November 3, 2006

I know you are, but what am I?

It was an interesting experience to see Francis (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) burying teenage boys in his crawlspace instead of stealing bikes. Mark Holton has evolved from playing Pee Wee Herman’s nemesis to playing a real life serial killer – John Wayne Gacy. Although I began watching cynically expecting the worst, I’ve got to admit that my expectations were too low. Holton put in an admirable performance as the man who buried 29 men and boys underneath his Chicago home.

Similar to Monster, Gacy is a fictionalized version of Gacy’s killing spree. Fictionalized means that the killer’s name can be used, but the names of his victims are changed for privacy and some of the details are exaggerated and twisted around to make a better movie. Even so, the articles I’ve read on Gacy make him out to be a sicker fuck than portrayed in the movie.

The film portrays the middle and end of Gacy’s killing career, beginning with a brief flashback of young Gacy and his abusive father. Apparently, Gacy’s father beat the shit out of him because he didn’t enjoy fishing? In any case, not much time is spent trying to explain the rationale behind Gacy’s urge to kill. Rather, the film revolves around the cluelessness of those surrounding Gacy. I was incredulous at how unsuspecting his friends and neighbors were to his extracurricular activities, not to mention his wife and mother. His wife eventually leaves him after discovering gay magazines and handcuffs in the garage – how retarded was she?

I’m interested in checking out Dahmer, co-written by one of the screenwriters of Gacy and released a year earlier. I’m much more interested in Dahmer than Gacy. Dahmer didn’t have near the output of Gacy, but what he was lacking in quantity, he made up for in style.


Year – 2003
Rating – R
Runtime – 88 minutes
Genre – Serial Killer Biopic
Director(s) – Clive Saunders
Writer(s) – David Birke, Clive Saunders
Actor(s) – Mark Holton, Adam Baldwin, Tom Waldman, Charlie Weber, Allison Lange
BOB Rating – Two BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Fuck off, douchebag!" - John Wayne Gacy (Mark Holton)