vein of Silence of the Lambs, I recommend "Copycat". It's really well done, with great performances by Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver.

    Depending on what you didn't like about Manhunter, Red Dragon may or may not be worth checking out to you, since they both are basically the same.
     
  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Let's not forget M. Certainly not along the lines of the other films mentioned in this thread, but a great film about a serial killer.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    "Technically, mass murderer." -- Mickey Knox

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My choice, "The Spiral Staircase".
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I just remembered "M" but you beat me to it. [​IMG]
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Technically, spree killers. [​IMG]

    Serials tend to kill a great many single victims over an extended period of time, and do so in a fairly ritualistic fashion, driven by fantasy. Mass killers kill a large number of victims (anywhere from four up) in a single violent incident and location, or two or three incidents and locations very close togehter in time and space. Spree killers kill multiple victims at two or more locations more widely separated in time and space. Ted Bundy was a serial killer, Charles Whitman a mass murderer, Charlie Starkweather a spree killer.

    Regards,

    Joe

    P.S.

    Add another vote for Copycat. I just dusted this one off and watched it again recently, and really enjoyed it. Sigourney and Holly are both great, and Harry Connick, Jr. makes a really sleazy killer.
     
  10. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    THE BOSTON STRANGLER is a great one with Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda. If you want low budget stuff and don't mind violence you could check out MANIAC (1980). THE ZODIAC KILLER suffers from a $5 budget but is pretty good. If you look up the company Something Weird you'd find various low budget serial killer films.
     
  11. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    Citizen X is a pretty good movie, and a true story too! It's about a killer in Russia with a body count over 50.
     
  12. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Confessions of a Serial Killer (1985)

    In all candor, I won't claim this is a good movie. It did have a strong effect on me. Based on the Henry Lee Lucas story, filmed in Texas where Lucas and his "companion" Otis Toole cruised the highways looking for "opportunities."
    So, being familiar with the story and being in Texas watching it were, unsettling.
    Sitting in my old house out in the country at night during this added to the mood.
    Sitting near me in the room was the lead actor of the film....and anyone who knew Bob would use the term "eccentric" in even a brief description of him.
    I was a little spooked.
     
  13. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    American Psycho -- a very interesting satire/social commentary (There is an eternal debate which is prompted in any serious discussion of either the book or the movie: did the murders actually happen, or were they all in Bateman's mind?)
     
  14. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Dirty Harry
     
  15. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Luther the Geek - a low-budget horror flick from 1990. Features a serial/spree killer with razor-sharp steel dentures who, as real geeks do, bites the heads off chickens (and rips open the throats of his human victims). Decent of its type, with Stacy Haiduk (of the old Superboy tv show) baring her awesome body. [​IMG]

    Distributed on DVD by Troma.
     
  16. LanieParker

    LanieParker Supporting Actor

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    That movie gave me the heebie jeebies. The actor who played the killer just freaked me out (job well done) and for the longest time I had nightmares of him.

    The scene with the little girl is one I cannot take.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Kalifornia - feat: Brad Pitt. Similar to Natural Born Killers. Not exactly a "good" movie, but worth a look.

    Memento - Depending on how you look at it.
     
  18. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    A second vote for Confessions of a Serial Killer. That scene (not really a spoiler) where Henry pulls that chainsaw from the trunk makes my blood run cold. [​IMG]

    Another is Dahmer. It's pretty much in the same vein as 'Confessions' with a very similar look and feel. Very disturbing to watch. I have a story to go along with that one, when I was working at a video store near my house a few years back, a woman came in very early after we opened and rented this film, she left and then came back a couple of hours later and returned it. She told me that she couldn't finish it, she said that she refused to believe that what she saw in the film really happened. It was inconcievable to her that there really are sick nuts in the world that do this kind of thing.

    Yet another, good luck finding it BTW, is The Deliberate Stranger. This stars Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy and is an extremely well made tv movie that came out in 84 or 85 I believe. It's been on tv again many times, but nobody shows it anymore.

    Also check out Rampage. It stars Alex McArthur as a seemingly nice and polite young man who is well liked in his home town, but is also a sick and cold blooded killer.

    Pieces is another, which is basically just a horror/slasher film, but is still disturbing as it deals with a chainsaw wielding maniac with a love of young college girls.

    And finally, yes, Citizen X is a very tough film to get through. You wanted a good serial killer movie, that's a GREAT one!
     
  19. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "Distributed on DVD by Troma."

    I didnt know that. Thanks for that info!!!

    I got this film in the mid 90s from a hard to find videos specialty store. Dont you just love DVD[​IMG]
     
  20. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I should also point out that most of the ones I listed aren't on dvd yet, so it will require some detective work to track them down on vhs, but they are worth it. Hell, you may get lucky and your local Blockbuster may have them or another video store that still carry a wide variety of tapes.
     

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