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Gacy
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Gacy (2003) (V) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
Gacy -- Based on a true story of serial killer a model citizen, loving father and husband and serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a man with over 30 dead men and boys entombed in the crawl space underneath his house which he shared with his family.

Overview

User Rating:
4.7/10   2,715 votes »
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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Clive Saunders (story)
Clive Saunders (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Gacy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 May 2003 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Friend. Neighbor. Killer.
Plot:
Model citizen, devoted father, loving husband and serial killer John Wayne Gacy - a man with over 30 dead men and boys entombed in the crawl space underneath his family house. Based on a true story. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Lacking exposition, but adequately, appropriately disturbing See more (71 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Mark Holton ... John Wayne Gacy

Adam Baldwin ... John Gacy, Sr.
Tom Waldman ... Hal

Charlie Weber ... Tom

Allison Lange ... Gretchen
Edith Jefferson ... Mother Gacy
Joleen Lutz ... Kara Gacy
Scott Alan Henry ... Young Gacy

Kenneth Swartz ... Dave

Matt Farnsworth ... Stu

Jeremy Lelliott ... Little Stevie (as Jeremy Lelliot)

Joseph Sikora ... Roger (as Joe Sikora)

Oren Skoog ... Jimmy
Joe Roncetti ... Peter
Eddie Adams ... Duane

Doran Ray ... Tony

Larry Hankin ... Eddie Bloom
Rick Dean ... Ray

Glenn Morshower ... Ted Boyle

Jessica Schatz ... Julie Boyle
Mickey Swenson ... Det. Ritzik
Dan Bell ... Det. Dunne

John Laughlin ... Det. Kay
Steve Abbott ... Officer Wolf

David Manis ... Officer Bucholtz
Joe Goodrich ... Gas Station Attendant
John Horn ... Fred Getz
Tina Preston ... Meg Getz

Shadi Dwait ... Mr. Pasolini
Jessica Hanamoto ... Tammy Gacy
Grace Hanamoto ... April Gacy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Wyatt Denny ... Steve (uncredited)
Pollyanna Jacobs ... Mrs. Pasolini (uncredited)

Michael Macoul ... Hank (uncredited)

Directed by
Clive Saunders 
 
Writing credits
Clive Saunders (story)

Clive Saunders (screenplay) and
David Birke (screenplay)

Produced by
Scott Hohnbaum .... line producer
Larry Rattner .... producer
Susan R. Rodgers .... supervising producer
Leonard Shapiro .... executive producer
Hilary Six .... line producer
Tim Swain .... producer
 
Original Music by
Mark Fontana 
Erik Godal 
 
Cinematography by
Kristian Bernier 
 
Film Editing by
Jeff Orgill 
Chryss Terry 
 
Casting by
Ricki Maslar  (as Ricki G. Maslar)
 
Production Design by
Benjamin Edelberg 
Eric Larson 
 
Art Direction by
Ian Phillips 
 
Set Decoration by
Nanci Bennett 
 
Costume Design by
Oneita Parker 
 
Makeup Department
Karrieann Heisner .... makeup department head
 
Production Management
Jeff Orgill .... post-production supervisor
Chryss Terry .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Colleen Cortes .... second assistant director
Tammy Oller .... second second assistant director (as Tammy A. Oller)
Matt Zettell .... second unit director
Lyon Reese .... first assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Brian Barrett .... plasterer
Stephanie Bosse .... property master
Laura Grijalva .... scenic artist
Andre Kohler .... construction coordinator
Kristen .... assistant props
Lazzaro .... graphic designer (as Marco Ferrari)
Gary Liebowitz .... swing
Meredith Meyer .... art coordinator
Marci Rivens .... art coordinator
Richard Ruhe .... art department
Edwin J. Webb .... set builder
Justine Wu .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Mark Linden .... sound re-recording mixer
Klint Macro .... adr recordist
Tara Paul .... sound re-recording mixer
Carlos Ramirez .... adr editor
Marcus Ricaud .... sound mixer
David Scharf .... dialogue editor (as Dave Scharf)
David Stark .... boom operator
Anthony Torretto .... sound designer
Matt Walsh .... foley artist
 
