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Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer

4.2 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Acclaimed director Nick Broomfield's vision takes you behind the sensational headlines of America'sfirst female serial killer and into the true life and unbalanced mind of a woman trying to deal with a brutal past and an even more deadly future. Both timely and terrifying, this powerful film provides an unsparing look at a madwoman's trial, appeal and execution. You will be mesmerized by the true and tragic story of a paranoid prostitute who began killing her customers in a murderous rage. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says her eyes, radiating madness, will haunt your dreams. Filmed at Aileen Wuornos request, and containing her last interviews, this unflinching film recounts Aileen's life at the margins of society and shows her escalating psychological unraveling as she approaches her execution.


"We have evil in us, all of us do, and my evil just happened to come out because of the circumstances," said serial killer Aileen Wuornos in an interview conducted shortly before her execution in 2002. Director Nick Broomfield, in this sequel to his previous documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, delves further into Wuornos's horrific childhood (including an interview with her biological mother) and follows the appeals process as her case goes through its final efforts. But the movie's core are the fascinating, devastating interviews with Wuornos herself, alternately lucid and delusional as she obsesses about the police, whom she believes allowed her murders to happen to increase the potential for profit from movies and books about the case. Anyone who's seen Monster, based on Wuornos's story, will find the real woman even more compelling and frightening than Charlize Theron's award-winning portrayal. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Monster trailer

Product Details

  • Directors: Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001Z36Y6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,441 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By V. Marshall VINE VOICE on August 12, 2004
Format: DVD
This film is stunning. The real Aileen Wournos is alternately scary and sad. This documentary is openly revealing and will make you contemplate justice.

Aileen Wournos has been labeled a serial killer because of the murders she committed on 7 men who sought her services as a prostitute in Florida. Her story is depicted in the movie, "Monster," and after watching this film I give more credit to Charlene Theron (the actress who portrayed Wournos) because Theron really got her mannerisms down. Beyond the glory of the Hollywood movie however is a life that spun out of control. Wournos was born as a breech birth, abused drugs, came from a broken home, was sexually promiscuous and was ostracized from her home at 13 after giving birth to a baby and giving it up for adoption. So what, a lot of people experience the same circumstances and manage not to commit murder, right? Well in my opinion this case is as complicated as it gets. In this film, director Nick Broomfield brings to a head all of these questions and allows the public to see the behind the scenes mind of a notorious "serial killer," and how she got that way.

Wournos gives several interviews during 2002 to Broomfield and as the film progresses she changes. At first Wournos appears severely angry, completely devoid of manners and calculating. Her eyes are black and somehow eerie to peer into and her laugh is a wicked cackle. When she loses her temper she does look like a "monster" and is quiet scary. But as the time passes it becomes more than obvious that the woman is completely insane. Her story changes and her original plea of self-defense becomes cold-blooded murder and then she changes her tale back again.
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Format: DVD
I saw Patty Jenkin's "Monster" but did not see British documentarian Nick Broomfield's 1992 work "Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer" before I watched his 2003 postscript "Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer." All of this happened after Aileen Wuornos was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing seven men who picked her up as a prostitute during the 1980s (one of who was trying to save her). Even without seeing "The Selling of Serial Killer" it is clear that the 1992 documentary was about how Wournos' flaky lawyer, the born again Christian who "adopted" her, and the cops who worked her case were all trying to make money off of the "America's first female serial killer" (the title taken from the "Guiness Book of World Records" is hyperbole, but what else is new). At the start of "Aileen" we learn that a whole bunch of cops resigned, which would seem to vindicate Bloomfield's position.
The original documentary matters when you watch "Aileen" because in many ways this one is about Broomfield having to deal with Aileen's confessions to the murders as he stubbornly holds on to the idea that at least the first killing really was in self-defense. That is what he wants to talk about at the end while, in a profoundly ironic twist, Wuornos wants to expand on the thesis of his first documentary and talk about how the cops knew she was killing man after the first one but let her keep doing it so they could get more money for selling the story rights. The question is whether Aileen is saying whatever she can to hasten her execution or if she has indeed told the truth, but Bloomfield refuses to believe it.
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Format: DVD
This is a documentary about Aileen Wuomos, who was executed in Florida after ten years on death row for murdering seven men. Here we meet the real Aileen, a prostitute who worked the truck routes in Florida. We get to meet some of the people in her life. And we can clearly see that, especially at the end of the film, she is insane.

Aileen had a horrible life. She comes from Michigan and grew up without a mother in a brutal household. When she was 13 she had a baby who was given up for adoption. After that, she wasn't let back into her home and actually lived in the woods. In Michigan this meant freezing in cold and snow. That's why she went to Florida, where it is warm.

She was a lesbian and had a few years of happiness with her lover, but her lover testified against her at the trial after tricking her to reveal her guilt in a series of taped phone calls. This all should have made me feel sorry for her, but I couldn't.

In the trial she testified that each of the men she murdered abused her in some way. She gave very graphic testimony about this but the jury didn't believe her. Later, after she was on death row awhile she said she made it all up and that she murdered them because she wanted her money. And then she whispered to the filmmaker when she thought she was off camera that she was, in fact, abused.

She's angry a lot. And she also smiles sweetly at times, especially when she greets the filmmaker. And then she goes into her story about how it was the cops who let her murder because they wanted to sell her story to the movies. She is probably paranoid about this. But of course, there is a movie out now that seems to indicate that Hollywood knew that this would make a good story.
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