On July 14, 1966, Richard Speck took 9 student nurses hostage. He held the girls, methodically beating, raping and stabbing them to death in one of the bloodiest mass murders in American history. Witness the terrifying sto... more »ry every fan of true crime must see.« less
Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA Reviewed on 6/20/2012...
You may have never heard of Richard Speck, because he hasn't received the same media hype that other serial killers/mass murderers have. He was a sadistic killer who broke into a student nurses dorm, held the women hostage, and then went on a brutal rampage of rape and murder. This movie tries to tell his story and give an impression why he ended up this way. There has been at least one other film about this sick individual, Speck, and it was a dark, twisted look at the night of the massacre and had a very unsettling, leering quality. Only the most desensitised fan of torture porn could probably get any enjoyment from that film. This one doesn't have the sleazy feel of the previous one...but it doesn't really have any punch, either. The jumping around in Speck's life doesn't serve to make us feel any empathy for this character or his victims...it's just disconcerting. The film never really feels like it gets started or comes together...which is a shame, because there are several decent actors in the movie that could have done better with a better director or script. If you are a completist who just has to see every serial killer movie or true crime story, then watch at your own peril of boredom. It felt a lot like that Black Dahlia film with Scarlett Johnanson to me. Slow and draggy...and ultimately going nowhere.
Just not a very good film
J. Fryer | Nicholasville, KY | 07/15/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I know this was a low budget film that went straight to video, still it is worth pointing out to potential viewers that while sometimes this happens to even good films, that isn't the case with this movie.
Poorly filmed, possibly in an unsuccessful effort to appear 'artistic', poorly acted, and very short on reality, this just turns out to be a waste of viewing time for nearly any viewer.
Those interested in 'True Crime' will be turned off by the lack of accuracy, as well as the absence of any real detailed truths. Viewers hungry for 'violence' will be disappoined that only one murder was actually enacted and little gore was depicted and even that will be considered tame and uninteresting by those who enjoy that sort of thing. Inconsistencies will bug even the casual viewer; such as the use of the terms 'forensics' and 'mass murder'; terms not in common usage even by police personnel in 1966. Though mass murder has occurred in the United States long before 1966 and 'forensics' has been practiced for centuries prior to Sherlock Holmes', the terminology had not crept into English usage at the time of these murders. The lack of forensics knowledge in tha era was however accurate in the film (no, not in the dicussion about the preservation of the crime scene, which was rarely a thought in 1966), but in the fact that the first dectectives on the scene freely touched doors and surfaces throughout their initial investigation. Even the locale of the killings was inaccurate. The nurses were murdered in a two-story townhouse setting (then referred to as apartments)not in a dormitory, as in the film. I would think one would be as easy as the other to obtain when scouting movie locales. Even the wardrobe seemed wrong for the era.
The movie-makers could have saved money by shooting in black and white and not lost anything in the exchange.
I would not recommend this film as a movie that any movie lover would likely find interesting."
Quickly Made, Cheaply Done
jimmy_rants@yahoo | USA | 09/01/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have got to think that maybe it's not a great idea to make feature length videos about dull-witted and very boring criminals who go on alcohol/drug-induced murder sprees.What we end up seeing is sa dull-witted and boring as the villian we watch, It's just not entertaining.
I knew this was a clunker from the first scene when "Texan" Richard Speck wearing what else but a cowboy hat steals his neighbors car and is chased on foot by a woman calling his name. This is the poorest character/location establishment I've seen outside an elementary school production.
Other lowpoints (or lowerpoints I should say) are the sole survivor Filipina nurse who confronts Speck in court. Here's a woman the viewer might want to empathise with, but not so. The actresses performance couldn't be crappier or more unbelievable had it been on Lifetime channel. Locations are often poor. The crime scene could have used a few extras playing cops, as the only people who seem to be at the "crime of the century" are a very poorly portrayed detective and assistant. There are some anachronistic haircuts and speech as well, something that makes me think this was grinded out in a few weeks by a group of filmakers who lost interst (or money) before the project began.
