A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. Written by
The US Blu-ray released by Paramount Home Video had a very limited run. For a while, the Blu-ray became one of the rarest on the market; fetching prices close to $100 from second-hand online retailers, until Warner Home Video acquired the Paramount catalogue in 2012 and re-released it the following year. See more »
The blood-stained fabric from the taxi driver should not have been red. The iron in the blood would have turned brown due to oxidation. See more »
David Fincher's best is challenging and not for everybody
"Zodiac" is a perfect match of visionary director and hard to condense material. James Vanderbilt did an admirable job of taking a larger than one life story and somehow adapted all these people and events (chronicled in Robert Graysmith's two thorough books on the subject) into a script that works. He should have received an Oscar nomination, along with Fincher, supporting actor Mark Ruffalo (portraying Inspector Dave Toschi) and of course, "Zodiac" itself for best picture. But the silly academy doesn't reward films like this often and I'll bet less than 20% of them even saw it!
As author James Ellroy says on a commentary track, this film is respectful of the victims. The intensity of a murder investigation has rarely been recreated more impressively than here. To compare modern (21st century) technology with what these folks had to work with in the late 60's/70's is to realize "Zodiac", whoever he was, had to be one of the dumb luckiest criminals of all time. His ideas were not original to put it politely and the fact he probably was a child molester really makes him a predator that treated society in general like a little innocent he abused for his own perverse reasons. Men who feel powerless and then get a big gun are the most dangerous fools of all because they're ticked off and want somebody, anybody to pay!
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