Search - Dahmer on DVD

Actors: Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, Artel Great, Matt Newton, Dion Basco
Director: David Jacobson
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2002     1hr 41min


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Movie Details

Actors: Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, Artel Great, Matt Newton, Dion Basco
Director: David Jacobson
Creators: David Jacobson, Larry Rattner, Leonard Shapiro, Matt R. Brady, Susan R. Rodgers, Tim Swain, David Birke
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/27/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Pre-Dahmer: Or, what happened to a young man
Schtinky | California | 08/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Three and a half stars, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.

If you are looking for blood and murder, you won't find it here. There is one puddle of blood, a pretty tame drill bit, and one flashing, bloodless cavity exploration. This isn't a film about Dahmer's killing spree; it's a "Pre-Dahmer" exploration of a young man's transformation. And even then, sorry to say, it doesn't have the ring of accuracy to those who know psychology.

What 'Dahmer' does have is some surprisingly good acting from unknown talents. Jeremy Renner is especially good in his role of Jeffrey Dahmer, and kudos to Artel Kayaru, Matt Newton, Dion Basco and Bruce Davison. The film is artistically directed, well photographed, well edited, and makes good use of music/soundtrack and make-up effects. Overall, it's a very well done movie.

'Dhamer' covers Jeffrey's life prior to his 'splurge', so to speak. It's a development study. The script makes use of Dahmer's close run-in's with police that were blown off, like getting caught trying to return a victim to his house, getting caught drugging drinks in a gay bar, and an incident in his youth with a garbage bag in the back of his mothers car that *wasn't* grass clippings.

The movie makes strong use of flashbacks and scene-skips, but it works to an advantage on film. Jeremy Renner plays both younger and older Dahmer, and the make-up/photography is excellent in making this work on-screen. To some, the movie may seem paceless, but it's absorbing nonetheless. It did seem to end too soon, too much left out; but for the time frame of Dahmer's life it did a good job.

Some interesting notes of my own would be the writer's reference to the Christian cross as a torture device, like worshiping an electric chair or a guillotine. To a serial killer, this would make sense. It brings up interesting social issues for a young gay man, but I honestly don't credit Dahmer with having much debative intellect. Serial killers are normally creatures of immediate sensation, not debative thought. They live 'in the now' and often believe that other people are simply 'items' in their world and not beings with thought processes; like them. Others are a study, not a reality.

I strongly doubt Dahmer felt any revulsion the first time he cut, killed, dismembered, or ate any of his victims. It would have been merely interesting to him. In the real world, you can't use reason to reach unreasonable people. They cannot hear it.

All in all, I suggest renting before buying, and keep in mind its more of an artistic study than a horror movie. Enjoy!
Mind of a serial murder.
sharon dabrowski | grosse pointe park, michigan United States | 07/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Dahmer is an in depth look at the infamous serial killer. Instead of fully depicting Jeffery Dahmer's heinous acts of brutality and depravity, Dahmer focuses on the individual alone. The film raises the commonly asked question of why? How could this happen? Why did this happen? What turned Dahmer into a serial killer? Anyone going into this film looking for the answers to all of these questions is going to be let down because Dahmer is not about answering the questions. What this film gives you instead is an ambiguous portrait of Jeffery Dahmer the man. There are no solid answers to why Dahmer did what he did, but it does give you one interpretation of what turned Dahmer into a serial killer. In the film, Dahmer is portrayed as a loner who is incapable of connecting to anyone. Many of the scenes in the film depict Dahmer walking around in complete solitude. I think that these scenes of Dahmer are essential to understanding the movie. There is just a general sense of hopelessness and alienation in this movie. According to the film, alienation is what drove Dahmer over the edge. Dahmer is just so far away from humanity that he is incapable of being saved. No one could save him during his lone descent into madness. It is painful to watch the various people in Dahmer's life, including his father, try to connect with him completely oblivious to the fact that he is too far away from humanity to be saved now. How does this movie hold up to the actual events? The brutality of the actual murders is toned down and sacrificed for character development, which was a mature decision on the part of the film creators. There are several changes in the storyline, too, but none of these changes are blatant attempts to spice up an already deranged/disturbed story (see Nightstalker). These changes actually do not even effect the movie's overall impact, so do not worry because the overall story of the real life murders stays intact. The movie is still very disturbing without glorifying violence too much. Overall, the creators of this movie made a bold and mature decision to focus entirely on Dahmer the person. This is not a movie about the trial or all of the things that happened after Dahmer was discovered. This is the perfect movie for people looking for an in depth look at the mind of a serial murderer. There is not much blood, gore, and guts in this movie at all. This is not a Disney movie. This is not even a "real horror" movie. This is a very psychological movie that takes you into the mind of one of America's most depraved serial killers. If anything, you should be disturbed by the fact that this is based upon a true story. None of this was conjured up in someone's head; Dahmer is something that we can encounter in our own sick sad world. It is the kind of film that truly makes you question your own environment. Just how good do you know your own neighbors when appearances can be so deceiving? In the case of Dahmer, the movie succeeds to paint a portrait of a man that very few people would actually like to take a long, hard look at..."
"I didn't want them to leave"
TastyBabySyndrome | "Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Lit | 11/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"From 1978 until 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer lived a life that became the focal point of worldwide media interest Amongst the most well-documented portions of this were the acts of creating lobotomized sexual slaves, of keeping trophies of victims in various states of decomposition all around his home, and of having the mysterious "blue barrel" that was used for disposal in his home. Some of the lesser-known facts were that he worked in a Chocolate shop, that he had been arrested before because he had sexual contact with a minor, and that his family life was something that had been strained. When reading about him in the book his father's book wrote, (A Father's Story by Lionel Dahmer), you could see some of the ingredients that went from "deviant sexual impulses" and "aberrant drug use" and spiraled into something that nightmarishly consumed 7 people before the police finally intervened.
This is the story of some of that and of his younger years combined, with extreme liberties taken.

