IMDb > H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer (2004)

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John Borowski (writer)
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The Castle. The Murders. The Monster.
Torture chambers, acid vats, greased chutes and gassing rooms were just some of the devices of death designed by the Torture Doctor, H.H. Holmes in his castle of horrors. Follows Holmes' entire life as a criminal mastermind. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
This is... Crap. But hear me out. See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tony Jay ... Narrator (voice)
Harold Schechter ... Himself - Author 'Depraved'
Thomas Cronin ... Himself - Criminal Profiler
Marian Caporusso ... Herself - Programs Section Chief - Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center
Ed Bertagnoli ... Chicago Police Officer
Cary Callison ... Chicago Detective

Willy Laszlo ... H.H. Holmes
Rachelle Villarreal ... Alice Pitezel
Audrey Welling ... Castle Victim
Beka ... Carrie Pitezel (voice)
Tom Ciappa ... (voice)
Sarah Mills ... (voice)

Directed by
John Borowski 
Writing credits
John Borowski (writer)

Produced by
John Borowski .... producer
Dimas Estrada .... associate producer
Original Music by
Douglas Romayne  (as Douglas Romayne Stevens)
Cinematography by
John Borowski 
Frey Hoffman 
Film Editing by
John Borowski 
Art Department
Rick Geary .... castle floorplans
Roland Gibbs .... set constructor
Sound Department
James Cohen .... boom operator
Chris Combs .... boom operator
Darin Heinis .... sound re-recording mixer
John Murray .... sound designer
John Murray .... sound editor
Terry Schilling .... sound recordist
Music Department
Ken Melville .... music executive producer
Other crew
John Borowski .... researcher
Andrew Cinquino .... production assistant
Jennie Cisna .... researcher
Eric Richter .... production assistant
Jim Andre .... special thanks
Lorraine Borowski .... special thanks
J. Christopher Combs .... in memory of
Jamie Cortino .... special thanks
Angela DiCosola .... special thanks
Anthony DiCosola .... special thanks
Darin Heinis .... special thanks
Jacob Henry Mansion .... special thanks
Kazutosi Miyamoto .... special thanks (as Kazutosi Miyamoto M.D.)
Beverly Nemetz .... special thanks
Michael Nemetz .... special thanks
Mitch Norinsky .... special thanks
Ron Norinsky .... special thanks
Janice Sawyer .... special thanks
Dale Anthony Tremaine .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:64 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:


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4 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
This is... Crap. But hear me out., 9 May 2010
Author: moselekm from United States

Alright. Not much to say, other than READING is far more entertaining than this horribly narrated and presented documentary is. I will just get right down to what wasn't good about it. And there wasn't that much bad about it. It's just that the falling points to the film are constant and never expand nor decrease.

The narrator to me was like an older Ben Stein telling me all about the 19th century. I really don't like listening to Ben Stein attempt to educate me. The information is also poorly presented. For example, a big part about Holmes was his building he designed. Now they do have a segment on it, but they really don't emphasize (enough in my opinion) how he really went about it. They did a sad little black and white RE-ENACTMENT of a innocent victim going through the labyrinth and being caught and placed inside the trap-walls. But it seriously just belittled Holmes.

The chronology was poorly paced and just didn't have much direction to it. I found myself wondering what was pacing through Holmes as his evil began to really take part.

Now I understand that Holmes existed before modern science and psychology, so everything about who he was, how he was, and all of that is pure assumption. But we have a thing called educated guess and I don't think anyone will be upset about several educated guesses to breathe some life into the film. This was not done at all.

The entire film seemed to drag on. The first thirty minutes felt like two hours. Literally. I was hoping that it would pick up so pace towards the end. But it actually just slowed down.

Overall, this film is very educational, but I would seriously recommend having some background knowledge first. I would seriously expect this film to be on a shelf at some high school; an idle threat to force the students to watch and take notes on the film. Because it's extremely dry on a very INTERESTING subject. Honestly though. You will thank me and yourself for picking up a book or essay vice watching this dry cardboard cut out of HHHolmes.

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