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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Pretty terrible, but at least it's different

Author: Bloomer from Sydney, Australia
6 August 2010

This is a pretty monotonous and factually inaccurate portrait of Richard Ramirez, a.k.a. The Night Stalker, the serial killer and self-proclaimed Satanist who terrorised Los Angeles and San Francisco in the mid-1980s. It offers little characterisation, next to no story, no suspense and lots of badly executed violence. Most of the short running time is filled with Richard's repetitious bad-beat-poetry voice-over of a soundtrack ('She was my dark Princess. Dark like hell. Darker than night, my Satanic queen, she was so dark..' etc) plus endless close-ups of him sucking suggestively on a lollipop.

What the film does have going for it is difference - the style and delivery are significantly unlike those of the majority of straight to DVD horror films. This doesn't save it from being a real chore to sit through, but seems worth commenting on in these times when so many films are bad in exactly the same way as each other.

The grainy video cinematography and no-budget location shooting give the film a gritty sense of place. Richard's voice-over seems designed to fill the void where a recording of the outdoor location sound would normally be. It looks like they only bothered to record sound when it wouldn't be blotted out by traffic and the din of the world - i.e. mostly when they were indoors.

This is actually a pretty good film for the actors when they are able to snatch any screen time away from Richard and his lollipops. It looks like the performers were allowed to improvise nearly all of their conversations. When this works, it gives the scenes a ring of non-movie reality. Of course when it doesn't, the actors end up riffing the same ideas repeatedly.

The Night Stalker was called the Night Stalker because he attacked people at night. Well, he goes in for a lot of daytime attacks in this film. Very few of the crimes match up to the real case history, the scene in which he is apprehended is abysmally directed, you never see how he gets into any of the victims' houses, and there is no real illumination of the man, either real or imaginary. I would have settled for either.

I didn't stop watching this film, but I wouldn't recommend that you start. It's also not a good sign that the film's opening and closing credits take up one eighth of the running time ... but then again, the actors in this film did get a very good deal. They got to improvise, and everyone's name was displayed twice.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Lommel Sticking to His Guns

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
9 October 2009

Nightstalker (2009)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

Lommel's ongoing saga of doing a film about every famous serial killer continues with this look at the Night Stalker who haunted California during the 1980's and is still sitting on Death Row there today. Adolph Cortez does a decent job at playing the nutcase who walks around stalking men and women while playing with a sucker in his mouth. We learn this is due to a deal with Satan and because he saw his uncle shoot his aunt. Whatever the case, this is the eleventh film in this series that I've seen and while this one here is among the better ones, I still can't help but get bored because we've seen this thing one time too many. Once again we get a crazy guy walking around and talking to himself. Lommel has used this same set up during several of this serial killer pictures and I really wish he would at least try to do something different with it because all of the eleven films just bleed together to the point where I really couldn't tell one from another. I doubt many people outside myself are going to bother going through everyone of these films but those who do attempt it are going to have deja vu all over the place. Once again this is done on video and once again the budget is extremely low even though this one here features more blood than any of the previous ones. The gunshots are extremely fake looking but I guess the producers tried to make up for this by using a gallon of blood on each shot. The film starts off mildly entertaining but it quickly gets tiresome as we have to keep watching the same thing happen over and over.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It's Lommel of COURSE it's atrocious

Author: movieman_kev from United States
27 May 2013

Jesus not another Ulli Lommel 'movie' (takes a long sigh and sucks it up) OK this one is based on the Night Stalker Killer from the 1980's and of course when I say 'based' I mean little to not at all. God, it's Ulli after all.

Richard Ramirez goes about the movie killing random people when he's not thinking random gibberish talks that would be at home with any typical Goth poser from junior high. And that's the whole movie folks. There I saved you from the mind-numbing effect of this excrement in celluloid form.

What you want more? OK fine it might make the film go faster if you were to drink every time the word Satan is uttered, that or make sure you have one of GOB's forget-me-nots handy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A forgettable film in 10 minutes

Author: djderka from United States
10 August 2016

Another graduate student production shot on video. Very tireless and one of those 'when will this end' type of film. View the first chapter. Then the last chapter. You missed nothing. Except 10 minutes of your time. A psycho drama about Rodriguez the stalker in LA that tries to relate it to his early childhood upbringing and the usual satanic abuse. You learn nothing here, except over acting, poor special effects, lack luster direction, and a hastily written script. But realizing that you might learn something. The killer seems to be doing the same thing every time with 'explaing' of his psychosis through flashbacks of his early childhood and how his father killed a few women in front of him causing a traumatic influence on his behavior. Not very original and poorly executed. A few hot babes tho. And one that doesn't seem to mind being followed by a psycho killer. I mean really. She did have a hot outfit on tho, I'll give her that. Didn't she get the message when she saw him sucking on lollipops all day. Get a clue.

