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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing
This is a riveting movie that takes us to places, figuratively and literally, that make us glad to be back home again, safe and sane.

It takes us into the mind, behind the piercing blue eyes, of a serial killer. Malcom McDowell delivers one of his best performances ever as Evilenko, a man who killed and ate numerous children and young women. The brilliant...
Published on February 11, 2006 by R. Schultz

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT IS THE POINT???
I think the world of Malcolm McDowell and so when he mentioned this movie in an interview he gave as an extra on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, I ordered the DVD. I thought EVILENKO was to be the true story of Andrei Chikatilo. With a story as bizarre and as chilling and as powerful as that of the actual killer, why would anyone mess with it all that much? Perhaps compress...
Published 23 months ago by Richard Masloski


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing, February 11, 2006
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
This is a riveting movie that takes us to places, figuratively and literally, that make us glad to be back home again, safe and sane.

It takes us into the mind, behind the piercing blue eyes, of a serial killer. Malcom McDowell delivers one of his best performances ever as Evilenko, a man who killed and ate numerous children and young women. The brilliant acting raises this movie far above the current spate of serial killer accounts though. It has unique intensity. McDowell convinces us of his character, a man wrapped in rabid loyalty to the Communist Party in the decade just before the Party's fall. From his gravelly voice, to the great Russian bear hug he extends to his victims - McDowell concentrates new kinds of tyranny and menace into his portrayal.

The movie also takes us onto the scene of Communist Russia's last years. Filmed in the Ukraine, it shows both the milder side of life under the Communist regime (children playing along tree-lined pathways) and the grim side (interrogation rooms with stained walls and the relentless sound of water dripping somewhere in the background).

I don't now why this movie got so little publicity. It deserves to be considered as one of the top movies of the year. And McDowell deserves top awards for leading us down those tree-lined paths - into a nightmare.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinarily powerful look inside the mind of a serial killer, January 27, 2007
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
Serial killers are probably the most monstrously fascinating individuals on the face of the Earth, in part because we still know so little about these rarest of men (they are almost always men, after all). While many a film has been made on the subject, few manage to offer a compelling look at the minds behind these horrific crimes, choosing instead to concentrate on the blood and gore of the killing acts. Evilenko doesn't cater to prurient interests, concentrating instead on the mind of a deranged killer and the authorities' determined search to find him and bring him to justice. Adapted from the novel The Communist Who Ate Children by Italian journalist David Grieco, the story was inspired by the real-life serial killing spree of Andrei Chikatilo, the Rostov Ripper, who killed 52 Russian women, boys, and girls between 1978 and 1990, sexually molesting many of them and reportedly indulging in some degree of cannibalism. Technically speaking, therefore, Evilenko does not attempt to tell Chikatilo's story as it actually happened.

With such a fascinating subject and acclaimed actor Malcolm McDowell taking on the role of the sadistic Evilenko, it's a pity this film has garnered such little publicity. Yes, it's an Italian film, but it deserves both critical and popular success here in America. McDowell is mesmerizing as the psychological time bomb that turns to killing rather late in life. Despite Evilenko's evil, McDowell makes him approachable, thereby drawing you into his unique window on the world. What lies behind his rage? That is really what the movie is about. It also explains why we never actually see the victims; showing us the viscerally monstrous results of his handiwork would have robbed him of his humanity and prevented us from even trying to understand him.

The film's most disturbing scene actually takes place within the first few minutes, when Evilenko tries to molest one of his young female students. That incident costs him his teaching job and adds a super accelerant to the fire already burning within his heart. Evilenko is, at his very being, a devoted Communist. As such, his very self-image is being increasingly diminished by the mid-1980s reforms of Gorbachev and the clearly imminent death throes of Soviet Communism. This, we are led to believe, in conjunction with Evilenko's hatred for the anti-Communist father he never knew and certain sexual issues, is the driving force behind his killing spree. His victims are all young, ranging from small children to young ladies, and include both boys and girls. While we are aware of the mounting numbers, the actual murders are almost of secondary importance as we maintain our focus on the mind of Evilenko. The killing spree baffles investigators, with bodies turning up in various locations and no witnesses coming forward with anything resembling a lead. The public, of course, are not even informed of the danger because of the Communist government's reluctance to admit that a comrade could dare do such things.

Detective Vadim Timurovic Lesiev (Marton Csokas) is given charge of the investigation and pursues the unknown killer relentlessly. He even goes so far as to enlist the help of a psychoanalyst (a gay Jewish doctor initially counted among the scores of men investigated as suspects) in coming up with a profile of the killer. Dr. Richter (Ronald Pickup) himself becomes a most fascinating character. He does succeed in aiding the investigation - but only in the most unexpected of ways. In the end, though, it really comes down to a contest of wills between Evilenko and Lesiev, culminating in the most bizarre interrogation scene imaginable. Lesiev will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice.

