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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Dahmer: Or, what happened to a young man
Three and a half stars, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.

If you are looking for blood and murder, you won't find it here. There is one puddle of blood, a pretty tame drill bit, and one flashing, bloodless cavity exploration. This isn't a film about Dahmer's killing spree; it's a "Pre-Dahmer" exploration of a young man's transformation. And even...
Published on August 31, 2005 by Schtinky

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't tell the whole story.
The movie was tasteful, but to tasteful. I understand that it wasn't intended to be a "horror flick" and that wasn't what I was expecting. I believe that the movie was to show some insight to Dahmer's motives and they were somewhat successful on that (of course we'll never be able to completely understand). The most important thing was left out, the cannibalism...
Published on September 7, 2002 by Corey Anna


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Dahmer: Or, what happened to a young man, August 31, 2005
By 
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
Three and a half stars, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.

If you are looking for blood and murder, you won't find it here. There is one puddle of blood, a pretty tame drill bit, and one flashing, bloodless cavity exploration. This isn't a film about Dahmer's killing spree; it's a "Pre-Dahmer" exploration of a young man's transformation. And even then, sorry to say, it doesn't have the ring of accuracy to those who know psychology.

What 'Dahmer' does have is some surprisingly good acting from unknown talents. Jeremy Renner is especially good in his role of Jeffrey Dahmer, and kudos to Artel Kayaru, Matt Newton, Dion Basco and Bruce Davison. The film is artistically directed, well photographed, well edited, and makes good use of music/soundtrack and make-up effects. Overall, it's a very well done movie.

'Dhamer' covers Jeffrey's life prior to his 'splurge', so to speak. It's a development study. The script makes use of Dahmer's close run-in's with police that were blown off, like getting caught trying to return a victim to his house, getting caught drugging drinks in a gay bar, and an incident in his youth with a garbage bag in the back of his mothers car that *wasn't* grass clippings.

The movie makes strong use of flashbacks and scene-skips, but it works to an advantage on film. Jeremy Renner plays both younger and older Dahmer, and the make-up/photography is excellent in making this work on-screen. To some, the movie may seem paceless, but it's absorbing nonetheless. It did seem to end too soon, too much left out; but for the time frame of Dahmer's life it did a good job.

Some interesting notes of my own would be the writer's reference to the Christian cross as a torture device, like worshiping an electric chair or a guillotine. To a serial killer, this would make sense. It brings up interesting social issues for a young gay man, but I honestly don't credit Dahmer with having much debative intellect. Serial killers are normally creatures of immediate sensation, not debative thought. They live 'in the now' and often believe that other people are simply 'items' in their world and not beings with thought processes; like them. Others are a study, not a reality.

I strongly doubt Dahmer felt any revulsion the first time he cut, killed, dismembered, or ate any of his victims. It would have been merely interesting to him. In the real world, you can't use reason to reach unreasonable people. They cannot hear it.

