IMDb > Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   3,188 votes »
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Release Date:
21 November 2003 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Nick Broomfield's second documentary on Aileen Carol Wuornos, a highway prostitute who was executed in 2002 for killing seven men in the state of Florida. This second installment includes the filmmaker's testimony at Wournous's trial. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Suffers a bit from Broomfield's bias but is still chilling and Wuornos is clearly not mentally competent See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Aileen Wuornos ... Herself
Nick Broomfield ... Himself
Terry Humphreys-Slay ... Herself - Daughter of Victim
Leitha Prather ... Herself - Sister of Victim
Shirley Humphreys ... Herself - Wife of Victim
Joe Hobson ... Himself - Attorney
Steve Glazer ... Himself
Dawn Botkins ... Herself - Friend
Arlene Pralle ... Herself - Friend
Tyria Moore ... Herself - Friend
Muriel Blount ... Herself (archive footage) (as Judge Muriel Blount)
Danny Caldwell ... Himself - Witness
Jerry Moss ... Himself - Witness
Michelle Chauvin ... Herself - Witness
Dennis Allen ... Himself - Childhood Friend
Jesse 'The Human Bomb' Aviles ... Himself (as The Human Bomb)
Dick Mills ... Himself - Former Friend
Brian Jarvis ... Himself (as Sgt. Brian Jarvis)
Joan Murray ... Herself - CBS 4 (archive footage)
Jeb Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Diane Wuornos ... Herself - Mother
Lynn Gordon ... Herself (archive footage)
Patrick Fraser ... Himself - Channel 7 (archive footage)
Sterling Ivey ... Himself - Department of Corrections Spokesman

Directed by
Nick Broomfield 
Joan Churchill 
 
Produced by
Jo Human .... producer
 
Original Music by
Rob Lane (original music composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Joan Churchill (camera)
 
Film Editing by
Claire Ferguson 
 
Sound Department
Matthew J. Mondrick .... additional sound designer
Steve Murphy .... sound editor (as Stephen Murphy)
Mark A. Rozett .... additional sound mixer (as Mark Rozett)
Aad Wirtz .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Shelley .... rostrum
 
Editorial Department
Rob Burchell .... on-line editor
 
Music Department
Matt Biffa .... music clearance
 
Other crew
Alan Barker .... technical consultant
Kathi Bishop .... stills courtesy of
Dawn Botkins .... stills courtesy of
Andy Bundschuh .... archive courtesy of
Joan Cohen .... archive researcher
Peter Dally .... legal consultant
Lori Grody .... stills courtesy of
Joanne Harkins .... production coordinator
Shani Hinton .... legal consultant
Edward Kretsch .... stills courtesy of
Russel Stocker .... accountant: UK
Scott Wishart .... stills courtesy of
Graham Wojakowski .... video transfers
Nancy Wren .... accountant: USA
 
Thanks
Dennis Allen .... special thanks
Dave Botkins .... special thanks
Dawn Botkins .... special thanks
Charles Finch .... special thanks
John Gallop .... special thanks
David Garber .... special thanks
Joe Hobson .... special thanks
Sterling Ivey .... special thanks
Brian Jarvis .... special thanks
Michael Mayo .... special thanks
Toni Nazar .... special thanks
Michelle Prainto .... special thanks
Luc Roeg .... special thanks
Sid Shovan .... special thanks
Raag Singhal .... special thanks
Chris Trenkmann .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language, including violent and sexual dialogue
Runtime:
93 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Quotes:
Nick Broomfield:But how come there was so much physical trouble? Because it was all in one year. Seven people in one year.
Aileen Wuornos:Oh well! Oh well.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) (TV)See more »

FAQ

What were Aileen's last words and what did they mean?
Was Aileen Wuornos really America's first female serial killer?
See more »
27 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Suffers a bit from Broomfield's bias but is still chilling and Wuornos is clearly not mentally competent, 16 May 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Almost a decade after he made his original documentary around the trial of Aileen Wuornos, Nick Broomfield is surprised to open his door one morning and be served with a subpoena to attend what would turn out to be Wuornos final appeal. After being heavily criticised for editing his film to give false impressions, Broomfield's involvement is finished when Wuornos gives up on her appeal and volunteers for the death sentence. Broomfield continues his documentary, looking back at the original trial and getting several interviews with Aileen before her death.

I have not seen the film Monster but I may rent it out after seeing this film as it has raised my interest and given me more factual background to the story than I imagine a Hollywood film would give me. I'm not a massive fan of Broomfield and I was amused to see him being slightly hauled over the coals in court over his editing (the implication being that he made it look like Aileen's lawyer had smoked several spliffs before coming to advise her). However, despite opening himself to this criticism, Broomfield starts looking at the case and digs up some interesting fans, but the real value of the film is the interviews with Wuornos herself. While the film has plenty of little legal points about whether or not she was well advised and about how the media seemed to vilify her more than other similar male killers, it is almost impossible to agree with the penalty when you hear Wuornos talking.

Throughout the film her story changes and I was confused as to what the truth was as she seemed to be lying with every other word. We are then given background of abuse and tough living conditions and suggestions that she is the creation of her harsh and unpleasant background. Despite some interviews (particularly with her mother) that cast doubt on her life, the overwhelming impression of her youth is one of suffering, hardship and cruelty. On top of this, Wuornos herself is increasingly erratic and is clearly not in her right mind – reason enough for locking her away for life rather than killing her. She appears to be suffering from some form of split personality – one moment talking calmly to Nick, the next swearing non-stop at the courts to let her die. The idea that Bush's competency hearing lasting 15 minutes just makes matters worse.

Broomfield is clearly a liberal and is very against the death penalty (his comment 'it has been proven that the death penalty is no deterrent' is just lazy) and this does give the film a real slant in Aileen's favour. Despite this the film is still chilling – it is not totally clear what is true and what isn't but there are two things that are very clear. Firstly, there is no doubt that Aileen killed those men and that (in my opinion) self-defence is no defence for all of them. Secondly, Aileen is not in her right mind and should not have been killed but should have been jailed for life. It is chilling that so much is stacked in her favour and that Wuornos is only one of many people involved who want to flick the switch.

Overall, this is not an easy watch and even the Bush brothers would maybe have doubts over her death penalty. Her last interview descends into total paranoia and instability and is horrible to watch – I was left in no doubt that she deserved jail but in no way did this woman deserve to be killed. It is a well made film despite some bias from Nick and the end result is a chilling film that really made me worry about the systems in some states in the US that seem to treat the death penalty with such ease – like Nick says in reference to the physiological competency test, 'it makes you wonder what you have to do to fail'. After this film Broomfield was interviewed in The Times and said 'When I moved to the US in the 1970's, I had a real belief that it was the land of the free. For me this film marked the end of that belief' – it is to the film's credit that many viewers will be shaken in the same way.

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