Thursday, April 30, 2015

Before 'Age of Ultron': Dahmer (2002)

Am I doing this as an excuse to get attention?  Yes.  Is this leading me to watch Films that I should have already done though?  Yes.  Besides, why are you going to complain- you don't pay me!  So...anyways, today's Film is Dahmer, a 2002 Film that helped put Jeremy Renner on the map.  For once, it paid off to kind of look like a Serial Killer.  Sorry, Scott Thompson.  While this was by no means his first work, Renner's early work is not all that well-known.  Monkey Love?  Fish in a Barrel?  A guest-spot on The Net TV Series?  All good, notable stuff.  Incidentally, Renner was also in 2003's S.W.A.T., which got a Direct-to-DVD Sequel later with Gabriel Macht.  Macht was infamously in The Spirit and that kind of killed his big-screen career.  His Co-Stars in that Film- Scarlet Johansen and Samuel L. Jackson.  Sorry, but Renner's Super-Hero Film with them made like a billion dollars.  Where was I?  Oh, right.  In this Arty and Indy Film, he plays famous killer Jeffrey Dahmer.  This is not so much of a Biopic as it is a series of random 'snapshots' of his life.  In contrast to other Films, they leave you to fill in the rest.  While this Film made Renner, will it also make for a good Film?  To find out, read on...
Jeffrey Dahmer is just a nice, normal guy who works in a Chocolate Factory.
...but then why does he convince this guy to go home with him and drug him on his couch?
Yeah, he's a psycho.  He drills a hole in the guy's head, but he lives and actually wanders away the next night.

The Film briefly touches upon the racial issues in the City that lead the Police to trust a suspicious Dahmer over the black ladies in the Streets...but only briefly.
To be 'arty,' this one plays fast and loose with the time-line.  In one bit, we see him not enter a Bar.  After that, it segues into a montage of him going there, drugging and raping guys until he's kicked out.

Yes, 'Hawkeye' just raped like 10 guys.
The two key Scenes involve Dahmer as a youth in 1978 (with his anachronistic Car) finding, seducing and finally killing his first victim.
...while the other involves what may be his last potential victim.

Interesting post-script: the person this is based on (Tracey Edwards) became homeless and is now in Jail for beating another man to death.  Okay...maybe that's more creepy than interesting.
As part of the film's 'Arty' nature, it doesn't end with an arrest or a conviction.  Instead, it ends with a younger Dahmer walking into the Woods.  Alright.  The End.
Good, but definitely not for everyone.  First off, it was great to see that this wasn't an Ulli Lommel Film.  Most of the Films about Serial Killers you see out there are his.  BTK Killer.  Son of Sam.  D.C. Sniper.  Thankfully, the only connection this Film has to that crap is appearing as background footage in Gacy- a Film surprisingly not made by Lommel.  The big catch here is that this Film is very 'Arty' and stylized.  It doesn't go in Chronological Order, jumping around in Flashbacks constantly.  They only cover about a 14-year period, so they don't have to do too much make-up work for Renner.  Instead, they just change his clothes, hair and glasses.  He even has a 'porn stache' for one Scene!  If you come in looking for the salacious stuff, there's not much of it.  If you are looking for an Arty take on the case, you don't see alot of the real case.  That said, you get alot of insight into Dahmer and the reason that he became what he was.  There are alot of details not included- including a time when he masturbated in public (in front of kids!) and his alleged cannibalism- for whatever reason.  Renner is damn good here.  He's so good that this apparently got him the gig in The Hurt Locker years later.  If you can deal with the dark subject matter and want to see Renner in a dark role like this, it is a must see.  Another moment not in the Film- the time that he fought a Ninja!
Next up, a step in an entirely-different direction for a Robert Downey Jr Biopic.  Before its Director was in Jurassic Park, he made this.  Stay tuned...

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