Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Evilenko 2 disc deluxe edition|
Actors: Malcolm McDowell, Marton Csokas, Ronald Pickup, Frances Barber, Ostap Stupka
Director: David Grieco
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Based on the shocking true story of the former Soviet Union s most notorious serial killer, this riveting, haunting film explores the mind of a true monster; a man who mutilated and devoured more than 50 children. For year... more »
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R. Schultz | Chicago | 02/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a riveting movie that takes us to places, figuratively and literally, that make us glad to be back home again, safe and sane.
It takes us into the mind, behind the piercing blue eyes, of a serial killer. Malcom McDowell delivers one of his best performances ever as Evilenko, a man who killed and ate numerous children and young women. The brilliant acting raises this movie far above the current spate of serial killer accounts though. It has unique intensity. McDowell convinces us of his character, a man wrapped in rabid loyalty to the Communist Party in the decade just before the Party's fall. From his gravelly voice, to the great Russian bear hug he extends to his victims - McDowell concentrates new kinds of tyranny and menace into his portrayal.
The movie also takes us onto the scene of Communist Russia's last years. Filmed in the Ukraine, it shows both the milder side of life under the Communist regime (children playing along tree-lined pathways) and the grim side (interrogation rooms with stained walls and the relentless sound of water dripping somewhere in the background).
I don't now why this movie got so little publicity. It deserves to be considered as one of the top movies of the year. And McDowell deserves top awards for leading us down those tree-lined paths - into a nightmare."
An extraordinarily powerful look inside the mind of a serial
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Serial killers are probably the most monstrously fascinating individuals on the face of the Earth, in part because we still know so little about these rarest of men (they are almost always men, after all). While many a film has been made on the subject, few manage to offer a compelling look at the minds behind these horrific crimes, choosing instead to concentrate on the blood and gore of the killing acts. Evilenko doesn't cater to prurient interests, concentrating instead on the mind of a deranged killer and the authorities' determined search to find him and bring him to justice. Adapted from the novel The Communist Who Ate Children by Italian journalist David Grieco, the story was inspired by the real-life serial killing spree of Andrei Chikatilo, the Rostov Ripper, who killed 52 Russian women, boys, and girls between 1978 and 1990, sexually molesting many of them and reportedly indulging in some degree of cannibalism. Technically speaking, therefore, Evilenko does not attempt to tell Chikatilo's story as it actually happened.
With such a fascinating subject and acclaimed actor Malcolm McDowell taking on the role of the sadistic Evilenko, it's a pity this film has garnered such little publicity. Yes, it's an Italian film, but it deserves both critical and popular success here in America. McDowell is mesmerizing as the psychological time bomb that turns to killing rather late in life. Despite Evilenko's evil, McDowell makes him approachable, thereby drawing you into his unique window on the world. What lies behind his rage? That is really what the movie is about. It also explains why we never actually see the victims; showing us the viscerally monstrous results of his handiwork would have robbed him of his humanity and prevented us from even trying to understand him.
The film's most disturbing scene actually takes place within the first few minutes, when Evilenko tries to molest one of his young female students. That incident costs him his teaching job and adds a super accelerant to the fire already burning within his heart. Evilenko is, at his very being, a devoted Communist. As such, his very self-image is being increasingly diminished by the mid-1980s reforms of Gorbachev and the clearly imminent death throes of Soviet Communism. This, we are led to believe, in conjunction with Evilenko's hatred for the anti-Communist father he never knew and certain sexual issues, is the driving force behind his killing spree. His victims are all young, ranging from small children to young ladies, and include both boys and girls. While we are aware of the mounting numbers, the actual murders are almost of secondary importance as we maintain our focus on the mind of Evilenko. The killing spree baffles investigators, with bodies turning up in various locations and no witnesses coming forward with anything resembling a lead. The public, of course, are not even informed of the danger because of the Communist government's reluctance to admit that a comrade could dare do such things.
