Some interesting segments but watch out for the music
Mr. Russell Brooks | Sydney, Australia | 09/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD contains approximately 6.5 hours of interviews with various serial killers and one mass murderer (Ronald DeFeo Jr, who one night shot his entire family while they slept, "inspiring" the movie "The Amityville Horror"), and various law enforcement officers, lawyers, psychiatrists, etc who were involved in the cases.
Some of the serial killers are very well-known, such as Ted Bundy, Kenneth Bianchi ("The Hillside Strangler") and Henry Lee Lucas ("The Confession Killer"), whilst others are not so well-known. The segments I personally found most interesting were those on Ronald DeFeo Jr, Ted Bundy and Kenneth Bianchi. I had previously know little about Kenneth Bianchi, and I found the descriptions of some of his murders particularly disturbing, especially those relating to the two young girls he murdered.
As someone who has thought of myself as having good intuition in relation to people's characters, the aspect of this movie and others like it that I find most unnerving is that the majority of the killers interviewed appear quite "normal" and articulate, even gentle or docile in some cases (e.g. Arthur Shawcross, "The Monster of the Rivers"). Though admittedly, there are a few you would definitely not want to take home to meet your mother (e.g. Douglas Clark, "The Sunset Slayer")!
Unfortunately, there is one aspect of this DVD which lets it down considerably, and that is the music. It really is just not scary, is irritating and does not suit the subject (especially that funky slap bass sound)! Furthermore, it is repeated at the beginning and end of each segment. If the DVD could somehow be reproduced with different, more appropriate music (and not repeated at the beginning and end of each segment), it would be greatly improved. Watching this DVD reinforced to me how important the soundtrack is in the overall quality of a movie or documentary.
If you want to purchase a really good DVD about serial killers and psychopaths, I would strongly recommend "Serial Killers - Profiling the Criminal Mind" (also listed as "Serial Killers 2-Pack") which includes stories on John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson, and includes interviews with Manson, Patricia Krenwinkle and Leslie Van Houten."
Kirk Alex | 06/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 3 DVD set is nicely put together. 6.5 hours of hard-hitting, brutal info into the how & why, etc.
It wouldn't be a bad idea if a few more horror writers and/or serial killer flick makers would get this DVD for the info alone, and maybe their films wouldn't suck so bad.
Am not pushing gore here, because gore and buckets of blood (alone) do not make for a great scare flick at all, but am talking about looking into these minds here, taking the time to see what serial killers are actually about, why they do the horrifying things that they do, etc.
The only negative is the irritating music that they keep repeating over and over and over and over... It's done after each segment. Oh man, what agony. Had to keep my finger on the volume button throughout basically. They could have also gone into each childhood a bit more (because, as you know, this is where it started, where the problem began; yes, you have the RARE bad seed now and then, but usually, very often, the serial killer's mother was a prostitute, or else there was abuse, all sorts of abuse--sometimes both).
Other than that, this package is definitely worth getting. I don't regret paying what I paid for it."
Intelligently done - not for thrill seekers.
J. Kara Russell | Hollywood - the cinderblock Industrial cubicle | 02/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Obviously structured to be a television series, this is a series of twelve interviews with notorious serial killers.
This is not a slick, glamorized series. This would not be of interest for someone who wants graphic pictures of victims, or slow-motion details about the killings, the cases or a "how to." More than enough of this information comes out, but it is often relayed in a very matter-of-fact blasé tone of the killer himself - recounting it as if it were a trip to the corner store. In some respects this series does start out almost boring... but this is obviously orchestrated, to tailor it's own audience to the text, to eliminate the thrill seekers.
What this series is: a thoughtful series of interviews with the serial killers. The focus here is not on the gruesome, but on the minds of these (mostly) men, and how their minds work - or don't as the case may be. The cumulative effect is slow and powerful. The series as a whole becomes possibly the strongest intelligent argument for the death penalty that has even been created.
Others have noted that the music is odd, but again, by the end, the irregular rhythms and random notes echo the distorted viewpoint of the thought process of these people. Exceptionally well done - for someone seeking an in depth look at the psychology of these killers. It leave us seeing some deep similar facets: their inability to say "I killed"... but instead saying, "she got herself killed," how each of them who is able to be somewhat introspective flatly states that there is no solution for them but to be put to death, how pornography and popular culture tool sexual fantasies in this direction, and how everyday people around them were often complicit in really sickening ways.
The series is intentionally structured to become more psychologically complex toward the end, which makes it get more interesting as it progresses. (That does not lend itself to film-making, but more to a learning/clinical process, which again, seems to be the intent, and the accomplishment here.)
Deeply thought provoking."
Ph.D Madsen | Denmark | 09/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Too much boring serial killer material out there, trust me, i studied it for over half of my life time....
This is epic, i got it 2 months ago, Seen episodes on it atleast some of them 20 times over and over again, those episodes with direct serial killer interviews, oppossed to story telling episodes mostly, the prior, close profiling, tend to be the most psychological serial killer kick profiles you find out there!
If your study is mankind and its obscurity devised within the blood of man, you will never get enough of this DVD SET...
Some of the best you can find on Amazon.