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Poor Josh Townsend. I suppose that's the best way to start this thing.
I feel for this director on so many levels. That is assuming that he's
fully aware of how terrible his film is. If I were to hear that Mr.
Townsend is proud of this filth, I would lose the little amount of
respect I currently have for him.
Let me cut to the chase...The Gainesville Ripper is a senseless and heartless film that shows very little respect for the victims that were mercilessly slaughtered by a monster. He takes a very real series of events, turns them into a terrible 70's slasher flick, and then has the audacity to premiere this "joke" IN Gainesville, the town where these killings took place. If thats not a gross sign of utter disrespect than I don't know what is. And as if that in itself is not bad enough, the film itself is complete garbage. Not only does it feel like Townsend hired mediocre actors from theme park attractions, but the writing is atrocious...absolutely atrocious. The editing was probably the worst part of the whole film; it was a toned town and poorly made ripped-off style of Natural Born Killers without any of the themes or importance that that film holds. Not to mention the terrible ambient music (probably purchased in a HORROR MOVIE TRACKS audio package) that plays during all two hours of the movie. The only part of this poopstorm that was even bearable was probably the cinematography, while amateur at most, it was the best part...but alas, Townsend ruined his sweet shots with terrible color effects and transitions. In short...and I owe this comparison to a friend of mine...the entire film felt like a really long dramatic re-enactment that you'd see in an episode of Forensic Files or CSI.
All of that said, there was so much wasted potential in this project. The story of The Gainesville Ripper is truly a great one and a wonderful idea for a dramatic film. Townsend, in my opinion had the raw talent and money, to have made a decent dramatic film about Danny Rollings. But he didn't. He made a joke. I would tell you not to waste your money and go see this film, but something tells me it won't even get sold to go straight to DVD.
Has this movie been released out on DVD yet??? There was this woman an independent country music singer by the name of Bunnie Mills who was friends with Danny and man (??) have had a brief relationship with him. They were rather close friends. It is easy to find this information on the Internet. does this movie touch on Bunnie or use another name as the character playing her>>>??? Danny was from Shreveport, LA and the singer that I am referring to also has or had her music business also in that city. I was friends with Bunnie for a number of years and just wondering if they devoted any time to her at all in the movie. There are lots of details about this on the search engines and quite interesting.
The GAINESVILLE RIPPER is a horror film about the 9 month or year
leading up to the murders of 5 college students in Gainesville Florida.
The movie premiered in Gainesville and some people thought it was bad
taste to not only make a horror movie based on real events but also
premiere it in town the murders took place nearly two decades ago.
Being a film fan and student living in Gainesville I heard about the 'controversy' and decided to check it out. After seeing it I can now say that anybody who thinks this movie is glorifying serial killer Danny Rolling needs to have their head examined. I'm not a horror fan by any means, I prefer classic European and Asian cinema but it was refreshing to see an American horror film that is not only original but disturbing and scary. It's been a few weeks since I saw it but some of the images are still burned in my brain.
What made me really respect the movie was the way it portrayed the killings. The director used every cinematic trick he learned in film school. It probably was overkill but it ended up working in the end. I'm sucker films that play by their own rules and at least make an effort to be different. It is graphic and bloody but a lot is left for the viewer to fill in the blanks themselves. This is much more effective than SAW type films where the blood and gore are 'fun' and everyone cheers at the perfectly shot and lit KILL.
I'm sure a lot of 'normal' moviegoers might be turned off by the hyper-stylization but for me it totally worked for the subject matter. Think REQUIEM FOR A DREAM times 10 with a knife instead of drugs.
The print they played that night in Gainesville was obviously rushed together and I'm not sure about the choice the premiere the film in the town where the murders happened was a wise choice so it's hard to rate the film. In some ways it was way to ambitious for it's budget and there are the usual quibbles that go along with that. Objectively though I'm giving it 7 stars because the film actually achieved what it set out to be (something a lot of indie films especially fail at): a scary, disturbing horror film based on an actual events.
If your looking for mainstream horror stay away. This is pure indie cinema that is both disturbing and scary and will stay with you after you leave the theater.
A Gainesville resident for over 25 years I vividly remember the tragedy
that changed this University town forever. I am grateful for this
unique perspective that allowed me to see inside of Danny Rollings
head, the mind of a crazed schizophrenic. I appreciate the artistry of
this film, and feel Zachary Memos was very convincing with his
portrayal of this maniacal, very haunting serial killer.
Those who lived through these horrifying events remember, and mourn the loss of these young, and promising students. I do not feel the director is in any way disrespecting or "taking away" from this tragedy, but merely helping us to see a new point of view from the "Ripper" himself, Danny Rollings.
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