Published on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 20:00
Written by Will
|Directed By||Paul South, William Taft|
|Written By||William Taft|
|Starring||Seth Correa, Steve Williams, Denise Carroll, Stephen Bellinger, Elmer Parker, Marcia Trayford, Marc Saleme, Vito Spino, Kelly Farrar|
|DVD Distributer||Northeast Film Group|
|MPAA Rating||Not Rated|
|By It Now On|
An uncompromising look at Berdella's day to day existence...
Lord Byron, in the satirical poem Don Juan
'Tis strange - but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction'
Byron's words so often ring true in the fucked up world in which we live. The case of Bob Berdella, a.k.a "The Kansas City Butcher" is a prime example of this adage. For those of you unfamiliar with Berdella's exploits, allow me to recap; between the years 1984 through 1987, Kansas City Missouri resident Robert Berdella kidnapped, raped, tortured, mutilated and killed at least six young men. He was apprehended April 2nd, 1988, after his last victim freed himself and jumped from the second story of Bob's house, to be discovered by a meter reader who alerted the authorities.
There are more serial killer pictures circulating than there are actual serial killers. Most are garbage purporting to expose the facts. Sometimes they do, but more often than not a lot of artistic license is taken with the subject matter, one need only look at crap like Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield
to understand. In cases such as in the above mentioned film, the "facts" have become sensationalized and embellished until what is left is so compromised it should not carry the name. These monsters kill real people, people with families, many members of which are still alive and must deal with the pain of their losses everyday. To take artistic license with the facts is a travesty and should not be done to entertain bubbleheads incapable of distinguishing between tabloid sensationalism and the truth.
Filmmakers Paul South and William Taft thankfully have not done that in the case of Berdella. Instead they have taken the well documented facts of the story and have painstakingly recreated the monsters footsteps. Working from crime scene photographs and eyewitness testimony they have unleashed a graphic, thorough examination of this sociopath's exploits. After having watched the film I began checking the facts and found their telling of the tale to be a disturbingly realistic portrait of what was going on in Kansas City, Missouri in the 1980's.
Opening with a drunken Berdella (Seth Correa), staggering up the street, the film instantly plunges viewers into Bobby's world. This is in large part achieved via the performance of Seth Correa who expertly channels the same Bob Berdella I found while researching this review. Correa's take is nothing short of masterful. At no point watching this was my suspension of disbelief compromised. This combined with South and Taft's handling of the story never denigrates the material or cheapens the impact with inconsistencies. They lay it out plainly and without filter.
The only change in the facts is the victims names whom the filmmakers wisely changed to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to families involved. Aside from this, the film is shot in a documentarian fashion that presents viewers an uncompromising look at Berdella's day to day existence during the time frame of his crimes. South and Taft invite viewers to enter Bob's house and watch without safety nets, the machinations of insanity. If serial killers pique your morbid curiosity, Berdella, is a film you should not miss!