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The Zodiac Killer (1971)

The San Francisco area is beset by a series of seemingly random murders without motive or pattern. The police are taunted by phone calls and letters. Could the maniac be the violent, truck ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Hanson

Writers:

Ray Cantrell (screenplay), Manny Cardoza (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hal Reed ... Jerry
Bob Jones ... Grover
Ray Lynch ... Sgt. Pittman
Tom Pittman ... Officer Heller
Mary Darrington Mary Darrington ... First Murder
Frank Sanabek Frank Sanabek ... Joe
Ed Quigley Ed Quigley ... Tony
Bertha Dahl ... Mrs. Crocker
Dion Marinkovich ... Helen
Doodles Weaver ... Doc (as Doddles Weaver)
Gloria Gunn Gloria Gunn ... Marilyn
Richard Styles Richard Styles ... Judd
Manny Cardoza Manny Cardoza ... Hippy (as Manny Cordoza)
Norma Takaki ... Lakey
Donna Register ... Donna
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Storyline

The San Francisco area is beset by a series of seemingly random murders without motive or pattern. The police are taunted by phone calls and letters. Could the maniac be the violent, truck driver, or the seemingly mild-mannered mailman, or even a cop? Written by Charles Goodwin <CharlesGoodwin@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He may be a stranger... a friend... or the quiet guy who lives next door. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was shot in various locations without permits. See more »

Goofs

The police car that responds to the cabbie murder has no insignia on the door. See more »

Quotes

Grover: [Answers his ringing telephone] Hello? Who? Oh. Listen, bitch, I'll get the kid a few toys for Christmas, so don't bug me! Yeah, yeah, I know it's only a few days till Christmas, whaddaya think I live under a rock or something?
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User Reviews

A Movie To Catch a Killer
25 November 2006 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Zodiac Killer (1971)

** (out of 4)

San Francisco finds itself under attack due to a string of murders where people are shot for no apparent reason. The film introduces us to a "what if" scenario as we meet several people who may or may not be the serial killer.

It's important to remember that when THE ZODIAC KILLER was released, the city itself was still under terror from the real thing. Obviously this has exploitation written all over it but one might be shocked that director Tom Hanson doesn't go over-the-top with the sleaze and instead it tries to take a serious approach on the subject. On the whole this isn't the best movie ever made but it features enough to make it worth viewing for fans of the genre.

What I enjoy most about the film is that it perfectly captures the time that it is set. There have been a lot of movies that tackled the subject but this here is the only one that takes place where the crimes happened. There's a surreal nature to the film that works extremely well and I thought the atmosphere was quite good. You really do feel as if you're watching a documentary on the real Zodiac because of how good the setting is. The film also benefits from some memorable death scenes. None of them, with the exception of a knife attack, are all that graphic but at the same time they are memorable.

With that said, there are some major flaws throughout the picture. The biggest is the fact that the film really drags at 85-minutes. The pacing of the movie is quite poor and it just drags to the point where you'll be wanting to scream for them to speed things up. The performances are also rather poor to say the least and some of the dialogue is even worse. One could also argue that the film doesn't have the greatest of stories but at the same time you have to give them credit for making a film in hopes of catching a real killer!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zodiac See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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