Serial Killer Culture Review
John Borowski previously directed the documentaries H.H.Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer (2004), Albert Fish: In Sin He found Salvation (2007) and the 2012 film Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance. This time round he has made a documentary about people much like himself who are intrigued, infatuated and almost obsessed by true crimes and the people who commit them, most notably serial killers. In this film we meet over a dozen people including Borowski himself who either have casual hobbies or have made a living off the infamy of these evil men.
Mortician Rick Staton shows us around his home and his collection of horror memorabilia looks like something from Forrest J Ackerman's house, until we enter his 'murderabilia' room which is full of art, letters and other former belongings of John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Henry Lee Lucas and many other killers. He speaks of his visits to Gacy in prison just to get his artwork from him and how creepy and unlikable he was. He also makes a valid point on how he never profited from his hobby but Life Magazine made millions by putting serial killers on their front covers for decades. We meet folk singers The World Famous Crawlspace Brothers; US murder metal band Macabre and Swedish metal band Sparzanza, all who have numerous songs about famous serial killers.
Publisher and artist Hart Fisher gives a lively and brutally honest interview on how his creation of the Jeffrey Dahmer comic back in '91 got him in trouble by narrow minded people who didn't realise that rather than glorifying Dahmer in his comic he was showing him as the true piece of scum that he really was. Matthew Aaron shows us around his Last Dime Museum, not just his collection of serial killer stuff but also the kind of wacky and weird stuff you'd expect to find in Captain Spaulding's museum as featured in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. One of his prize possessions is the actual suit Richard Ramirez wore at his trial given to him by Ramirez' wife. Artists Rich Hellen Jr., David Van Gough and Joe Coleman show off their work and talk about their inspirations and what intrigues them so much about these killers. We're even taken on the Jeffrey Dahmer Tour in Milwaukee where they go into graphic and gruesome detail about the murders and the different sites and buildings they happened in. There's also a few other collectors spoken to and quick but weird interviews with serial killers Ed Kemper aka The Co-ed Killer and Gerard Schaefer aka The Florida Sex Beast.
As an Irishman I’m not too familiar with a lot of the serial killers mentioned in this documentary, probably because they didn't kill enough people to gain fame outside of the US or have movies made about them like the killers that I am familiar with such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gein, Gacy, Manson etc. Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer was one of my favourite movies growing up and still is to this day! That being said, as serial killers are something that intrigues me, I found Serial Killer Culture very interesting and informative. At almost two hours long I didn't get bored once, each interviewee was different from the next and each had an interesting story to tell and cool stuff to show.
Sure you might need to ask yourself about morality and whether or not talking about and collecting souvenirs of such evil bastards are wrong or not. Personally I don't think it is, Mein Kampf was written by one of the most evil men in history and it's probably the second most famous book on the planet. Children read about Hitler, Hussein and Bin Laden in history class everyday so why shouldn't they know about killers who were a lot closer to home? And if people want to collect and display things that remind them of the real evil in this world rather than the make believe killers like Freddy and Jason, so be it. For anyone really into serial killers or those just mildly curious about them, I highly recommend this documentary. Much like myself I think most people will find themselves stopping every once in a while to remind themselves "It's not just a movie,it's not just a movie - these crazy evil bastards are actually real!!"
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: JOHN BOROWSKI
OFFICIAL SITE: serialkillerculture.com
RELEASE DATE: APRIL 1, 2014
PRODUCTION COMPANY: WATERFRONT PRODUCTIONS
Serial Killer Culture examines the reasons why artists and collectors are
fascinated by serial killers. Through music, painting, filmmaking, writing,
and collecting, thirteen individuals are interviewed about creating art and
searching for murderous artifacts.
FEATURED ARTISTS & COLLECTORS:
Joe Coleman, Macabre, Rick Staton, Hart Fisher, The Dahmer Tours, Joe
Hiles, Sam Hane, Stephen Giannangello, Sparzanza, Matthew Aaron, John
Borowski, David Van Gough, and The World Famous Crawlspace Brothers.
FORMAT: 16x9 SD COLOR NTSC ALL REGION
EXTRAS: MIME TIME SHORT FILM, TRAILERS