Richard Speck was a dull man who became famous by a horrible act. "Chicago Massacre" is a dull and horrible video that will never be famous."
A less than satisfying telling of the story of mass murderer
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"With a true crime story you would think the goal is to show what happened and to try and explain why it happened. The standard for such endeavors would be films like "In Cold Blood" and mini-series such as "Helter Skelter." There will be inevitable questions about how much you actually show and whether the explanations will prove at all satisfactory. "Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck" is about the murder of the eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966, which happens to be the first headline crime that I remember after the assassination of JFK. Way back then I was unaware of the story of Ed Gein or the way everything would seem to change after the Manson murders, and long before Michael Meyers) upped the ante in teh cinematic world of splatter flicks. After watching this direct-to-video 2007 film I know a bit more about the murders and the murderer, but not enough in either regard to have a better understanding, assuming, of course, such a thing is possible in such a case.
This film tries to weave together three time lines with the murders, the aftermath involving the investigation and Speck's conviction, and Speck's early life. Just playing with the chronology takes away from the sense of "Chicago Massacre" documenting a true crime story, but what we see does not really follow the murders laid out by the prosecution at the trial. Speck stabbed and strangled his victims to death, with seven of the women found dead in their beds, but the movie shows him using a gun to shoot one woman in a bathtub (Speck did have a gun, but used it to control the women). Writer-director Michael Feifer ("Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield") focuses much more on the eyes of the victims than the blood, so you get more of an impression of the murders than any graphic details. How Speck (Corin Nemec) is eventually captured and convicted is the most historically accurate parts of the film, but seems secondary to the depiction of the killings and it is their muddled depiction that stands out in your mind.
Even less successful is the effort to try and explain why Speck became a killer. The scenes from his past do not come together to create anything close to a psychological profile that would constitute such an explanation. Speck had been arrested previously for burglary and stabbing, as well as having been a suspect in a rape, a beating death, the disappearance of three women, and the murders of four other women. I do not know the specifics, so it could be just a case of Speck become a suspect for every unsolved crime with any similarity to what happened in Chicago after he was caught. Still, the question of whether the murder of the student nurses was the culmination of his career as a serial killer or more of a massive one-time explosion would strike me as being pertinent. However, that is not part of Feifer's agenda and is probably too lofty a goal for a low-budget movie filmed in just 10 days.
Connecting the dots to form a coherent picture becomes infinitely more difficult when you take into account the bizarre video of Speck in prison, recreated in the film, sporting female-like breasts grown from smuggled hormones and boasting, "If they only knew how much fun I was having, they'd turn me loose." The quote appears at the start of the film, out of context, and then again at the end, I think the line is privileged as explaining Speck, when it does no such thing. The incongruity of seeing Speck on that video, snorting cocaine and parading around in women's panties, as the man who raped and slaughtered these young women as depicted in this film, is simply too great despite a valiant effort by Nemec. When this film ends all you can do is dismiss Speck as a freak and flush him from your mind, wishing that this film had made his victims more memorable (and not so nameless). It may just be that no matter how great of a number you multiply by zero, in the end all you get is zero."
Ms_Scout | Texas USA | 09/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I watched part of this movie the other night. I just couldn't finish the whole thing. And I am not talking about the subject. I know the Richard Speck story and how he slaughtered 8 student nurses in 1966. It just did not come together like it could have. I thought the acting was good but the film is terribly made.
The Asian girl who survived by hiding under a bed really did get out of the witness chair and walk over to Speck, point and say he was the man who killed her roommates. The film makers show this moment, but on film, or at least this film, it didn't pack the punch it could have.
The film was dark, bizarre and boring. If you want to learn about Richard Speck and the student nurses he murdered, watch a good documentary or read a good article.