HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
   
 
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
   
 
  Zodiac Loose Ends
Year: 2007
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Anthony Edwards, Chloë Sevigny, Elias Koteas, Philip Baker Hall, John Carroll Lynch, John Getz, Charles Fleischer, Dermot Mulroney, Donal Logue, Brian Cox, James LeGros, Clea DuVall, Candy Clark, Ione Skye
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: On July the fourth 1969 in San Francisco, a young couple were out driving amidst the night of fireworks, with she looking to find somewhere where they could go have peace to talk in private. He thought she was acting strangely, but she finally parked in a secluded spot to let him know what was on her mind. They were startled by a car full of teens setting off firecrackers, but more sinister than that was the car which followed them, stopping, driving away and returning. Someone shone a flashlight at them, walked up to the passenger window and emptied his pistol into them both. The Zodiac killer had struck.

The spate of true life serial killer movies that were released in the nineties and 2000s were largely low budget affairs, the likes of Ed Gein, Ted Bundy and The Hillside Strangler for instance, but for director David Fincher's Zodiac a far larger amount of money was employed to bring two decades of recent history to life. It was adapted from the non-fiction book by Robert Graysmith by James Vanderbilt, but this was different to most of its ilk in that, as in life, the identity of the murderer was never discovered.

The crime was never solved, which makes for an open-ended story at best, oddly like the more inconclusive, unhappy ending thrillers of the seventies where much of the action takes place. There are three main characters before the plot settles into following one of them for the latter half: cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), journalist on the same newspaper Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr) and the detective on the case Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo). In their own ways, this trio grow obsessed with a case that spirals out of control and then apparently dries up.

The reason the newspapermen are involved is because the serial killer has written them, and the other San Francisco papers, a letter, complete with coded message. Young divorcee Graysmith is quickly caught up with a fascination, initially due to his love of solving puzzles, but soon the whole shebang takes over his life, with no sign of it letting go even after the end of the film. Avery is a borderline alcoholic with a heroic sense of the true crusading journalist, although a lot of good it does him eventually.

Toschi is the man in the firing line, piecing together clues from a killer who likes to court media attention and claim other killings for his own. The ones the authorities were pretty sure were his, including a botched attempt, are recreated by Fincher in chilling detail, but detail is what this film is all about. The film is nothing if not meticulous, all right there is a certain artistic licence employed to bring characters and events together, but the period is never less than convincing, with cultural reference points seamlessly introduced to the narrative, not simply as decoration but as persuasive texture - Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" never sounded more menacing.

In many ways Zodiac is Fincher's JFK, an unsolved murder case that still lingers in the mind thanks to its lack of resolution, and even though solutions are offered there's nothing you can be one hundred percent sure of. Although the tension is inevitably allowed to dip thanks to such a long time frame, there are enough scenes to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up to render this more than a simple true crime aficionado's dream movie. Sequences that see, for example, Graysmith come under the scrutiny of the killer, where he receives silent phone calls in the middle of the night as if to warn, "Back off!", or the stretch where realises he is possibly in the house of the killer lend the production an air of paranoia. Only the feeling that the film may be the glamorisation of his crimes this scummy murderer wanted all along detracts from its success. Music by David Shire.

[Warner's Region 2 DVD has a featurette and trailers (including one for the Director's Cut of Zodiac) as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3892 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Fincher  (1962 - )

American director who brings roving camerawork and a surface gloss to dark subjects. Moving on from advertising and videos (including Madonna's "Vogue"), he had a bad experience directing Alien 3, but went from strength to strength thereafter with horror hit Seven, thrillers The Game and Panic Room, and cult black comedy Fight Club. Zodiac was a true life police procedural on the eponymous serial killer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button an endurance test of fantasy tweeness, The Social Network detailed the unlovely background behind Facebook and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a remake of the Scandinavian thriller. With an adaptation of the bestselling novel Gone Girl, he was awarded one of his biggest hits.

 
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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
  Lee Fiveash
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: