This is a shame because there is something to chew on here and too much of it was left on the table.
It's 1965 in northern New Jersey and Ray Pye kills, for absolutely no real reason, two young girls who are there camping. Pye was with his girlfriend and buddy. Four years later he's still the chief suspect in the case but not enough evidence is available to nail him to the wall. He's a nut job and certain things are starting to happen that are pushing him over the edge. He pops a cork and goes on a killing spree.
Taken from a Jack Ketchum novel, that was based on a real case, this story is about Ray Pye. He has no father and does menial work at the motel his mom owns. He's short but good looking and somewhat (almost Charles Manson-like) charismatic. His closest friends do his bidding unquestioningly. But he's screwed up. This is one of the strengths of the movie. Shay Astor does a decent job as Pye. He's creepy. He's the bomb you're waiting to go off. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him. He's the only one that is written well. The other characters are Okay but don't amount to much more than sketches.
A previous viewer mentioned how the details, such as the music, didn't fit the time in which this happened. This is a fair criticism. One of the things that made the movie "Zodiac" so good was how well hey depicted the time. There was none of that here. Cars, clothing, hairstyles, etc., were nearly nondescript. This might have been due to budgetary restraints. This is not an expensive movie, which might account for the lousy sound mixing and musical score. The volume levels were all over the place and some of the music included heavy metal which I'm pretty sure wasn't around in 1965. The directing was uneven at best. The ending was terrible. Pye shoots some of his victims and they don't all die at the point the police barge in. The one detective starts wailing on Pye and the movie just stops. What happened? Who lived? Who died? Was Pye killed at the scene? Was he arrested and put on trial? None of this was even noted in a post script.
What a shame. This could have been a good thriller/character study but they fumbled the ball. Not a bad watch, but it could have been much better.
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