7.1/10
5,952
42 user 37 critic

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

Trailer
1:28 | Trailer

Watch for Free

on IMDb Freedive

ON DISC
ALL
This documentary looks at Aileen Wuornos convicted of killing 7 men while working as a prostitute in Florida. This is actually the second Wuornos documentary made by this group the first ... See full summary »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

1992, Florida, USA. Aileen Wuornos is claimed to be the world's first female serial killer.

Director: Nick Broomfield
Stars: Jesse 'The Human Bomb' Aviles, Nick Broomfield, Cannonball
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The week before Kurt Cobain was found dead from a single gunshot, he went missing. His whereabouts for that week has remained a mystery until now. But for the first time, the story of what ... See full summary »

Director: John Dower
Stars: Charles Cross, Harvey Ottinger, Alice Wheeler
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Murrow, Polk, and IDA Award-winning documentary Boogie Man is about Lee Atwater, a blues-playing rogue whose rise from the South to Chairman of the GOP made him a political rock star. ... See full summary »

Director: Stefan Forbes
Stars: Lee Atwater, Tucker Eskew, Joe Sligh
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Director: Lance Bangs
Stars: Chad Channing, Kurt Cobain, Jason Everman
Documentary | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain and his relationship with Courtney Love.

Director: Nick Broomfield
Stars: Courtney Love, Nick Broomfield, Kurt Cobain
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.

Director: Nick Broomfield
Stars: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Nick Broomfield
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

On Halloween 1991, Nirvana played live at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. Songs from both albums, "Bleach" and "Nevermind", were performed.

Director: Mark Racco
Stars: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Nirvana
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In this visual essay style documentary, intimate audio of journalist Michael Azerrad's interviews with Kurt Cobain is played over more recently photographed footage of Cobain's Washington state homes and haunts.

Director: AJ Schnack
Stars: Kurt Cobain, Nathan Streifel, Michael Azerrad
Live at Reading (Video 2009)
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

"Nirvana headlining at Reading in 1992 was something you had to see, and if you didn't see it then it was something you pretended you saw." --Kerrang (October 2003) "The staggering energy ... See full summary »

Stars: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Nirvana
No Doubt: Don't Speak (Video 1996)
Short | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A music video for No Doubt's song 'Don't Speak'.

Director: Sophie Muller
Stars: No Doubt, Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal
Short | Music | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The music video to the extremely famous song "Enter Sandman".

Director: Wayne Isham
Stars: R.G. Armstrong, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield
Short | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A couple is depicted making love in a sexual way to each other while frolicking on a deserted beach.

Director: Herb Ritts
Stars: Chris Isaak, Helena Christensen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aileen Wuornos ... Herself
Nick Broomfield Nick Broomfield ... Himself
Terry Humphreys-Slay Terry Humphreys-Slay ... Herself - Her Father was Killed by Wuornos (archive footage)
Leitha Prather Leitha Prather ... Herself - Victim's Sister (archive footage) (as Leitha Prater)
Shirley Humphreys Shirley Humphreys ... Herself - Victim's Widow (archive footage)
Joe Hobson Joe Hobson ... Himself - Wuornos' Attorney
Steve Glazer Steve Glazer ... Himself - Wuornos' Former Attorney
Arlene Pralle Arlene Pralle ... Herself - Wuornos' Adoptive Mother (archive footage)
Dawn Botkins Dawn Botkins ... Herself - Wuornos' Best Friend
Tyria Moore Tyria Moore ... Herself - Wuornos' Former Lover (archive footage)
Uriel Blount Uriel Blount ... Herself (archive footage) (as Judge Muriel Blount)
Danny Caldwell Danny Caldwell ... Himself - Wuornos' Childhood Friend / Witness
Jerry Moss Jerry Moss ... Himself - Wuornos' Childhood Friend / Witness
Michelle Chauvin Michelle Chauvin ... Herself - Wuornos' Childhood Friend / Witness
Jeb Bush ... Himself - Governor of Florida (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

