4.5/10
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8 user 3 critic

Papertrail (1998)

A burnt out detective follows the trail of a serial killer who sends him messages about the murders.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dr. Alyce Robertson
...
...
William Frost
Terri Hawkes ...
Rachel Quinn / Alone
Catherine Blythe ...
Gail Morgan
Kenneth McGregor ...
Jerry Saracen
...
Eileen Gibbs
...
Chuck Switzer
...
Molly Darrow
Elizabeth Smith ...
Little Girl #1
Amanda-Lynn Smith ...
Little Girl #2
Andrea McCabe ...
Cynthia Scott
...
Rialla Frost (as C.J. Fidler)
George Carter ...
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Storyline

Jason Enola is an obsessive FBI agent who is almost losing his mind after ten years on the tail of an elusive serial killer whose hallmark is the "paper trail" of notes left along with the victims. Brad Abraham is the agent buddy who is watching Enola's back. As the film begins, a new wave of killings start after four years of silence, and the psychiatrist Dr. Alyce Robertson becomes involved when she starts receiving telephone calls from the killer. Written by Alexander Staubo <redhand@mop.no>

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Two cops, twelve murders... No suspect!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including some disturbing images, a strong sex scene and language | See all certifications »
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29 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trail of a Serial Killer  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When we first see FBI Agent Jason Enola (Chris Penn) and FBI Agent Brad Abraham (Michael Madsen), Abraham finds it hard to get together with Enola. Enola is on the phone in his apartment when Abraham knocks on his door, then he's phoned on his cellular phone by a colleague. "What?!" he snaps when he answers. "Brad, are you with Jason in his apartment?" [sarcastically] "Yeah we're in there drinking coffee together! Come on Jason, open the fucking door!" Upon learning something from Jason, "I've been speaking to my ex-wife and she wouldn't let me speak to my two little girls". [Brad insensitively] "Why do you put yourself through this shit?" Clearly Abraham and Enola weren't seeing eye to eye at this early stage. See more »

Connections

Followed by King of Sorrow (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
low rent serial killer flick, aggressively bad.
28 October 1998 | by (canada) – See all my reviews

TRAIL OF A SERIAL KILLER is an aggressively bad entry into the serial killer genre, or in this case made for video which means I won't bother comparing the good movies in the genre(Seven, Kiss the Girls) or the bad(Copycat, Switchback) This movie which lurches across the screen before dying of its own nauses would deserve a mantle all its own.

The movie opens with a young girl who leaves a movie theatre(the Paradise none other) and is murdered on the walk home. But wait there's more. The killer takes the girl's picture, tapes her hands and then puts one of those movie notes in her mouth for Detectives Michael Madsen and Chris Penn to find, complete with magazine clipped lettering. It's hilarious, this killer with his sense of all purpose. And of course Penn has a psychological battle with the killer who "he knows" is responsible for this one too. The killer calls him and his family so you see it really is important that he finds this guy fast.

Did I mention the intercut between the shrink (Jennifer Dale) who only sees her crazy patients at night? One of her patients tells her she gets excited by committing violent acts. Is she the killer? Dale holds a meeting at a dark church for her most dangerous patients where we hear dialogue about sex and violence that's so corny you wonder how the actors could even respect the material enough to speak it. The whole movie's at such a garbage level what with the hollow plot and abandoned settings which smacks of four in the morning filming locations shot in warehouses and crackshops. The identikit, do everything killer is so bad it really is funny and Madsen and Penn spend the whole movie being over the top and macho when they should be taking fingerprints and watching smarter, techically competent movies of the genre.

A few weeks ago I was watching a show about killers where the host suggested that murderers like Ted Bundy should kill themselves instead of wasting society's time. You got a murder suicide plot, kill yourself is the point I think. TRAIL OF A SERIAL KILLER wants us to accept a serial killer, a cop, who we're supposed to suspect is crazy himself, wrapped up in a silly, low-rent world to find out who the killer is. Who knows? Who cares?

DG

NO STARS(out of four)


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