All in all, I suggest renting before buying, and keep in mind its more of an artistic study than a horror movie. Enjoy!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind of a serial murder., July 17, 2004
By 
sharon dabrowski (grosse pointe park, michigan United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
Dahmer is an in depth look at the infamous serial killer. Instead of fully depicting Jeffery Dahmer's heinous acts of brutality and depravity, Dahmer focuses on the individual alone. The film raises the commonly asked question of why? How could this happen? Why did this happen? What turned Dahmer into a serial killer? Anyone going into this film looking for the answers to all of these questions is going to be let down because Dahmer is not about answering the questions. What this film gives you instead is an ambiguous portrait of Jeffery Dahmer the man. There are no solid answers to why Dahmer did what he did, but it does give you one interpretation of what turned Dahmer into a serial killer.
In the film, Dahmer is portrayed as a loner who is incapable of connecting to anyone. Many of the scenes in the film depict Dahmer walking around in complete solitude. I think that these scenes of Dahmer are essential to understanding the movie. There is just a general sense of hopelessness and alienation in this movie. According to the film, alienation is what drove Dahmer over the edge. Dahmer is just so far away from humanity that he is incapable of being saved. No one could save him during his lone descent into madness. It is painful to watch the various people in Dahmer's life, including his father, try to connect with him completely oblivious to the fact that he is too far away from humanity to be saved now.
How does this movie hold up to the actual events? The brutality of the actual murders is toned down and sacrificed for character development, which was a mature decision on the part of the film creators. There are several changes in the storyline, too, but none of these changes are blatant attempts to spice up an already deranged/disturbed story (see Nightstalker). These changes actually do not even effect the movie's overall impact, so do not worry because the overall story of the real life murders stays intact. The movie is still very disturbing without glorifying violence too much.
Overall, the creators of this movie made a bold and mature decision to focus entirely on Dahmer the person. This is not a movie about the trial or all of the things that happened after Dahmer was discovered. This is the perfect movie for people looking for an in depth look at the mind of a serial murderer. There is not much blood, gore, and guts in this movie at all. This is not a Disney movie. This is not even a "real horror" movie. This is a very psychological movie that takes you into the mind of one of America's most depraved serial killers. If anything, you should be disturbed by the fact that this is based upon a true story. None of this was conjured up in someone's head; Dahmer is something that we can encounter in our own sick sad world. It is the kind of film that truly makes you question your own environment. Just how good do you know your own neighbors when appearances can be so deceiving? In the case of Dahmer, the movie succeeds to paint a portrait of a man that very few people would actually like to take a long, hard look at...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I didn't want them to leave", November 3, 2007
By 
TorridlyBoredShopper "T(to the)B(to the)S" ("Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Little Tendril Baseball Team, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
From 1978 until 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer lived a life that became the focal point of worldwide media interest Amongst the most well-documented portions of this were the acts of creating lobotomized sexual slaves, of keeping trophies of victims in various states of decomposition all around his home, and of having the mysterious "blue barrel" that was used for disposal in his home. Some of the lesser-known facts were that he worked in a Chocolate shop, that he had been arrested before because he had sexual contact with a minor, and that his family life was something that had been strained. When reading about him in the book his father's book wrote, (A Father's Story by Lionel Dahmer), you could see some of the ingredients that went from "deviant sexual impulses" and "aberrant drug use" and spiraled into something that nightmarishly consumed 7 people before the police finally intervened.
This is the story of some of that and of his younger years combined, with extreme liberties taken.

One of the things that made this movie different than a lot of other movie was the fact that it didn't focus on blood and gore as much as it did on the characterization of Dahmer. Jeffrey Renner does a great job doing that portrayal, keeping the awkward charm attributed to Dahmer and yet still giving Dahmer a methodical approach that seems cold and disjointed. The movie starts in the middle of Dahmer's killing spree and doesn't really offering conjecture as to why he does everything he does. It does offer the viewers little glimpses into Dahmer's life in a round-about way, however, putting together a portrait of what Dahmer was like. It begins with Dahmer manning the chocolate production line, and from follows Dahmer as he starts looking for people that suit his needs. The first he finds is one of his most well-known, the 14year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone, and goes into how he lured the boy into his home and how the police had intervened but had done nothing in the end. That seemed to be something typical with Dahmer and related something about him and his victims; he was white and was good at choosing words and his victims were minorities and were oftentimes ignored. Along the way the movie also backtracks in the film and shows us the first murder Dahmer participates in, a hitchhiker names Steven Hicks, and shows us how the words "I didn't want him to leave" came into play there. It also explores his homosexuality, the way he drugged people to make them compliant, and the way his brutality escalated.

Remembering that this movie is a work of fiction, this movie could be interesting to a number of people depending on what you want to watch. Since it is about a serial killer the topic is well-known, and if the thought of a Dahmer movie appeals to you then it appeals to you. I personally thought it was well done, again taking liberties, but that is to be expected.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Well Done, January 13, 2006
By 
Amy Lynn (Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ted Bundy / Dahmer / Ed Gein (DVD)
I wasnt expecting much from these films.I know Bundy played in his hometown when it was released but i think the others went straight to video. This set features 3 Dvd's. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and Ed Gein.

Dahmer Review- One man 17 Bodies , 957 Years , His story is finally told. This Dvd stars Jeremy Renner as Jeffrey Dahmer. He gives an excellent performance as a teenage Dahmer and Young man. Dahmer dares to explore the truth of a man many called an abomination of nature. These Dvds are inspired by life events. This dvd will take you into the twisted personal pain that led him to do some of the most extreme cases of human cruelty. This one was well acted but i was hoping for more information at the end. The begining was great, describing Jeffrey's early years but i was hoping they would show where they found the bodies at the end and maybe a bit of the trial. But other than that its good.

Ted Bundy- Charismatic and Handsome but a monster inside. Starring Michael Reilly Burke who does a fantastic job as The young Republican Serial Killer Bundy. I almost believed it was the real Bundy. Bundy was virtually Undetectable and changed the mass murderer profile forever. Step inside the mind of the psychotic madman and ask yourself, if it were to happen again would you seem him coming?

Ed Gein- ''Before there was the term serial killer, there was ''Ed''. This one was horrific. After seeing this video I always wondered why Eddie Gein was considered one of the most gruesome serial killers in history. After all he killed only 2, which wouldn't make him a serial killer since 3 is the lucky number. Just the overall weirdness and the extremes he went to is disturbing. He is a truly unique serial killer. He is the inspiration for Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho and other horror movies. The things he did and the extent of his weirdness is unparalleled by most. The story looks back on Ed's Life and contains some real clips from when Ed was caught back in the 1950's. Ed is played by Steve Railsback who gives an excellent and haunting performance as Ed. The mother of Ed, Carrie Snodgress was great as well. Noone will ever forget the True Story Of Ed Gein.

