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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars

on December 2, 2014
"How about a nice piece of cherry pie?" After all, when I look at crime-scene photos -- they are all over the web for true-crime aficionados, after all -- all I want to do is dip a fork into a pie that is blood red. And gooey. Just like Edmund Kemper likes it, according to this film, I guess. Ah, I can't wait to get a taste of it! Yummy. . . .

This would be one of the attempts at a joke in "Kemper," and I will admit that I found it mildly humorous. After all, I did order up this film about one of the least understood serial killers ever, and so I must have at least a mildly-twisted sense of humor. But there is probably more unintentional humor here than intentional, as if the director never screened it to a living audience before its most likely straight-to-DVD release.

I don't claim to be an expert on Mr. Kemper, but I have seen enough documentaries to know the basic story. And I've read books from FBI profilers such as John Douglas, where most of those profilers seem to have an odd "soft spot" for a guy with around a 140 IQ that had the bad habit of killing people, including his grandparents first and then his mother later. But most profilers tend to find Mr. Kemper a real enigma, even though many admit they "like him," in an odd sort of way.

But this film seems to stray completely away from the true tale, for no apparent reason. Is it because Mr. Kemper is still alive, and even though he's hanging out in prison, he could sue if the story is too close to reality? He's 65 years old or so, so you have to figure that won't last much longer. But I will confess I don't know the legality of these types of situations. However, the original true story is so twisted, so bizarre, so interesting, why change it? Truth is stranger than fiction, as they say. Except what is stranger is why the creators of this film diverged so far from the truth. (From memory, I believe that Mr. Kemper was somewhat of a "cop groupie," hanging out in lounges to be near them. The writer seems to have "elevated" this idea, making him more involved than he was. Suffice it to say, I think it was a huge mistake.)

It is interesting though that nowadays, especially with the advent of inexpensive HD cameras, almost anyone can make a movie that looks pretty good. This is in HD widescreen, presented in 1080P for your Amazon Fire box, and I think that it does look pretty sharp. But it doesn't sound as good, in the sense of what the actors say and how they say it. The acting is really pretty bad, just behind how bad the writing is. The direction? Well, what was the director to do? Hire better actors? He probably didn't have the budget would be my guess.

With a pretty bizarre story such as Mr. Kemper's, would somebody PLEASE make a movie that's actually good? It shouldn't be too hard, as he's already been fairly forthcoming in interviews with regards to his crimes. I've got it! Let HIM write the script! He has plenty of spare time, hanging out in a prison cell only wishing that he could kill again, and he knows this story best as he was there. And I'm sure that he could do better; he surely couldn't do worse.

Instead of this film, why not watch a Stephen King film instead? Might I recommend "Thinner," even though it's not my favorite, but it does a better job with dark humor and dark desserts. Either way, most if not all of his films are fiction too, but at least his movies have some decent moments here and there. But don't forget to grab a piece of cherry pie first, before making that One-click purchase. Come to think of it, why not make that strawberry pie instead? After all, that would make for a bloody-good combination.
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on January 16, 2018
Why do they feel the need to do these low-budget direct to video serial killer movies and ALWAYS drag them into modern day because they're too cheap or can't be bothered to do the research? First off, the actor they cast looks and acts NOTHING like Kemper. Second, they set this in modern day, which makes zero sense since it's nearly impossible to be a serial killer in this day and age what with smartphones, drones, and social media. This was such a lazy attempt to cash in on the True Crime craze and it is NOT worth watching. I HIGHLY recommend you watch Mindhunter on Netflix for a more accurate take on Kemper.
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on August 24, 2009
I am extremely satisfied with this purchase. I used it for a class I taught, and the class loved it. It help provide insight into a truly disturbing time.
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VINE VOICEon June 21, 2009
Ed Kemper (Robert Sisko), an oddball, 40-something recluse who lives with his mother, has serious insight when it comes to solving crimes. Picture a bad Harvey Keitel impersonator with significantly less passion, mixed with an insane person who loves to hear himself speak. His mother is a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, horror movie-watching wench who thinks her son is a waste of life. Ed teams up with a detective named Tom to solve a recent rash of murdered young women.

Aside from Sisko's performance, this movie pretty much stinks. Sisko is compelling as a twisted, jaded mind who suffers from a deep-seeded history of abuse. He appears to believe his ramblings, and without his character, Tom is as worthless as an elevator in an outhouse.

Some aspects of this film are so rehashed that I'd call it plagiarism. And the others are so hackneyed that they are comical at times. The worst part, however, is that every scene transition feels like one from a drama on Telemundo:

Character #1: Dramatic line
Character #2: Incredibly obvious, not so dramatic attempt at a dramatic reply
"Spooky" music: Duh duh duh duuuuuuuh

Given that the major clue in cracking the case ends up being a collage, it's fitting that this movie is essentially a collage of several, better made horror movies. It's the abusive mother and insane son relationship of Psycho, the detectives who use classic literature to solve the crimes of a self-delusional madman of Se7en, and the helpful non-police force assistant to local detectives of The Bone Collector.

This is a definite low-ball, B-level suspense thriller. It's not that interesting or original, and I'd recommend passing it by for several of the other worthwhile selections in the Walmart five dollar bin.
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on April 10, 2009
Kemper was a psycho killer who beheaded collage girls, had sex with their bodies and cut them open and played with their inards. This crap movie makes him seem like an intellectual person with issues.
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on August 27, 2009
"based on true events..." blahhh! serial killers are fascinating individuals, and i have read a lot about edmund kemper. i was excited to find this dvd but was soon let down. i figured that since lions gate put out the movie that it would be good. NOT AN OUNCE OF GORE OR NUDITY! everything in this video is common knowledge. dont waste your money or time!
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on March 14, 2010
Besides the horrible acting and directing, this movie has zero to do with the real killer Edward Kemper. Do not bother wasting your money on this.
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on February 9, 2009
Did they have those small cell phone in the early 70's? Doesn't seem too accurate to me.
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