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on June 5, 2013
So far, it looks like only two people have rated this film. One of them gave "Nightstalker" a 5, while the other gave it a 1. I'll give it a 3, splitting the difference.

This film is probably a fail, but it's not as big of a fail as you might think. During the opening credits I cringed, and thought to myself, "Oh, man. Why did I waste a few bucks on this garbage?" Luckily, I gave it a little more time. But I think the biggest problem with this film: they tried to get a little too artistic with it all, making it come across at times as a bad 80s MTV video. Most films try to come from one person's viewpoint, but this film comes from two: Richard Ramirez, one of the most sadistic serial killers of all time; and Roselyn Sanchez, who plays a homicide detective and actually gives a really strong performance here. Probably stronger than the film ultimately deserved. But how do you show a film from two viewpoints?

Well, when the film is coming from Mr. Ramirez's viewpoint, he's usually accompanied by the Devil. (I kid you not). And at the same time, the camera shakes and so does his head; after all, he's on drugs and that must be what it's like to be really, really high. But when the film comes from Ms. Sanchez's viewpoint, well, the camera doesn't shake and she's the main character in the scene. Oh, and the Devil doesn't seem to be around.

I'll admit that I'm not an expert on the true Nightstalker case, and I'm not an expert on Mr. Ramirez. I did watch a YouTube interview with him, and he tried to be deceptive when asked if he's a Satanist. He hedged on, "Are you evil?" but he finally answered something like, "Yes, I'm evil, but not 100 percent." And he added something along the lines of, "But everyone is evil." I may not agree with Mr. Ramirez on much, but I will admit that he does have a point here. Have you ever met anyone that is truly "good"? I sure haven't. Especially Mr. Ramirez.

So, I'll stick with my 3 rating here, albeit a pretty weak 3. I'll give it a very minor recommendation if you're interested in the genre, but otherwise, this would be a pass.
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on December 8, 2014
This was a pretty bad rendition of a horrific story. I didn’t care for the erratic camera jumbling when the killer was committing his crimes. I think I understand why the director did this but it just didn’t flow very well and I found it very disruptive. I am very familiar with this story and while obviously you can’t tell this huge of a story in a 90 minute movie without having to omit some things. Major details were changed and things were just left out. I just felt like this was thrown together. I have read books on this, read many articles and seen other movies and the director/writer didn’t even seem to try to care to make this true to the story. Let’s not even talk about the ending. I don’t want to spoil it but I will just say the way Richard Ramirez was caught at the end of this film was not how it really happened so I really don’t know why they chose to show it this way. I just feel this was a very poor representation of what really went down, it wasn’t told very well and was frankly put together very sloppily.
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on April 2, 2005
This movie is based on a True Story<<--i used capitol letters, wow. However, it is not from the real world that i know of and really is a "slasher" with three conflicting tones or more like formulas, maybe even four: the brutal realism of a docudrama, the "slasher" horror flick, feminist pic a la "silence of the lambs" and then fourth, even a thriller. All have loose ends.

Roselyn Sanchez and Frank Luis both competently play partners in the LAPD who arrive at the first murder scene where a victims eyeball was taken out found by Sanchez in the fridge. Then their dialogue suspiciously seemed a bit too light to the whole situation--Luis decides to one-up a homicide detective in his own way as they leave the scene and they seem to want to just get some donuts afterwards. Then they arrive at more crimes and even Sanchez religious mother seems to have been saved by her godly aura from the killer as he breaks in her house. Meanwhile, in between barfing at crime scenes, Sanchez at first seems to have a knack for catching homicidal killers. Then, of course having little to no reaction AGAIN as she did at first crime scene, she does nothing at numerous inappropriately sexist advances during her new "promotion" to homicide. She does nothing apparently because she may get fired.

Surprisingly, all these things i pointed out are the only good things in this movie and would have worked if it werent for this director trying to add in all these other tones. All these things would be okay if this were a docudrama. We learn nothing about Richard Ramirez except that he hides his face with his long hair and needs streetwise prostitutes for company before saying never mind and killing and raping them and everyone else that seems more helpless. All these things are intercut with the killer's perspective as he kills and kills and kills hiding his face from anyone who looks at it, yes, even his victims are not allowed to look which is why they say her eyes were cut out at the first scene.

I should have known immediately, as another Amazon review pointed out, that the music the killer listens to is modern satanic rock that couldnt have existed at his time. That should have immediately told me that this film is lacking in its realistic docudrama portrayal. And everytime we see him we also see flashes of a devil demonic guy that jumps around like well, a modern satanic rocker would with vampire teeth and white painted skin. This is supposed to show us the killer's mindset which we find out is more of a satanic ritual--he paints things like devil and pentagrams in blood at various murders.