Stunts
Kim Robert Koscki .... stunt coordinator
Marc Schaffer .... stunt performer
Banzai Vitale .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Tommie Cady .... additional grip
Mitch Capece .... grip
Ian S. Casas .... additional grip
Beau Chaput .... camera loader
Matt Crapo .... additional grip
Wyatt Denny .... electrician
Mariah Diehl .... camera loader (as Mariah T. Diehl)
Jeremy Graham .... gaffer
Keely Grigel .... electrician
Mitch Gulbin .... grip
Jim Hamner .... additional grip (as Jim Hamner Jr.)
Thomas Holm Deleurang .... best boy electric (as Thomas Holm)
Jody Hutchins .... best boy grip
Randall Kaplan .... camera loader
Erik Kasson .... key grip
Rory King .... first assistant camera
Kia Kiso .... second assistant camera (as Kia Dawson)
Jennifer Lai .... second assistant camera
Brian Lowe .... second electric
Eric McCandless .... still photographer
Brandy O'Donnell .... grip
Martin Quaden .... camera loader
David Sirianni .... additional grip
Alpheus Underhill .... best boy electric
 
Casting Department
Tim Marshall .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carly Benner .... set costumer (as Carly St. Clair)
Kristin Hart .... wardrobe assistant
Oakley Stevenson .... wardrobe assistant
Christi Cecil Stewart .... assistant costumer
 
Editorial Department
Fritz Feick .... supervising editor
Mark A. Jones .... post-production coordinator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
William Ewart .... music supervisor
Erik Godal .... music mixer
 
Transportation Department
Kristen .... picture vehicles
Hugo Ocana .... driver
Lew Strong .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Matthew R. Brady .... production consultant (as Matt R. Brady)
Alexander Brown .... assistant to producers
Michael Conaway .... production assistant
Chance Dean .... production assistant
Beth Dewey .... location manager
Gina Draklich .... production accountant
Timothy Frederick .... production assistant
Zoran Grujevski .... production assistant
Kjell Hilding .... location scout
Mimi Hoang .... assistant production coordinator
Alison Matthews .... production coordinator
Ellen 'Kerry' McCarn-Ostir .... production assistant (as Ellen D. 'Kerry' McCarn)
Kyle Pavey .... set production assistant: re-shoot
Athena Radomski .... craft service coordinator
Jesse Ramirez .... production assistant
Jesse H. Rivard .... location scout (as Jesse Rivard)
Elayna Rosenfeld .... assistant production coordinator
Wendy Schaal .... script supervisor
Michael Sullivan .... production assistant
Brandon Swisher .... production assistant (as Brandon P. Swisher)
Anthony K. Warner .... key set production assistant
 
Thanks
Keith Eckert .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for strong grisly violence, language, some sexuality and drug use
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The character of Tom Kovacs is a composite of two actual youngsters that lived with John Wayne Gacy during his murder spree.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The film opens in the year 1953, when Gacy was 11 years old. The actor portraying him is obviously much older.See more »
Quotes:
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.:Wanna get high?See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Dahmer (2002)See more »
Soundtrack:
Everythings Big in TexasSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
34 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Lacking exposition, but adequately, appropriately disturbing, 3 May 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

This film is part biopic, part psychological portrait of real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (played here by Mark Holton). It begins with a brief scene of an 11-year old Gacy with his father, before jumping to Gacy's later life with his second wife, when he was living just outside of Chicago. It roughly covers a number of events up to Gacy's arrest, but not his trial or later years.

This is one heck of a difficult film to rate. Co-writer David Birke also co-wrote another serial killer biopic/psychological portrait, Dahmer (2002), and both films suffer from many of the same flaws. Gacy may have even more problems. There are countless things that could have been done better.

Yet in combination with co-writer and director Clive Saunders, Gacy manages to retain your interest, and excels at the prime directive of serial killer flicks--it makes the viewer feel profoundly uncomfortable. If judged solely on that aspect, the film would deserve a 10 out of 10. Of course, not everyone wants that kind of emotional experience with a film, but it seems to me that if a serial killer flick doesn't make you uncomfortable, something went wrong. The subject isn't exactly puppy dogs and pixie sticks, unless we're talking about barbecuing puppies and using the pixie sticks for spice.

Let's get out of the way that the film isn't precisely, historically accurate, and it's far more historically incomplete. I don't consider that a flaw. Saunders makes it more than clear a couple times that he's used facts about Gacy's life as inspiration. This is not a documentary, but a fictionalization--specifically it's "historical fiction". Gacy had a relatively complicated life, and understanding his crimes "realistically" involves looking at a huge time span of complex events. There's no way it could be done in 90 minutes, or even 180 minutes.

However, the events that Birke and Saunders choose to show too often seem random, and there's too much exposition missing. We get one scene of Gacy-as-a-boy with his dad, whom we see being mildly abusive. This isn't sufficient to establish anything significant about Gacy's youth. There either should have been more material like this, or it should have been dropped altogether and simply mentioned at some point, perhaps during a bit of self-reflective dialogue (which we get later anyway).

Next we jump to a screen full of text telling us that Gacy was convicted of sodomizing a boy and spent 18 months in prison. Then we jump again, and suddenly we see Gacy living with a woman about his age, two younger girls and an older woman. We can figure out that this is his wife (it was actually his second wife) and mother, and we assume it's his kids (they weren't, they were stepdaughters). Eventually we're told their relationships (except my parenthetical facts), but it doesn't help that it is initially presented as something of a mystery.

There's a general lack of exposition as exemplified above that makes the film play more surrealistically if you're not familiar with Gacy's story. Sometimes this works--the inserts of Gacy eating chicken and dressed up as an alternate world Colonel Sanders (Gacy's first wife's family owned a number of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Iowa) are particularly striking, even if the viewer can't quite figure out why they're present. But just as often the lack of exposition is more of a problem, as with the two hippie-looking guys who are staking out Gacy near the end of the film. It's never quite clear who they are, why they're around, or why in some cases they appear to have lawn chairs set up within about 30 feet of Gacy's front door.

There are a lot of interesting facts about Gacy that are hinted at but not shown very well. For example, he was actually well liked by a number of people and he was very involved with community groups such as the Jaycees at one point. His fascination with clowns was also much more bizarre than is shown in the film. He had unusual makeup that friends recommended he change because it had potential to scare children, and he was an amateur artist who painted weird but wonderful clown/skeleton canvases (well, I like it at least, but I have a taste for outsider art, including psychotic stuff). In conjunction with the clown fascination, Saunders employs subtle carnival music in the score at one point. This worked well, but would have been better if more regular and prominent.

What Saunders focuses on instead are those elements that provide that uncomfortableness I was talking about earlier. Gacy had a crawl space beneath his house that served as a dumping ground for bodies and that produced an infamous stench. Saunders dwells on the crawl space, appropriately. He also fills it with cockroaches, maggots and other insects. Gacy comes across as consistently pathetic, almost sad, as does most of the rest of the cast, surprisingly enough, including Gacy's family and most of his victims. It's difficult when watching the film to believe that some of the victims would make themselves as available as they did, especially over time, but this is based on truth. A lot of small, subtle "beats" add to the pathetic feeling, including the driving shots through the dirty windshield, and a lot of white trash characters who look unkempt, who drive wrecks, and who work in dilapidated environments. Even though I ended up wishing there was more of the carnival music, I also loved the melancholy score that is prominent about two-thirds of the way through the film.

While the film might not provide a lot of psychological insight into Gacy, if such would be possible--he truly comes across as very rational and completely insane at the same time, and it might have benefited from a more linear, in-depth look at some of the victims, the film still succeeds by delivering a deeply disturbing atmosphere.

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