HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
One Cut of the Dead
Rosa Luxemburg
Disobedience
On the Job
Monsters and Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  My Friend Dahmer Pre-MortemBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Marc Meyers
Stars: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Tommy Nelson, Harrison Holzer, Vincent Kartheiser, Cameron McKendry, Jack DeVillers, Sydney Jane Myer, Miles Robbins, Jake Ingrassia, Maryanne Nagel, Katie Stottlemire, Tom Luce
Genre: Biopic
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The time is the late nineteen-seventies and the place is this small Ohio town where one of the students is Jeffrey Dahmer (Ross Lynch), something of a misfit at his high school even as he enters his final year there. With only one person he could just about call a friend, and he is even more bullied than Dahmer is, he sets about losing himself in his interests in biology, which in practice means using the acid his chemist father brings him in his makeshift laboratory to strip the flesh from animal bones, animals he finds run over on the nearby roads. But what if he could make new friends? And what if they encouraged him to misbehave for their own amusement?

Would they be responsible for how Dahmer turned out? In case you were unware, this was a biopic of the events leading up to the subject's first murder, for in reality he was one of the United States' most prominent serial killers from 1978-91, and one of its most notorious to boot, with a trial that was heavily publicised as the public could not get enough of the gruesome details of his crimes. That fascination, as unhealthy as it may be, was the motive for this film, based on a comic book by one of those high school friends who was doing the encouraging - not for murder, but to act up in class and generally be a figure of weird fun for a bunch of pals who think they're smarter than they are.

What Dahmer does is pretend to be having fits or tics, inspired by an interior designer his mother (Anne Heche) employed who suffered a palsy, much like British kids of the early eighties were inspired to perform cold-hearted Joey Deacon (a physically disabled celebrity) impersonations for their own amusement. Now, no matter how cruel those kids were, damn few of them went on to be serial killers, so the question that arises here is the ever-present "Why?", and writer and director Marc Meyers found it a difficult one to answer. Overall, the impression was that mass murder motives were not a simple case of black or white, and no switch is thrown in the head of the menace.

We were certainly given clues you could dismiss or accept, such as that old cliché about cruelty to animals breeding a parallel lack of compassion for your fellow human, or maybe it was Dahmer's mother who triggered his horrendously bad decisions, she being mentally unbalanced and seemingly unaware that her son was going from psychologically fragile to dangerous to deadly as she acted obliviously to anyone's problems but her own. His father, on the other hand, was a weak presence, and though well-meaning was never going to offer Jeffrey the guidance he needed to get off the dreadful path he was taking. Then there were the bullies, who engender an atmosphere of intimidation, if not outright fear, making any kind of fitting in almost impossible once they had targeted you.

So, plenty to chew over there, if you'll pardon the expression, and Lynch gave a very decent account of his role's shift from awkward to creepy to, in the latter stages, threatening, another example of a Disney star seeking to break out of the wholesome bracket to forge a career in more adult-oriented works, not something that always takes in pop culture and can lead to some very unfortunate choices. This was definitely risky, but he was careful not to make Dahmer too sympathetic, as after all who would want to come away from this thinking, aw, poor guy, he was misunderstood. What you had instead was a rundown of many of the reasons behind the murderer's activities that pulled back from showing them, just as well for this was skating on thin ice of bad taste throughout and Meyers just about managed to justify the project. You eventually emerged wondering it was a miracle America doesn't produce many more serial killers if this is the social environment their teens grow up in. Music by Andrew Hollander.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 237 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: