6.6/10
19,058
153 user 91 critic

Wonderland (2003)

In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kim Marriner ...
Reporter (as Kim Mariner)
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Gopher (scenes deleted)
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Gopher's Girlfriend (scenes deleted)
Karen LaKritz ...
Bartender (as Karen Lakritz)
Steve Cox ...
Guy at Bar
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Slim Jim
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Louis
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Cherokee
Chris Cioffi ...
Letterman Meathead
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Storyline

John Holmes was a legend of the porn industry and revered in circles as a stud. But in 1981, years after his successful career and star fading, Holmes was a desperate man with his own internal demons to live up to. He's estranged from his wife, holding onto a relationship with his teenage mistress, and living as a junkie in search of his next fix. But one fateful night left four people dead and John as a key suspect in one of the most grisly murders in Los Angeles. Was he partly responsible for what happened at Wonderland Avenue? Written by monkeykingma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex, drugs, murder. Welcome to L.A. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence/grisly images, pervasive drug use and language, some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

24 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wonderland Murders  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$91,798 (USA) (3 October 2003)

Gross:

$1,056,102 (USA) (28 November 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on the incident known as either the Laurel Canyon Murders or the Wonderland Murder Case that actually happened in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles in July, 1981. See more »

Goofs

When John picks up Dawn at Sally Hansen's house, she has with her the little dog, but when they leave running down the stairs, she has nothing in her hands, while he has a briefcase. Then, when they are in the car, Dawn has the puppy back with her. See more »

Quotes

Sallie Hansen: Tarot cards? Devil worshiper!
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Crazy Credits

"score recorded and mixed by Fredrik Sarhagen" is credited twice. See more »

Connections

References The Guns of Navarone (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Stranger in a Strange Land
(1971)
Written by Billy Preston and Leon Russell
Performed by Leon Russell and The Shelter People
Published by Irving Music, Inc. (BMI)
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

Interesting Account(s) Rather Than An Actual Story
17 February 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Cox's 'Wonderland' is about the gruesome Wonderland murders (obviously!) that took place in the early 80s. The murder case itself was never solved and remained a mystery. Sadly, the movie does not do much to to cast light on it but there are hints indicated what most likely has happened. It is more of an interesting account rather than an actual story where one event is told from the perspective of different characters: Ex-porn king turned junkie John Holmes (Val Kilmer), his girlfriend Dawn Shiller (Kate Bosworth), his estranged wife Sharon (Lisa Kudrow) and David Lind (Dylan McDermott).

'Wonderland' is quite well shot, with the chaotic camera-work and slick editing, use of music and visuals and effective sound. It is very graphic and includes real photographs from the crime scene. It does manage to create the feel of the early 80s that ended the craziness of the 70s. Val Kilmer seems to be an odd choice to play John Holmes. There is no physical resemblance. As a stand alone he acts well but does not have any nuances of Holmes. His portrayal of Holmes is inaccurate to say the least. Kate Bosworth is quite alright. I didn't find the love story between the two that engaging. Dylan McDermott does not seem to be completely in character. In spite of having a small role, Lisa Kudrow delivers the best performance. It was very nuanced and natural. Josh Lucas does alright but at times he seems a little too loud. There are several more familiar faces.

Before watching the film, I had very limited knowledge of the notorious murders but after seeing the movie, I did more research and understood how gruesome and horrifying it was. 'Wonderland' tries to portray the event in an accurate way but those who are looking for a closed ending will be disappointed. As I stated earlier, it does give a hint as to what most likely happened.


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