Detective Vadim Timurovic Lesiev (Marton Csokas) is given charge of the investigation and pursues the unknown killer relentlessly. He even goes so far as to enlist the help of a psychoanalyst (a gay Jewish doctor initially counted among the scores of men investigated as suspects) in coming up with a profile of the killer. Dr. Richter (Ronald Pickup) himself becomes a most fascinating character. He does succeed in aiding the investigation - but only in the most unexpected of ways. In the end, though, it really comes down to a contest of wills between Evilenko and Lesiev, culminating in the most bizarre interrogation scene imaginable. Lesiev will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice.
The film does leave a number of unanswered questions. While we are given compelling reasons for Evilenko's crimes, we are not treated to a complete psychological evaluation of the man. We learn almost nothing about his childhood or young adult years, for example. His kind of sickness would have definitely revealed itself in different ways during his formative years. There's also the matter of his wife, a dour woman who must have become aware of her husband's "hobby" at some point before the murders ended. The film also introduces the idea that Evilenko possesses some kind of hypnotic power over his victims as well as potential witnesses. I can buy one soldier going mad after witnessing Evilenko cannibalizing a victim, but it's really problematic when another soldier has no memory of his face-to-face encounter with the man. The investigation into the crime itself becomes problematic when Lesiev's boss tragically discounts human life by insisting that Lesiev make his move on the suspect only after he kills his next victim, wanting to remove all doubts as to whether or not Evilenko is guilty.
If you're looking for blood and gore, this isn't your movie. This is a psychological thriller, not a horror movie. Some will still be repulsed by the very nature of the story itself, but the sad fact is that men like Evilenko do exist in the world, deranged individuals whose powerlessness in society leads them to dominate the most vulnerable of human beings in the sickest of ways. This film is particularly interesting and important because it examines a sociopolitical influence on the serial killer's actions. Evilenko represents Soviet Communism itself, with his personal collapse mirroring that of the state. That, McDowell's extraordinary performance, and so many other aspects of the film I don't have time or space to talk about, make Evilenko one of the most impressive and compelling serial killer-based movies I have ever seen."
Pedophillia & Murder
galaxyquest20 | NY | 07/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Evilenko, is based on the true story of a serial killer known as Andrei Chikatilo who was a former member of the soviet union. Malcolm McDowell puts on an excellent portrayl of "Enko" (They changed the name for the slight differences in the film). The director stated that he didn't want to make a documentry.
The film covers the last two taboos: Cannibalism & Pedophillia. Therefore as a warning it is a very brutal film. Some may even be repulsed it. But of course this is all a part of the film's honest portrayl of a monster.
In my opinion, this film, out of all serial killer films: dahmer, gacy, bundy, gein and manson, was the most gruesome, difficult film to watch of them all. However unlike the others, even though they changed a couple of things, i felt it was the most close to the fact dipiction of a murderer. That and the acting is what makes this film worth watching.
The Dvd features are better than most serial killer films because you get a documentry about the real killer and extras."
James Luckard | Los Angeles, CA | 02/11/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I had seen "Citizen X" and wanted to see this for comparison. There is none. Forget about the fact that this account is highly fictionalized, a good film doesn't have to reflect the facts religiously. Nothing about this mess works, however. The first mistake is making the central character the killer, Evilenko (the subtlety of that character name reflects the intelligence of the film). We simply see him go around luring children for about half an hour, without any tension, because we know what's coming. A subplot of him working for the KGB is started, then forgotten.
Finally, we are introduced to the cop. However he never does any investigative work, and poor Marton Csokas seems to have only one facial expression in this dreck. Scene after scene just flows past, like a series of tableaux. I've never seen a more tedious serial killer movie. It's certainly not a thriller, no suspense is built up.
Scenes follow without even a logical progression. For example, Evilenko is among those brought before a witness for a lineup, yet we are never told how he was found for the lineup. A plot line with a psychiatrist is begun, then quickly discarded, and the cop's shrill wife vanishes before she can become a character either.
This is a movie made by people with no knowledge of storytelling or how to engage an audience. Just watch "Citizen X" for an example of what to do right. It's merely competent, but looks like a masterpiece in comparison to this. It has a compelling main character (the cop), with a personal obsession with the case, and a fully developed cast of supporting characters, especially the fantastic mentor character played by Donald Sutherland.
Avoid this cinematic bilge at all costs and save two hours of your life in the process."