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Dear Mr. Gacy (2010)

A chronicle of the interaction between college student Jason Moss and the object of his obsession, serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

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(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Alyssa
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Alex Moss
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Valerie Moss
Michael Ryan ...
Frank Moss
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Stan
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Guard Thompson
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Glen Phillips
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Professor Harris
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FBI Agent
...
Male Hustler
Hunter Elliott ...
Butcher Shop Victim
Michaela Mann ...
Prostitute
Dee Jay Jackson ...
Desk Guard
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Storyline

1993. Overachieving college student Jason Moss, fascinated by serial crime, decides to write his criminology class term paper on John Wayne Gacy, who is on death row and scheduled to be executed in six months time. Jason's criminology professor, Mr. Harris, will only allow Jason to write his paper on Gacy if Jason can come up with a fresh angle, as he himself believes the topic of serial killers is already overexposed. After writing Gacy a nondescript letter and receiving a questionnaire from Gacy in return, Jason believes the fresh angle would be truly to get inside Gacy's head, specifically to learn what makes him tick, by presenting himself in subsequent correspondence to Gacy as Gacy's "type", i.e. a vulnerable young man from a dysfunctional family and thus who is possibly at risk. Despite the advice that he needs to watch out for cunning Gacy, Jason is certain he can outsmart the serial criminal at his own game. Things take an unexpected turn for Jason when he starts receiving ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Would you write to a serial killer? [Scandinavian DVD.]

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing sexual content including graphic dialogue, language throughout and some violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

11 May 2010 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Caro Sr. Gacy  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on a true story See more »

Quotes

John Wayne Gacy: Remember who I am. ALWAYS... remember who I am.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is based on the story of Jason Moss, as told by him in the book entitled "The Last Victim". Mr. Moss' recounting of certain events could not be verified. See more »

Connections

Features Leeza (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Aint Got The Money
Performed by Who Are Those Guys
Written by Marty Attridge
Published by Shining Diamond Music
Courtesy of NOMA Music
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User Reviews

 
Two sides of the same coin?
5 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's surprising that the substantial bulk of serial killer movies has yet to render anything really compelling about one of its most complex and twisted subjects --- John Wayne Gacy. The sheer number of accredited murders combined with the episodic series of cat and mouse plays throughout the convicted child killer/rapist's life would seem to be quite juicy fodder.

And yet, all we really have to show for it are two sub-par outings (a passable TV procedural starring Brian Dennehy and a really awful feature with hammy unknown Mark Holton). And then comes "Dear Mr. Gacy" which --- if you're not aware of its extremely factual basis --- almost sounds like a bad joke.

Crime student Jason Moss (Jesse Moss) embarks on an almost masochistic journey into fear and loathing by establishing a communication with the killer during his last months on earth at Illinois' Menard prison. His idea (and it IS a clever one) is to establish himself as a textbook victim that Gacy will have no choice but to lure into his web, granting Moss a first-hand look into the delusional self-aggrandizing psychopath's mind for his college Criminology term paper.

It's a scenario almost tailor made for a movie script because, as we all know by now in films, if you want something that badly, the worst thing that can happen is that you get it, and Moss does. He also finds himself playing a little too perfectly into Gacy's hypnotic spell, which is complemented by all the right situational elements of his own life --- boredom with his girlfriend, resentment of his controlling mother, subtle contempt for his passive brother's victim-hood at the hands of the school bully.

The weakest link here is Jesse Moss, and that's only very rarely. Mostly his performance is very good, though there are a few times it's hard to believe his reactions wouldn't be a bit more emotional after some of Gacy's truly threatening phone tirades. William Forsythe is a great actor and never more disturbing than in this role...he's the creepiest Gacy by far, expertly channeling his voyeurism with subtle bullying and manipulation, then morphing it into the "caring" love of a protective father figure, shifting on a dime. It's hard to know if his self-proclaimed stance as "king of the roost" at Menard is reality or in his head. His paintings were fetching a handsome sum near the end of his life, he had a cell with a view, TV, plants, and he could paint and smoke Cuban cigars smuggled in by guards who addressed him half-jokingly as "boss." Forsythe is a virtual cypher in the role, disappearing effortlessly into it, and leaving you very queasy in the process.

All in all, DMG is an intense, fun ride you won't forget. If it had a broader scope, it might just be the definitive Gacy biopic, but it probably wouldn't be as outright compelling, either. What's probably most disturbing about this particular story is what happened to the real Jason Moss, in the end. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.


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