The film does leave a number of unanswered questions. While we are given compelling reasons for Evilenko's crimes, we are not treated to a complete psychological evaluation of the man. We learn almost nothing about his childhood or young adult years, for example. His kind of sickness would have definitely revealed itself in different ways during his formative years. There's also the matter of his wife, a dour woman who must have become aware of her husband's "hobby" at some point before the murders ended. The film also introduces the idea that Evilenko possesses some kind of hypnotic power over his victims as well as potential witnesses. I can buy one soldier going mad after witnessing Evilenko cannibalizing a victim, but it's really problematic when another soldier has no memory of his face-to-face encounter with the man. The investigation into the crime itself becomes problematic when Lesiev's boss tragically discounts human life by insisting that Lesiev make his move on the suspect only after he kills his next victim, wanting to remove all doubts as to whether or not Evilenko is guilty.

If you're looking for blood and gore, this isn't your movie. This is a psychological thriller, not a horror movie. Some will still be repulsed by the very nature of the story itself, but the sad fact is that men like Evilenko do exist in the world, deranged individuals whose powerlessness in society leads them to dominate the most vulnerable of human beings in the sickest of ways. This film is particularly interesting and important because it examines a sociopolitical influence on the serial killer's actions. Evilenko represents Soviet Communism itself, with his personal collapse mirroring that of the state. That, McDowell's extraordinary performance, and so many other aspects of the film I don't have time or space to talk about, make Evilenko one of the most impressive and compelling serial killer-based movies I have ever seen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT IS THE POINT???, September 17, 2012
By 
Richard Masloski (New Windsor, New York USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
I think the world of Malcolm McDowell and so when he mentioned this movie in an interview he gave as an extra on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, I ordered the DVD. I thought EVILENKO was to be the true story of Andrei Chikatilo. With a story as bizarre and as chilling and as powerful as that of the actual killer, why would anyone mess with it all that much? Perhaps compress events, change some names, but the truth was way too terrible to tamper with. Or so I thought. But watching this movie is like wasting time studying a student drawing of, say, Munch's THE SCREAM and not paying due diligence to the actual masterpiece.

So I watched the movie before the whistle was blown in the interminable extras on disc two. I watched the movie thinking, wow, the murderer was a hypnotist in addition to being a cannibal? And - wow - how the head cop outsmarts the villain during the interrogation, pretending to be himself hypnotized into taking off his clothes and helping Evilenko spank the monkey. Wow, I thought, reality trumps fiction almost always! I thought I was watching a close semblance to the truth of the hideous history - and when I discovered that the bulk of the storyline was fabricated, I slumped and wondered what the heck was the point?

One point of the writer/director is given in his long, long interview on disc two. David Grieco pushes the notion that the breakup of communist Russia was the catalyst for the birth of Evilenko/Chikatilo. According to him, the one had much to do with the other. A fragmentation of identity, sort of, and a throwback to the origins of mankind where we ate one another. Frankly, I didn't buy any of it. Just like I was sorry to have bought this film. When I googled the true story behind this mess I was stunned at how much more fascinating, frightening, fiendish the true story was compared to anything fabricated in this movie. It boggles the mind wondering why anyone would base a film on a true story and then falsify and sanitize the truth of what was its supposed inspiration. Why promote this movie as being based on the real life story and then water it down so? Blood is thicker than water, after all!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pedophillia & Murder, June 30, 2006
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
Evilenko, is based on the true story of a serial killer known as Andrei Chikatilo who was a former member of the soviet union. Malcolm McDowell puts on an excellent portrayl of "Enko" (They changed the name for the slight differences in the film). The director stated that he didn't want to make a documentry.

The film covers the last two taboos: Cannibalism & Pedophillia. Therefore as a warning it is a very brutal film. Some may even be repulsed it. But of course this is all a part of the film's honest portrayl of a monster.

In my opinion, this film, out of all serial killer films: dahmer, gacy, bundy, gein and manson, was the most gruesome, difficult film to watch of them all. However unlike the others, even though they changed a couple of things, i felt it was the most close to the fact dipiction of a murderer. That and the acting is what makes this film worth watching.

The Dvd features are better than most serial killer films because you get a documentry about the real killer and extras.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Russian rude awakening, February 15, 2013
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This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
Russia finallly enters the 20th century socially with their revelation that they have a serial killer, a concept totally foriegn to their way of life and thinking-althouigh this version is a fictionalized docudrama style film, it is done with an unwavering adhesion to the facts of this case, one of the most prolific serial killers of all time much less Russia- Malcolm Mcdowell was superb,totally capturing the essence of depravity that no doubt infused the murderer, and leading you down a path you dont want to follow, but must-although much of this was covered [and very well] in the movie Citizen X, it delves deeper into the lives all of those involved in the case, and definitely holds your attention to the end
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Butcher of Rostov, September 26, 2012
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This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
This movie is a fictional story based on the book The Communist Who Ate Children by David Grieco about Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo, a.k.a. The Butcher of Rostov, who confessed of murdering 56 women and children in the U.S.S.R. and was sentenced to death for 52 of them along with 5 counts of sexual assault in 1992. This movie is not a historical account of Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo's life, just a fictional story based on him dealing with his murders, his paedophilia, and the changing times in the U.S.S.R. from communism to the introduction of glasnost and perestroika by Gorbachev. This movie can be difficult for many to watch due to the subject material, so please be warned, Malcolm McDowell does an incredible job acting the part though (5 stars for this). Overall I give the film 4 stars out of 5.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's Ok, but too many flaws, January 16, 2012
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
The best thing about this movie is Malcolm McDowell. You can read what it is about elsewhere, so no point in me repeating.