Recomended for True Crime lovers or anyone interested in learning more about their lives, Why they did what they did or
who they were I highly Recomend these DVD'S. Enjoy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't tell the whole story., September 7, 2002
By 
Corey Anna (Huntsville, AL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
The movie was tasteful, but to tasteful. I understand that it wasn't intended to be a "horror flick" and that wasn't what I was expecting. I believe that the movie was to show some insight to Dahmer's motives and they were somewhat successful on that (of course we'll never be able to completely understand). The most important thing was left out, the cannibalism. Jeffrey Dahmer had bizzare murdering and raping rituals, but I believe peoples curiosity of this infamous man was the cannibalism. The subject doesn't even get touched in the movie. Aside from that, I thought the movie was very good. Casting Jeremy Renner as Dahmer was a good call. He's attractive in a understated way just as Dahmer was. He potrays the quiet, mousy, friendly, and semi-normal personallity that Dahmer was said to have. Some of the supporting actors weren't very good ones, but Artel Kayru (Rodney) was quite skillful in his preformance. The cinematography was lovely and Jeremy Renner's transformation between young and old "Jeffrey" was flawless. All and all a good movie. It's worth watching.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, February 22, 2012
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This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
I'm sure there are a lot of people that wouldn't like this movie. But I liked it alot. Some people expect something different when they go to watch it. But that was a highlight for me. I get tired of watching the same serial killer slasher flick over and over. This shows you the side of Jeffrey Dahmer that so many people have never even thought existed. I thought it was brilliant. Especially Jeremy Renner, he is one of my all time favorite actors and he always brings something amazing to his characters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbing, if Somewhat Glossy, Portrait, May 18, 2003
By 
Sean Patton (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
This is a macabre and spectacularly disturbing portrait of one of America's most reviled killers. While the film does skim over some of the more gory aspects of Dahmer's murders, it makes a very strong statement on his mental and social illnesses.
Jeremy Renner (who I first saw in National Lampoon's Senior Trip, of all things) masterfully portrays Dahmer in both a linear "present-day" story line and a series of very well edited flashbacks. His nervousness and almost frantic urgency while in the company of the living is chilling when contrasted with his calm with the victims post-mortem. The supporting cast is also top-notch. Through their performances we see a domineering father, a blind-sided grandmother and truly fearful and confused cast of victims.
The sets, lighting and cinematography also lend to the eerie tones in Dahmer. From the red lighting in Dahmer's bathroom as he crushes pills with a water glass, to the strobe effect in the seedy club he frequents, the audience is forced into an emotional response to each setting and the events that transpire in them.
Overall, the film does a nice job of getting into the head of a nefarious maniac. Even if it is ambiguous with a lot of the details of Dahmer's killings, it will make you think twice about accepting a drink in a bar, and wonder what the handsome, seemingly harmless boy next door is really up to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dahmer is disturbingly brilliant!, February 23, 2003
By 
Ryan (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
I purchased Dahmer at a local video store last year. I had not seen the film, but all I needed to know was that it was not a major hollywood movie and it was about Jeffery Dahmer. I enjoyed the Silence of the Lambs series and thought that Anthony Hopkins did an excellent job. But, what interested me about Dahmer is that it's about a real person. The film takes place in Milwaukee,Wisconsin and the opening scene shows Jeffery Dahmer looking and acting like a civilized human being while working at a chocolate factory.
The film begins with Dahmer in prison and then flashes back to the beginnings of his murderous ways. Jeremy Renner portrays the canibalistic- necrophiliac-disturbed individual,Jeffery Dhamer, in a very skillful and realistic way. If this was a major motion picture, I can almost guarantee you that Jeremy Renner would win an Oscar.
If you are worried about the content of the film, don't be. It does show some blood, but nothing compared to Silence of the Lambs. Also, don't be worried about scenes of canibalism or necrophilism---it only shows enough to get the point across. The film also contains NO nudity.
If you like Dahmer, you'll like Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, Manhunter, Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, The Deliberate Stranger, and Psycho.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of a dramatized biography, June 12, 2009
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
If you're looking for a slash and gash horror movie, you're not going to get this here. It recollects on Dahmer's killing history. I would definitely recommend this movie if you have some sort of fascination with Jeffrey. I think they casted very well, the acting was good assuming it was low budget, and they did a really good job with the settings. All and all it was a great movie for any serial killer fan, but isn't really something for someone who wants a horror movie.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best for what is not said or shown, September 12, 2002
By 
This review is from: Dahmer (DVD)
This is one of those strange films that people are afraid to say they have seen, that by showing interest in such a film will leave them permanently branded as deviant. Actually this exploration of the bizarre life of Jeffrey Dahmer is more an exploration of a mind descending into serial killing, mutilation, and cannibalization - a mind that just happened to be housed in a gay man- than it is a Hollywood Horror movie. Jeremy Renner surveys this tough role with all the little nuances that bring us into the mechinations of the serial killer's psyche, never making him win our approval, but at the same time offering a canvas of life incidences that somehow make us approach understanding of why this could happen. If we never study horrific deeds, we will never be able to treat or prevent them. Renner makes Dahmer a rather straight forward, obsessed young man, a youth who craves physical affection yet can only find it by relying on drugging his love interests. Pathetic on all levels. Much of what this film reveals is that the beginnings of Dahmer's illness were confined to the available sex clubs which are actually out there. Then the seductions broaden and we are shown how he gradually overcame his conquests and descended into mayhem. The victims we meet are likeable young men and the acting level is rather high in these difficult cameos. We are spared most of the sick and grizzly details of these murders and it is to the director's credit not to inundate us with that. The filming and the music and the lighting is all macabre and in keeping with the subject matter. In short, this is a 'psychobiography' of one of the last century's gruesome serial killers, but it is presented in a way that encourages thought rather than repulsion. Maybe more people will see it now that it is available on DVD.
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Dahmer
Dahmer by David Jacobson (DVD - 2005)
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