One of the things that made this movie different than a lot of other movie was the fact that it didn't focus on blood and gore as much as it did on the characterization of Dahmer. Jeffrey Renner does a great job doing that portrayal, keeping the awkward charm attributed to Dahmer and yet still giving Dahmer a methodical approach that seems cold and disjointed. The movie starts in the middle of Dahmer's killing spree and doesn't really offering conjecture as to why he does everything he does. It does offer the viewers little glimpses into Dahmer's life in a round-about way, however, putting together a portrait of what Dahmer was like. It begins with Dahmer manning the chocolate production line, and from follows Dahmer as he starts looking for people that suit his needs. The first he finds is one of his most well-known, the 14year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, and goes into how he lured the boy into his home and how the police had intervened but had done nothing in the end. That seemed to be something typical with Dahmer and related something about him and his victims; he was white and was good at choosing words and his victims were minorities and were oftentimes ignored. Along the way the movie also backtracks in the film and shows us the first murder Dahmer participates in, a hitchhiker names Steven Hicks, and shows us how the words "I didn't want him to leave" came into play there. It also explores his homosexuality, the way he drugged people to make them compliant, and the way his brutality escalated.

Remembering that this movie is a work of fiction, this movie could be interesting to a number of people depending on what you want to watch. Since it is about a serial killer the topic is well-known, and if the thought of a Dahmer movie appeals to you then it appeals to you. I personally thought it was well done, again taking liberties, but that is to be expected.
A Disturbing, if Somewhat Glossy, Portrait
Sean Patton | Atlanta, GA United States | 05/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a macabre and spectacularly disturbing portrait of one of America's most reviled killers. While the film does skim over some of the more gory aspects of Dahmer's murders, it makes a very strong statement on his mental and social illnesses.
Jeremy Renner (who I first saw in National Lampoon's Senior Trip, of all things) masterfully portrays Dahmer in both a linear "present-day" story line and a series of very well edited flashbacks. His nervousness and almost frantic urgency while in the company of the living is chilling when contrasted with his calm with the victims post-mortem. The supporting cast is also top-notch. Through their performances we see a domineering father, a blind-sided grandmother and truly fearful and confused cast of victims.
The sets, lighting and cinematography also lend to the eerie tones in Dahmer. From the red lighting in Dahmer's bathroom as he crushes pills with a water glass, to the strobe effect in the seedy club he frequents, the audience is forced into an emotional response to each setting and the events that transpire in them.
Overall, the film does a nice job of getting into the head of a nefarious maniac. Even if it is ambiguous with a lot of the details of Dahmer's killings, it will make you think twice about accepting a drink in a bar, and wonder what the handsome, seemingly harmless boy next door is really up to."