This documentary looks at Aileen Wuornos convicted of killing 7 men while working as a prostitute in Florida. This is actually the second Wuornos documentary made by this group the first being Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992). With her execution now on the horizon Nick Broomfield returns to Florida to complete the story. Her argument has always been that the killings were in self-defense but she eventually pleaded no contest or guilty to most of the murders. Broomfield was able to film several interviews which reveals her state of mind and puts into question her mental competence. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, including violent and sexual dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Aileen: Bir Seri Katilin Yasami ve Ölümü See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,158, 11 January 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$97,362, 26 February 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

[In the courtroom at Aileen's final appeal, Nick Broomfield goes over to say hello to Aileen's former lawyer]
Nick Broomfield: [voiceover] This is the first time I've seen Steve for 11 years. He said my film got him run out of town.
Steve Glazer: [laughing] Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you and the Queen. Fuck and your documentary.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Time
(uncredited)
Written by David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Waters
Performed by Pink Floyd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Suffers a bit from Broomfield's bias but is still chilling and Wuornos is clearly not mentally competent
16 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Almost a decade after he made his original documentary around the trial of Aileen Wuornos, Nick Broomfield is surprised to open his door one morning and be served with a subpoena to attend what would turn out to be Wuornos final appeal. After being heavily criticised for editing his film to give false impressions, Broomfield's involvement is finished when Wuornos gives up on her appeal and volunteers for the death sentence. Broomfield continues his documentary, looking back at the original trial and getting several interviews with Aileen before her death.

I have not seen the film Monster but I may rent it out after seeing this film as it has raised my interest and given me more factual background to the story than I imagine a Hollywood film would give me. I'm not a massive fan of Broomfield and I was amused to see him being slightly hauled over the coals in court over his editing (the implication being that he made it look like Aileen's lawyer had smoked several spliffs before coming to advise her). However, despite opening himself to this criticism, Broomfield starts looking at the case and digs up some interesting fans, but the real value of the film is the interviews with Wuornos herself. While the film has plenty of little legal points about whether or not she was well advised and about how the media seemed to vilify her more than other similar male killers, it is almost impossible to agree with the penalty when you hear Wuornos talking.

Throughout the film her story changes and I was confused as to what the truth was as she seemed to be lying with every other word. We are then given background of abuse and tough living conditions and suggestions that she is the creation of her harsh and unpleasant background. Despite some interviews (particularly with her mother) that cast doubt on her life, the overwhelming impression of her youth is one of suffering, hardship and cruelty. On top of this, Wuornos herself is increasingly erratic and is clearly not in her right mind – reason enough for locking her away for life rather than killing her. She appears to be suffering from some form of split personality – one moment talking calmly to Nick, the next swearing non-stop at the courts to let her die. The idea that Bush's competency hearing lasting 15 minutes just makes matters worse.

Broomfield is clearly a liberal and is very against the death penalty (his comment 'it has been proven that the death penalty is no deterrent' is just lazy) and this does give the film a real slant in Aileen's favour. Despite this the film is still chilling – it is not totally clear what is true and what isn't but there are two things that are very clear. Firstly, there is no doubt that Aileen killed those men and that (in my opinion) self-defence is no defence for all of them. Secondly, Aileen is not in her right mind and should not have been killed but should have been jailed for life. It is chilling that so much is stacked in her favour and that Wuornos is only one of many people involved who want to flick the switch.

Overall, this is not an easy watch and even the Bush brothers would maybe have doubts over her death penalty. Her last interview descends into total paranoia and instability and is horrible to watch – I was left in no doubt that she deserved jail but in no way did this woman deserve to be killed. It is a well made film despite some bias from Nick and the end result is a chilling film that really made me worry about the systems in some states in the US that seem to treat the death penalty with such ease – like Nick says in reference to the physiological competency test, 'it makes you wonder what you have to do to fail'. After this film Broomfield was interviewed in The Times and said 'When I moved to the US in the 1970's, I had a real belief that it was the land of the free. For me this film marked the end of that belief' – it is to the film's credit that many viewers will be shaken in the same way.


35 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 42 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed