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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars innovative, powerful, original -- true crime told as horror film/religious parable.
As other reviewers have noted, NIGHTSTALKER doesn't follow the Richard Ramirez serial killer facts too closely. But that's not what this film is about.

This is history told as a horror film. Indeed, as a religious parable.

We see Ramirez's killings through his own eyes. He stalks and kills his victims while an albino Satan with a blood-stained...
Published on December 18, 2006 by Thomas M. Sipos

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars docudrama plays more like mockudrama
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...
Published on April 2, 2005 by kmc


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars docudrama plays more like mockudrama, April 2, 2005
By 
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous garbage., April 1, 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a detailed or fully true account of Richard Ramirez., September 8, 2003
By 
James McDonald (Lancaster, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst ever, August 20, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
Out of the serial killer movies, this one has to be the worst by far. First, we don't even get to know who the "Nightstalker" really was. He is only shown when he attacks. We know nothing about his life or his upbringing. He hardly even speaks in the movie. Also what was VERY distracting from the beginning, is the camera would shake real fast throughout the movie. It made me very seasick and I wanted to turn it off. I guess it tried to be all "artsy" and show what it's like to be intoxicated on drugs. It was just annoying. My friend lent me his copy. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay for this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The WORST movie i have ever seen!, April 29, 2004
By 
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One word...Corny, November 13, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Nightstalker [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I bought this video thinking I would be more enlightened with the story behind serial killer Richard Ramirez but what I got was a film overloaded with loud gothic music and too much speed frame effects that gave me a headache. The story itself was not much of the killer but of the rookie cop who pursued him. Even the story of the rookie cop was weak. Take my advice...just read the book solely about Richard Ramirez and dump the film. Poor directing and cinematography which wasted the actors talents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Nightstalker, August 18, 2003
By 
Alan Daniels (Ottawa Ontario) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
Horrible, horrible and horrible. This was the worst version of any "truelife" crime movie I have ever seen. What were the directors thinking with all the jumping scences. The story was more focused on the 2 investigating police detectives than the Nightstalker himself. Furthermore, after reading several serial killer articles, books etc, this movie was only about 50% accurate. Don't waste your money.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible, July 8, 2005
By 
Aurora "rory_7" (Washington, D.C.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
this might be the worst movie i have ever seen. almost everything is shown in really fast motion and people randomly have these head-spasms like the exorcist. everyone seems to be on crack or cocaine, even the police. the parts that arent at a super-fast speed are incredibly boring. also, this is not scary, not even one bit. and i scare easily. this was too stupid to be scary.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Richard Ramirez Meets Jacob's Ladder, August 18, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
I can't help but wonder why filmakers still opt to use that same 'JACOB'S LADDER' fluttering head demon moving really fast trick so often...even to this day.
Basically this film uses THE JACOB'S LADDER effect as if it was still new, still disturbing, still interesting, still fresh, when everyone and there mother has used this effect from HELLRAISER SEQUALS to probably MARTHA STEWART HOME LIVING.
Despite the HEAVY reliance on this effect this film does have it's interesting moments and is not a total loss.
I would have found it more interesting if the story had focused more on Richard Ramirez as a person, rather than on the police officers trying to hunt him down. Cops are largely not always terribly interesting in these types of movies. They are ALWAYS stereotypes...so yeah...all the characters in this are complete stereotypes.
I mean the latina catholic police officer is a bit of an idiot and I can never find sympathy for anyone that stands in front of a cross doing holy signs and expecting divine intervention from stupid idols or someone to protect her from Ramirez.
This film is not great, it's not horrible, it is somewhere in between. It really expects you to buy the fact that Ramirez was possessed by demons and that he was completely bonkers. That is probably a given. Well, maybe not the demons. But the female cop character (although performed extremely well) was just uncessary, and I get really tired of watching the typical tough girl trying to make her place in a man's world scenario play out in every single movie. It's as tired as guys trying to act like James Dean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgrace, February 11, 2005
This review is from: Nightstalker (DVD)
I am a true crime/serial killer fanatic. I have not once been able to find a serial killer movie that can portray them correctly. The ending is completely wrong. Ramirez was chased down by a guy after attempting to steal a car.
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Nightstalker
Nightstalker by Chris Fisher (DVD - 2003)
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