So, the movie turns into a "slasher" after all. The movie portrays Richard Ramirez as some plot marker just like everyone else in the movie. Sanchez is religious at home, but lets her partner sniff coke while in police car with her. Then being chased by an imaginary killer(slashers do that, uh, oh, its a cat), and then the actual killer. She also allows herself to be sexually harassed numerous times just so she can stay as homicide detective to catch the killer and oh, yea, its personal because her mother was almost killed and now she is almost killed after all that.
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on April 1, 2004
This movie makes Paul W. S. Anderson and Uwe Boll look talented, and their flicks appear enjoyable. Unbelievably, Fisher's "Nightstalker" manages to be, simultaneously, campy and filthy, annoying and dull, unnerving and boring, ridiculous and repulsive. There is really nothing good about it, apart from perhaps the cover and Bret Roberts - the actor who portrays Ramirez (and even he looks - expectedly - embarrassed when the hack "director", Fisher, has him fondle a flour-covered "vampire" weirdo, whom Fisher, with his apparent 12-year-old mentality, intended to be a "symbolic" representation of what Ramirez sees in his "possessed" mind during the crime spree).
The "story" is sub-imbecilic and is not in fact even loosely based on the actual events. Fisher's "writing" skills are almost as high as those of a drug-induced 13 year old "nu-metalhead", fresh after drinking a sixpack of beer and viewing "House of 1000 Corpses" with his Limp Korn Zombie tape playing right into his ears. In fact, said metalhead would probably write and direct a better movie than Fisher's one (well, it certainly could not be any worse!) - at least in *his* film, there would be no unnerving stroboscopic Pokemon "techniques", which Fisher loves so much.
As far as the director's "factual" treatment and "research" go, this flick's script was apparently based on Fisher's experience of trying to read a short, misspelled summary of an article reviewing a book with a chapter whose part described a documentary about comic books depicting serial killers, who happened to include Ramirez. Fisher's directing is, if possible, even worse than his "writing" - often, this flick is simply unwatchable, with its shaky, chaotic camera movement and ridiculous (and nauseatingly long) high-speed segments set to obnoxious, vomit-inducing, ear-shattering noise which Fisher apparently considers to be "music" (and which in fact did not even exist in 1985 - Night Stalker would listen to the likes of AC/DC and Springsteen, not some antitalent, late 1990s "Nu Metal" bands).
The only potentially redeeming aspect of this movie might be the fact that, much like Ed Wood's movies (which are, of course, infinitely better, involve much more talent, decent music and superior directing), it often manages to be unintentionally funny. For instance, Fisher often makes an infantile attempt at inserting cheap "ambience" into scenes by filling their backgrounds with repeated white noise and incomprehensible mumbling done in a low bass. He intends this mumbling to be the "voice of Satan", but it sounds exactly like the Psychlos from John Travolta's doomed personal religious project ("Battlefield Earth", that is). Therefore, every time I heard Fisher's "Satan", I would think "Ooh-oh, it's Travolta the Terl!" and burst out laughing. Fisher's ludicrous image of "Satan" himself - the aforementioned flour-covered bald Howard the Duck reject with sharp teeth - made the scenes even funnier.
As for the DVD itself, there were some deleted scenes (even though the whole film should have been one deleted scene), a trailer, a bit better than the flick itself (in the same sense as gonorrhea is better than AIDS), plus a commentary track from Mr Antitalent himself, Chris Fisher (at least I've read that there is a commentary, on the DVD box - I did not actually listen to it, since I have no intention to hear talentless dolts drone about themselves.)
A while ago I bought the DVD with the TV film about Ramirez ("Manhunt") from Amazon Europe, and any second of that film highly surpasses Fisher's lameness. I never thought I could see someone less talented than Paul W. S. Anderson and Uwe Boll actually find employment in Hollywood - but today I saw him, and his name was "Chris Fisher".
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on March 15, 2016
Talk about a $#!t flick! Wow did the writer of this thing not do their homework. Cheesy as hell, totally inaccurate and completely unfocused. It has more to do with the fictional female cop who never even existed in the first place than ol richard himself. If he ever saw this film himself and what a victimised wimp they made him out to be when the "demon" wasnt pulling his strings, im not sure how he would have reacted himself but im sure as sure can be it wouldnt be a positive reaction. I wonder if this movie was just someones way of getting back at richard remirez (hope thats spelled right) for being so defiant and carefree during his trial as he would just laugh at you if you hated on him. This is it. The closest thing to justice for the victims familys as its EVER going to get. Laughable.
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on April 29, 2004
Being a true crime fanatic, i was very much looking forward to this film. I suffered the entire length of this movie and could not have been more disappointed.
Firstly, on the back of the DVD, it refers to the killer as 'robert ramirez' not Richard Ramirez. That alone should have prepared me for the levels of authenticity! it is packed to the gills with fiction and the directors/producers/screen writers should have their fingers removed.
who ever called "gigli" as the worst movie ever made had obviously never seen this steaming pile of CRAP!
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on July 21, 2013
First, Stay away from the Blu-Ray disk released by SG Entertainment. It's a very poor transfer, fuzzy. Resolution is very bad; looks like someone copied it from a poor quality VHS tape. One of the extras is the trailer for the movie, and the trailer is clearer than the feature.

