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America's Serial Killers: Portraits in Evil
America's Serial Killers Portraits in Evil
Actors: Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy
Director: Various
Genres: Documentary
NR     2009     5hr 0min

Serial Killers: Portraits in Evil will strip the covers from a world of profiling, forensic science and painful investigation as history's most brutal serial killers are exposed. Wars have terrorized entire populations ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy
Director: Various
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Crime & Conspiracy
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 5hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Lee B. from HANOVER, PA
Reviewed on 6/20/2009...
Very comprehensive study of the activity of serial murderers in America.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

I also got this for $5 at Wal-Mart...
ac | Indiana | 03/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"...and it was worth every penny. You only get what you pay for, right?

The 5-star reviews and the 1-star reviews for those are both a joke, it's not terrible and it's CERTAINLY not perfect. You just kind of have to ask yourself why you plan on watching this. If you're looking for new insight into the mind of serial killers, there is nothing new to see or hear here. If you're looking for plenty of videos of the killers being interviewed or appearances in court or old news reels or whatever... well, there's SOME of that, but for the most part it's mainly clips that are available on youtube with narration over top. If you're looking for a look at a lot of obscure killers and not just the big names, well, honestly there are a few here or there that I was surprised about (I rarely see Albert Fish get mentioned elsewhere, and there were a few killer couples on the "buddies" segment that hardly ever get talked about).

If you're looking for high production values, sorry! While everything is competently-filmed and -edited, the creators of this made the mistake of interviewing the same 2 or 3 people for the entire 7 1/2 hours. So, if you don't like 1 of them (or all of them), you're out of luck... get used to seeing 'em over and over again! Also, if you're looking for something comprehensive, forget it. Did it even MENTION the Manson Family killing Sharon Tate?! Either I fell asleep for that brief part or they just skimmed right over it and started talking about the media's role in the Manson case.

The narration is great; don't let the other reviewers fool you, and the narrator himself doesn't do the voices of the killers, they have separate people doing the voices, and it works just fine. The soundtrack is amazing if you care about that when watching a documentary. The whole thing held my interest with no problem, even though I knew all of this stuff. There actually were a few tidbits here or there that I'd never heard before, and I've read plenty of true crime books and watch truTV/CourtTV religiously.

One nitpick: Every single disc starts with the same 3 minute "title sequence", with a reenactment of a fat cowboy getting shot and clips of Hitler and such. The same exact 3 minute title sequence. While it's easy to skip past, it was extremely annoying. Oh, and as for "showing clips of old movies", yeah, they do that on the first couple of segments, but it's not like they could have shown ACTUAL CLIPS from the late 1800s, now could they?

I enjoyed this thing for what it is, and I think it actually probably would be a good introduction to people just getting into serial killers, especially for $5. I will say, disc 2 is WAY better than disc 1. So, 5 stars for the price if you can get it cheap, 2 stars of the production values, 3 stars of the content... 3 stars overall."
Weep with me
Shanna Reis | Indiana | 05/12/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"[...] which I thought was a bargain price even if it didn't turn out to all that good. I was wrong. This collection is not even worth that much. I literally cried through the whole thing. Either because the voice-over was so terribly hilarious, or because of all the innacuracies that were presented as utter truth. This whole DVD comes off as something smashed together by someone who has only done the slightest bit of research on the subject matter and then padded the whole thing with vaguely related clips. Skip this one. You're better off keeping that 8 or 5 bucks and treating yourself to lunch."
Too Much Hollywood Movie Analysis
CHRit1s | Oakland, Ca United States | 05/08/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This is called American Serial Killers, yet spends over an hour discussing Jack the Ripper. It's understandable to want to open with Ripper, but analyzing Hollywood film footage for over an hour is just too long off topic and not the kind of analysis I was looking for. The Ted Bundy story was glossed over and none of the extremely creepy crap he did with his dead "souvenirs" revealed. If the narrator is going to over emphasize the word "gay" serial killer as though the sexuality some how makes the crime more chilling then "hetero" serial killer should be equally dramatized repeatedly. Finally Eileen Wuornos was not made into an antihero in the film Monster. It's just she's not a sexual predator. She did not kill for the joy of killing nor did she kill or torture for sexual gratification. She doesn't decapitate heads of men and skull fvk them long after they've decomposed. If you want a history of Jack the Ripper films, very little truth about Ted Bundy and trust an analysis who doesn't understand the difference between serial killing and sexual predatory serial killing this film is for you."