John Holmes was a legend of the porn industry and revered in circles as a stud. But in 1981, years after his successful career and star fading, Holmes was a desperate man with his own internal demons to live up to. He's estranged from his wife, holding onto a relationship with his teenage mistress, and living as a junkie in search of his next fix. But one fateful night left four people dead and John as a key suspect in one of the most grisly murders in Los Angeles. Was he partly responsible for what happened at Wonderland Avenue?Written by
Christina Applegate grew up near the site of the Wonderland murders and remembers seeing the bloody mattresses on the street, which led to her agreeing to take a relatively small role in the film. See more »
Fox Plaza is visible in one of the montages. It wasn't built until 1987. See more »
Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bob Dylan
Published by Dwarf Music
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
Interesting Account(s) Rather Than An Actual Story
Cox's 'Wonderland' is about the gruesome Wonderland murders (obviously!) that took place in the early 80s. The murder case itself was never solved and remained a mystery. Sadly, the movie does not do much to to cast light on it but there are hints indicated what most likely has happened. It is more of an interesting account rather than an actual story where one event is told from the perspective of different characters: Ex-porn king turned junkie John Holmes (Val Kilmer), his girlfriend Dawn Shiller (Kate Bosworth), his estranged wife Sharon (Lisa Kudrow) and David Lind (Dylan McDermott).
'Wonderland' is quite well shot, with the chaotic camera-work and slick editing, use of music and visuals and effective sound. It is very graphic and includes real photographs from the crime scene. It does manage to create the feel of the early 80s that ended the craziness of the 70s. Val Kilmer seems to be an odd choice to play John Holmes. There is no physical resemblance. As a stand alone he acts well but does not have any nuances of Holmes. His portrayal of Holmes is inaccurate to say the least. Kate Bosworth is quite alright. I didn't find the love story between the two that engaging. Dylan McDermott does not seem to be completely in character. In spite of having a small role, Lisa Kudrow delivers the best performance. It was very nuanced and natural. Josh Lucas does alright but at times he seems a little too loud. There are several more familiar faces.
Before watching the film, I had very limited knowledge of the notorious murders but after seeing the movie, I did more research and understood how gruesome and horrifying it was. 'Wonderland' tries to portray the event in an accurate way but those who are looking for a closed ending will be disappointed. As I stated earlier, it does give a hint as to what most likely happened.
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