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The Serial Killers

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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(Aug 30, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

The Serial Killers is a fascinating and shocking documentary of the most notorious murderers of our time. Infamous serial killers such as Kenneth Bianchi, Ted Bundy and Henry Lee Lucas give chilling first-hand accounts of their brutal crimes. The program also examines the sadistic exploits of lesser-known murderers whose crimes are just as terrifying and bizarre. Profiled in this 3 disc set are:Michael Bruce Ross (The Roadside Killer), Arthur Shawcross (The Monster of the Rivers), Catherine May Wood and Gwendolyn Graham (The Lethal Lovers), Douglas Clark (The Sunset Slayer), Harvey Louis Carginan (Harv the Hammer), Theodore Robert Bundy (The Ladykiller), William Heirens (The Lipstick Killer), Kenneth Allen McDuff (The Broomstick Killer), Kenneth Bianchi (The Hillside Strangler), Henry Lee Lucas (The Confession Killer), Ronald DeFeo, Jr. (The Amityville Horror), James A. Paul (The Executioner).

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ted Bundy, Ronald DeFeo Jr., Henry Lee Lucas, Kenneth Allen McDuff, Kenneth Bianchi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005
  • Run Time: 390 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009OL8GM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,753 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Serial Killers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Russell Brooks on September 15, 2006
Verified Purchase
This DVD contains approximately 6.5 hours of interviews with various serial killers and one mass murderer (Ronald DeFeo Jr, who one night shot his entire family while they slept, "inspiring" the movie "The Amityville Horror"), and various law enforcement officers, lawyers, psychiatrists, etc who were involved in the cases.

Some of the serial killers are very well-known, such as Ted Bundy, Kenneth Bianchi ("The Hillside Strangler") and Henry Lee Lucas ("The Confession Killer"), whilst others are not so well-known. The segments I personally found most interesting were those on Ronald DeFeo Jr, Ted Bundy and Kenneth Bianchi. I had previously know little about Kenneth Bianchi, and I found the descriptions of some of his murders particularly disturbing, especially those relating to the two young girls he murdered.

As someone who has thought of myself as having good intuition in relation to people's characters, the aspect of this movie and others like it that I find most unnerving is that the majority of the killers interviewed appear quite "normal" and articulate, even gentle or docile in some cases (e.g. Arthur Shawcross, "The Monster of the Rivers"). Though admittedly, there are a few you would definitely not want to take home to meet your mother (e.g. Douglas Clark, "The Sunset Slayer")!

Unfortunately, there is one aspect of this DVD which lets it down considerably, and that is the music. It really is just not scary, is irritating and does not suit the subject (especially that funky slap bass sound)! Furthermore, it is repeated at the beginning and end of each segment. If the DVD could somehow be reproduced with different, more appropriate music (and not repeated at the beginning and end of each segment), it would be greatly improved.
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Obviously structured to be a television series, this is a series of twelve interviews with notorious serial killers.

This is not a slick, glamorized series. This would not be of interest for someone who wants graphic pictures of victims, or slow-motion details about the killings, the cases or a "how to." More than enough of this information comes out, but it is often relayed in a very matter-of-fact blasé tone of the killer himself - recounting it as if it were a trip to the corner store. In some respects this series does start out almost boring... but this is obviously orchestrated, to tailor it's own audience to the text, to eliminate the thrill seekers.

What this series is: a thoughtful series of interviews with the serial killers. The focus here is not on the gruesome, but on the minds of these (mostly) men, and how their minds work - or don't as the case may be. The cumulative effect is slow and powerful. The series as a whole becomes possibly the strongest intelligent argument for the death penalty that has even been created.

Others have noted that the music is odd, but again, by the end, the irregular rhythms and random notes echo the distorted viewpoint of the thought process of these people. Exceptionally well done - for someone seeking an in depth look at the psychology of these killers. It leave us seeing some deep similar facets: their inability to say "I killed"... but instead saying, "she got herself killed," how each of them who is able to be somewhat introspective flatly states that there is no solution for them but to be put to death, how pornography and popular culture tool sexual fantasies in this direction, and how everyday people around them were often complicit in really sickening ways.
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This 3 DVD set is nicely put together. 6.5 hours of hard-hitting, brutal info into the how & why, etc.

It wouldn't be a bad idea if a few more horror writers and/or serial killer flick makers would get this DVD for the info alone, and maybe their films wouldn't suck so bad.

Am not pushing gore here, because gore and buckets of blood (alone) do not make for a great scare flick at all, but am talking about looking into these minds here, taking the time to see what serial killers are actually about, why they do the horrifying things that they do, etc.

The only negative is the irritating music that they keep repeating over and over and over and over... It's done after each segment. Oh man, what agony. Had to keep my finger on the volume button throughout basically. They could have also gone into each childhood a bit more (because, as you know, this is where it started, where the problem began; yes, you have the RARE bad seed now and then, but usually, very often, the serial killer's mother was a prostitute, or else there was abuse, all sorts of abuse--sometimes both).

Other than that, this package is definitely worth getting. I don't regret paying what I paid for it.
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This documentary was clearly put together with a very low budget, but does contain some good information. I learned of killers I had never even heard of before, and got to see some rare interviews with others I did know of. There is something very interesting about seeing/hearing an interview with the actual killers.

Personally, I found disc 3 to be the least interesting.

Part of me wondered if this documentary wasn't made as some sort of tool/support in the debate on capital punishment. Many segments ended with one authority or another stating that they supported the death penalty and that the killer should be condemned to die. Also, it seemed this documentary included many (but not all) killers that had been imprisoned at one point for their violent crime(s), and then released back into society where they then went on to commit more killings.

Now for the music....

I had read other reviews that mentioned the bad music and I thought to myself, "How bad could it really be?"

I couldn't help but laugh when I finally heard it.
It was worse than anything I could have imagined. And it used all throughout, which is unfortunate.

Good info, but keep the remote handy to skip through the music when you can (primarily during the opening and closing of each segment).
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