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Author: Draconis Blackthorne ( from The Infernal Empire
11 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watched this on Decades recently. It comes off as an amateurish college-made production for a film project grade with art project quality.

The main theme of the portrayed 'crimes' involves Ramirez roving from one irritating bickering couple to another {except for the airhead on the phone}, thankfully ending their whiny tantrums. One finds oneself eagerly awaiting, even encouraging the next slaying just to make them stop.

The primary weapon of choice here is a handgun, with a knife used on a couple of occasions to carve a pentagram on victims' bellies, while Ramirez was actually eclectic, utilizing a variety of murder weapons.

The actor appears Mediterranean, and displays the rather vexatious habit of constantly drawing upon a sucker like a pacifier all through the film. He'd more likely be smoking a cigarette, if anything.

Ironically, probably one of the most disturbing scenes is the squandering of a perfectly fortuitous opportunity for indulgence with a pair of succulent salacious beauties, perhaps to further establish the character's chaotic disposition.

With artistic license taken to the most extensive degree, the plot has little to nothing to do with the actual case, with the vague exception of being beaten by a small mob {although in this case in an alleyway, while on the street in actuality}.

The only devil worship angle involves Ramirez psychotically talking to himself, demanding victims say they love Satan, whispering 'demonic voices' throughout, and sharing narcotics with a junky girl in a restroom stall attempting to define Satan through a mind numbed haze.

This characterization depicts Ramirez more like a fictional boogeyman likened a Michael Meyers type, which is understandable after all, considering the director also directed the film entitled "The Boogeyman".

By far the worst of the docudramas of the genre, with the recent Phillips version as the best so far. ∞

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Another story ripped from today's headlines

Author: charlytully from Rosebush
14 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And if you check the date of my comment, you will know WHICH headline I'm talking about. If more of the people of Tucson had just taken the time to see this vital film about current American affairs in the year it's been out, it is possible many lives would have been saved. Prescient NIGHT STALKER director Lommel ends his version of "Richard's" killing spree with a gang of 11 male vigilantes permanently disabling him in an alley. Prior to this climax, Lommel portrays Richard with all the classic symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. None of the countless people the movie shows shirking away from Richard on the sidewalk as he mutters away take any steps to refer him to the proper mental health authorities (Richard obviously would come under the Medicaid umbrella; most western states in the U.S. have eliminated their mental health services for Medicaid sufferers in recent years, if they ever had them to begin with). All of this week's endless news reporting estimate there are up to 6.14 MILLION people in the U.S. with Richard and you-know-who's condition. We are told only a "tiny fraction" are able-bodied people who actually commit crimes like Richard's ("at least 16 dead," according to this flick's postscript). However, no one can predict WHICH ONE of these millions will "suddenly snap" next, get a gun, and become the next notorious nut job. But director Lommel bravely posits in NIGHT STALKER that even ONE Richard is one more than a society "protected" by bumbling, namby-pamby law enforcement should tolerate, which is WHY Lommel has the vigilante mob do in Richard simply for muttering on the sidewalk. After all, the mob's collective intelligence realizes that taxes are high enough, and it would literally cost several trillion dollars to construct secure but humane holding facilities for these 6.14 million individuals run by high-priced professionals (at an acceptable staff-patient ratio), as well as to train and pay countless more social workers enough to do a conscientious job of running interference for any Richards released back into society on electronic tethers. After all, mental health demographers are talking about 1 in every 50 Americans.

Obviously, given the U.S. economy, the choices are 1)the present system of expecting and accepting an increasing number of serial killers such as Richard and people like this week's mass murderer, 2)bankrupting the U.S. treasury to neutralize the threat humanely, or 3)Lommel's mob justice (which sweeps up and kills dozens who fit the "schizo-in-the-headlines" profile every time one of these tragedies occurs). Option #2 might be accomplished by eliminating the space program, agriculture subsidies, selling the national parks to Disney and other recreation pros, and restricting a down-sized U.S. military to U.S. territory and waters (unless these actually are attacked). Anyone who disagrees ought to at least view Lommel's film, since outsiders sometimes can put their finger's on a society's main problem (and the best solution to it).

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