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The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer (1993)

 -  Biography | Crime | Drama
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Based on the life of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered more than a dozen people, and ate many of them, before he was caught in 1991.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Crew ...
Cassidy Phillips ...
Donna Stewart Bowen ...
Jeanne Bascom ...
G-Jo Reed ...
Steve (as G. Joe Reed)
David Angelis ...
Bartender #1
Rowdy Jackson ...
Andrew Christian English ...
Anthony (as Andrew English)
Alex Scott ...
Laura Tesone ...
Lady in Car
Keith Gearhart ...
Christopher 'CJ' Smith ...
Cornelius Williams ...
Rhonno Ket ...
Todd Fournier ...
Policeman #1


Based on the life of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered more than a dozen people, and ate many of them, before he was caught in 1991.

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David R. Bowen was initially only hired to compose the score, but wound up becoming the director after the original bowed out. See more »


References Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) See more »


You Got It Punk
Written by David Angelis and Adrian Buzzin
Performed by Typhoid Mary
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User Reviews

Low budget but true to the facts
15 October 2003 | by (California, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a tough film to review, since several factors need to be taken into account. Let's filter the more judgmental..Ok, are you interested in the facts concerning the serial killer of Jeffrey Dahmer? Can you withstand an independent, low-budget film? Are you objective enough to NOT dislike a film solely due to its lack of stars or professional look? Well, if you said yes then you should have a mind open enough to handle this one. This film is an almost 100% accurate dramatization of Dahmer's adult life and subsequent murder spree, and is styled as an autobiography. It isn't a glamorized, unrealistic account that unfortunately the theatrical film "Dahmer" (2001) was. The movie begins with Dahmer, played quite convincingly by Carl Crew, sitting in the police car as they raid his apartment. His thoughts of what got him there are presented to us in a past-tense, narrated style that accurately explains much of Dahmer's psychoses and motives which led him to commit murder almost 20 times. We get to know the character, both the devious side as well as the side that came moderately close to living a normal life. It isn't anyone's fault but Dahmer's that 17 people died, but being a criminal psychology student, I was pleased to more than just his animalistic side represented, truthfully, in this film. You see him having a loving relationship with his grandmother as well as trying to find companionship, but of course we witness the side of him that everyone remembers. It should be noted that there is little actual onscreen violence, with much of it suggestive in shots such as spattering of blood or a body being struck through a blurred curtain. You do see two deaths that I remember, one being a pretty bloodless throat slash and the other being a man shoved alive into a barrel of acid. While you don't see anything graphic, this cruelty and the convincing acting of both Crew and his victim make this a disturbing scene. And while the actual onscreen mutilation is kept low, you will see the results. There is a prop hand and head or two, but it seems as if this was to disturb the viewer and doesn't look to be exploitive. Besides, these fake anatomical pieces are where the budget limitations are visible. Although acceptable, they look enough like fakes to not be too disturbing. The film actually concludes before Dahmer's death in 1994, due to the fact that it was released a year or two prior. That's about the only big difference from the real story, and the information that remains is, as I've stated, very true to the facts. The film quality could be better, the dialogue often sounds a little too quiet, and the acting of several characters IS a bit hammy, but it's not overboard. In my opinion, this is a flawed but ultimately honest and serious look into one of America's most remembered serial killers. I think it's safe to say the film is memorable as well, and I respect it for overcoming its limitations to deliver the story in a believable manner, aided by a thoroughly excellent Carl Crew as Dahmer.

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