Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Murders of Hollywood|
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sensational and shocking stories from Hollywood are not always fiction. Beyond anything a screenwriter could imagine, and with a cast of famous stars and celebrities, this documentary goes behind the scenes to explore the ... more »
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'Murders of Hollywood' Fails To Live Up To It's Name!
Joseph C. Powell | Bronx, New York USA | 01/24/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"'Murders of Hollywood' has a catchy title, a eye grabbing dvd box cover of deceased famous persons, plus a opening narration describing the flip side of the Hollywood dream.
While those points would score high in a marketing session, unfortunately as a documentary, it falls flat on the subject of tragic endings of the rich and famous. One of the main reasons is due to the lack of information and detail given to the persons being profiled. The viewer is treated to about fifteen different cases. The entire
running time of this dvd is no more than sixty two minutes!
The subjects range from Fatty Arbuckle all the way up to Nicole Simpson. But there is nothing new here that hasn't already been explored elsewhere and better. The viewer should not expected any archival film footage. In fact, there are no interviews at all! Each segment's narration is aided only by photos, mostly from public domain. In some cases, the photos are so grainy looking, one has to wonder if the producers copied them from magazines or books. In the case of Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, one only sees photos from the Our Gang comedies, but no photos of him as a adult actor who was trying desperately to find screen work. In his segment, illlustrations are used to show Alfalfa's fatal ending. It is a recurring device that is used thoughout the program. The low point of the show's use of illustrations occurs during the Dorothy Stratten segment. We see grainy photos of her, husband Paul Snider and the Dairy Queen where she worked at as a teenager. At one point, the narrator states, 'Dorothy's life began to change after her husband introduced her to this man, Peter Bogdanovich'.
A charcoal pencil drawing of him in full headshot appears. To a viewer who may be unfamilar with Bogdanovich as a director or thru his recent guest appearances on the Sopranos, this drawing will only bring confusion and frustration. The Bob Crane segment could of used illustrations to make it more interesting. There was very few facts given, and very few photos. We see shots of Crane, his video player and a very grainy side profile photo of his best friend and alleged killer, John Carpenter. There's few illustrations used in the Charles Manson segment. The only problem is that the information stated sounds as if the narrator is reading a script from the early seventies when the Tate murder case was just underway.
However, there are good moments when clear color video footage is shown of Hollywood as it looks today in and around the various victims surroundings. Recent footage of Sal Mineo's building where he was killed outside of are captured nicely. But again, the viewer is left shortchanged when his segment ends abruptly with the statement that the real killer may have not been caught.
This documentary would of been more favorable back in the early eighties at the dawn of the home video market. It would of even been aceptable in the early nineties when cable was expanding beyond the fifty plus channels. But this documentary was produced in 2003, when this type of subject and many others have been covered more effeciently via cable on the History Channel, E-Channel, A+E, etc, etc. There one is given informantive and extensvie coverage thru archival footage, current interviews, and so much more. The viewer can even find information thru hundreds of non-fiction true crime books that have been written.
Overall, while the documentary seems well intentional, 'Murders of Hollywood' should not be considered a basic introduction or even as a supplement piece to this subject.
Lame Follow Up... ...
Jack Burgess | Tampa, Fl USA | 01/12/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Murders In Hollywood seems to be a lame sequel to Hollywood
Ghosts and Gravesites. The only reason I gave this DVD two
stars is for the fine narration and opening scene of Hollywood
as it looks today. Otherwise this is merely a slideshow of still
images reproduced badly. The crime scene photos appear to come
from whatever books on Hollywood were available during production of this documentary. There are no new revelations here, or anything you don't already know about Filmland murders.Production of this DVD seemed to be extremely rushed. Delta
Entertainment is capable of much better product than this. Come
on you guys."