The storyline did hold my interest for the most part, but things happen for no apparent reason. I liked the psychoanalyst getting his comeuppance, but what a coincidence that a guy at random in line behind the killer happens to be able to find the killer when years of police investigation can't. Why didn't the police employ another psychoanalyst when he died?

How was Evilenko picked up by the police, not once, but twice, for no apparent reason?

An interview with a prostitute reveals that Evilenko has the ability to hypnotize people. From that point in the movie he has become a master hypnotist, a skill not shown before.

The senior officer tells the investigating officer, that one more murder won't matter. So why not just take out Evilenko and see if the killings stop?

There's plenty more holes for the viewer to go 'Duh!' over.

Much over the acting was bland, but as well as MM I thought the wife was pretty realistic as someone who believed everything her husband said.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the subject matter in this movie is of the highest importance..., March 12, 2011
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
This movie is a "must-see" for all... There are elements in this story that take place that are ultra important for the general public to be aware of. This film is difficult to watch and very disturbing, however, if you can manage to view it, very educational. People need to be aware of "other sides" of reality. Though this is a "true crime" "serial killer movie", it has phenomenal aspets to it. Andrei, the serial killer not only murders rapes and eats people, but this tale indicates that he also hypnotizes anyone he wants, though it may not all be by choice. An extremely interesting film, unique in that anyone who watches it can somewhat see how the human mind can work, what is not only possible but is a reality, the usage of the brain and what it is capable doing, and or how supernatural external entities can take over, either way. In this case it is not clear cut, exept to say that Andrei appears to perpetuate it all, but in one case where he did not seem to want to murder a girl until she performed fallatio on him. I need to read the book to get a more accurate viewpoint on that stance, and additionally, I have not seen the bonus features yet. Now here is something that probably not one single person who reads this will believe... I once knew a man who could hypnotize a mouse to walk into a snakes mouth. I wasn't sure weather to believe it myself, of course at the time I thought this was far fetched. However, this man was able to get inside of my head and made me not only think of a word of his choice, but the word reverberrated in my mind for at least a good minute I would say. The word just kept getting louder faster, pounding inside of my head. I could not get the word out of my head, it just finally stopped... And when it did, this man said just the word, nothing else, outloud to me... And I am definately not crazy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grim Business..., March 6, 2009
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
Andrei Evilenko (Malcolm McDowell from A Clockwork Orange, The Barber, etc.) is a devout communist. Unfortunately, his beloved Soviet Union is collapsing around him. Evilenko also happens to be a prolific serial-rapist / murderer and voracious cannibal ( most of his victims are children). When we first meet Andrei, he is an elementary school teacher. We are quickly convinced that this is not the best job for him, as he attacks a small girl within minutes. Yep, this guy is a disgusting, extremely dangerous beast. Evilenko is a walking abomination, a man consumed by perverse demons and hideous ghosts. So intense is his bitterness and hate that he can only destroy those in his path. Detective Lesiev (Marton Csokas) is assigned to track down the infamous killer. This leads to several twists and near-misses where Evilenko slips right through the manhunt. I must say that as repugnant as Andrei was, what I found most "shocking" was the lengths to which Lesiev would go in order to catch him and extract his confession. The final interrogation is pretty wild, yet ultimately effective. EVILENKO is an unsettling story of a man-made monster using party affiliation and chaos as cover for his malignant deeds. Highly recommended for those w/ the stomach for it...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly bad, February 11, 2007
By 
James Luckard (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (DVD)
I had seen "Citizen X" and wanted to see this for comparison. There is none. Forget about the fact that this account is highly fictionalized, a good film doesn't have to reflect the facts religiously. Nothing about this mess works, however. The first mistake is making the central character the killer, Evilenko (the subtlety of that character name reflects the intelligence of the film). We simply see him go around luring children for about half an hour, without any tension, because we know what's coming. A subplot of him working for the KGB is started, then forgotten.

Finally, we are introduced to the cop. However he never does any investigative work, and poor Marton Csokas seems to have only one facial expression in this dreck. Scene after scene just flows past, like a series of tableaux. I've never seen a more tedious serial killer movie. It's certainly not a thriller, no suspense is built up.

Scenes follow without even a logical progression. For example, Evilenko is among those brought before a witness for a lineup, yet we are never told how he was found for the lineup. A plot line with a psychiatrist is begun, then quickly discarded, and the cop's shrill wife vanishes before she can become a character either.

This is a movie made by people with no knowledge of storytelling or how to engage an audience. Just watch "Citizen X" for an example of what to do right. It's merely competent, but looks like a masterpiece in comparison to this. It has a compelling main character (the cop), with a personal obsession with the case, and a fully developed cast of supporting characters, especially the fantastic mentor character played by Donald Sutherland.

Avoid this cinematic bilge at all costs and save two hours of your life in the process.
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Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)
Evilenko (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) by David Grieco (DVD - 2006)
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