Like most kids, Ned idolized his father and dreamed of following in his footsteps. Unfortunately, his father was a two-bit crook who spent most of his life in jail. Without a family of his ... See full summary »
David E. Allen
Before his arrest and conviction for serial murders, chocolate factory worker Jeffrey Dahmer hunts Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for young attractive males to turn into unconscious (eventually dead) human sex toys, current acts which often prompt memories of earlier killings and of dealings with his suspicious but unaware father.Written by
The crow which Dahmer traps in a box at his grandmother's house was actually a trained bird for film and television. It was credited in the cast as "Edgar Allen", a homage to horror author Edgar Allen Poe. See more »
During the scene where Jeffrey is about to purchase a knife in the sporting goods store, a boom microphone is visible at the top-center of the screen. This occurs right after the store clerk says "I ain't even messin' it up." See more »
On February 15, 1992 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was convicted of 15 counts of murder and sentenced to 937 years of federal prison. The following story was inspired by events from his life. Certain characters and events are fictional.
See more »
Though the names of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims were changed in this biopic, details of his killing methods were used; yet, the film's closing disclaimer states that any similarities to the history of any actual person, living or dead, or any actual event is entirely coincidental and unintentional. See more »
"Dahmer" is, by and far, one of the best films I have ever seen.
Like it or not, the famous and infamous are inevitably mythologized. They become ciphers for the human dilemmas and attributes which compel them to commit the acts that grant them their notoriety. Serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer are no exception. For better or for ill, they take their place in the pantheon of popular culture.
How, then, to handle this? It is easy to turn a figure like Dahmer into a devil, a monster who embodies the most violent and irrational of human impulses. This, sadly, is far from productive or enlightening. It says nothing of the human condition besides the depths to which it can sink. Do we really need another film to learn this? The capacity for human evil is made more than apparent by the atrocities one encounters when reading a history book.
The makers of this film attempted something different. Dahmer becomes a sort of avatar of human loneliness, of alienation and the terrible force of sexual frustration and the wrath it inspires. We are shown a lonely man who craves the affection of others but is incapable of attaining it in the normal fashion. The Dahmer of this film employs drugs and violence to subdue those he desires and transform them into living dolls. The viewer gets the sense that, as he cuddles with the comatose body of his victim, he wants nothing more than a body beside his own as he struggles through his nightmarish sleep. Renner, the actor who portrays Dahmer in this film, says more by the contented look on his face as he holds his victims than any philosopher has ever written about the nature of the relation of Self to Other.
The acting is superb in this film. The soundtrack, especially its use of Siren's haunting "Blue Theme," does wonders to capture the type of loneliness which the makers of this film have used Dahmer to symbolize.
Most impressive, perhaps, is the use of image as narrative. There are far too many examples to cite, of course. However, one stands out clearly in my mind. Flashing back to Jeffrey's younger days, he is shown attending a party he holds at his own home. Wandering about alone, he happens upon a couple engaged in amorous play. After watching for a few moments, he leaves the home and commends himself to the night.
Unable to touch the Other, we inevitably delve deeper into the Self. "Dahmer" shows us what happens when such a descent brings us into darkness.
God help us when we finally glimpse the soul and come to the realization that it is not spirit, but an abyss.
41 of 53 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this