The movie is about the serial killer nicknamed the Nightstalker, and that's about all that's factual about this movie. The real high points in this film are Roselyn Sanchez and Danny Trejo, who both add class to something that otherwise makes you scratch your head at times and say, "That's not true."

However, Ms Sanchez is very believable and keeps the viewer concerned about her character's well being. I think Ms Sanchez' portrayal of Detective Martinez is the selling point of this film & the only reason to watch it. She plays a great character & keeps the viewer wondering what's going to happen to her. IMO, this would have been a better movie had the writers focused more on the character of Detective Martinez & her home life, her friendship with Officer Luis (Danny Trejo), her struggles within the 1980s LAPD, and how it all intertwines with her investigation of a sadistic serial killer. They could have just left the Nightstalker's name out of it. It would have been more interesting and made a better movie, instead of the viewer saying at the end of the movie, "That's not what really happened."
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on August 25, 2014
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on this movie! This was one of the WORST movies I have ever seen! I had to force myself to watch it because I bought it. It was dark alot of the movie and anytime I guess they were supposed to be showing Richard Ramirez all it did was this irritating noise and flashes of weirdness. This was so bad...I could have done a better job!
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on August 30, 2012
Entirely inspired by The Nightstalker case with much artistic license implemented. Ramirez is portrayed here as a real simpleton, completely drug-addled, barely able to speak, except yelling "Say you love Satan!"* to his victims. The actor does not look at all like Ramirez, but actually more like Trent Reznor, if anyone.

Taking place in the midst of the Satanic Panic hysteria during the bloody remmus of '85, music from Deicide permeates the film instead of his favorite band AC/DC. A 'demon' appears to him frequently, in the form of a pale, bald man resembling a muscular Nosferatu, alluding that he is 'possessed'. The modus operandi is that he kills for "Satan"** ... and drugs.

The character herein hunts down a lovely female police officer turned homicide investigator on the case, who at one point leaks the suspect sketch to an unscrupulous reporter, who not only publishes the sketch, but her address in the paper! Of course, the Nightstalker goes searching for her residence, lurking about, leaving a bloody pentagram on the door of her mother's room as a 'warning', She later tracks him down to a darkened street where he was in congress with a favorite prostitute. Seems the character is quite a foot fetishist. Her partner is a grizzled cop named Frank Luis played by Danny Trejo, who is dispatched by the serial killer, while the resident Lieutenant nurses spiked coffee from his mug during duty.

During the final scenes in the film, one finds oneself remarking, "That's not at all what happened!". No mention of the Avia shoes, or his trip to San Francisco, or the beating from East LA residents.

In the end, the real story is much better than that cobbled together by this movie. The Nightstalker is portrayed here more like a character in a bad slasher film with 'occult' overtones, than any resemblance to actual events.

In short, if you are looking for factual information on the Richard Ramirez case, or even a semi-factual fictional rendition, it will not be found here. Instead, this film comes off as being another characterization altogether, with general similarities. ∞

_____________
* Ironically, a phrase also shared by Ricky Kasso.
** or should that be 'Satin', in this case?

[For the record, perhaps it bears repeating, Satanists do not endorse such activities. In fact, it is condemned. Again, for those interested in what Satanists actually do, read The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey. This film review is written for entertainment and contemplative purposes.]
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on September 8, 2003
A full complete story of killer Richard Ramirez and all of his "Night Stalker" killings has yet to be told. This film is not the one. This is a very poorly-made drama and badly filmed project. The sexual acts and the murders are all shown in a very fast speed. Subliminal quick shots. It goes by too fast for the naked eye to see every frame. You will have to slow down, "step" or frame by frame your DVD playing to see what is going on. Not a very detailed and not much insightful information given in this one. The makers were too carried away with the special effects. This version of Richard Ramirez is all wrong. Even the capture of Ramirez is wrong. He actually was caught in the daytime by one man and the rest of the neighborhood chased after him. This film does not portray that. The special effects of the evilness of Ramirez (the evil spirit shown in special effect) is probably accurate, I mean it sets the tone of what Ramirez is. DVD includes in special features, two deleted scenes.
The best version I can recommend to you is,Manhunt: Search for the Night Stalker (1989-TV) with A. Martinez as Lt. Gil Carrillo.
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