Diary of a Serial Killer (Video 2008) Poster

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Copycat basically copycats other movies in the Cop/Serial Killer/Thriller sub-genre.
Pierre_Kirby5 October 2008
A young journalist is out for revenge against the serial killer who killed her mother; the serial killer's niche, is that he is/was inspired by the hilariously talented trio of Gein, Ramirez, and Dahmer.

Copycat for some reason wants to be some sort of intelligent, analytical thesis on what makes a killer, but, it fails miserably. For starters, the ending is idiotic; heavily placed so that the message the movie is providing tries to be truthful and convincing. The rest of the movie basically revolves around vignettes (or flashbacks) from the lives of Gein, Dahmer, and Ramirez, and the "relationship" between the journalist with the cop who helps her, and the serial killer who she wants to kill. Everything is kept at a nice pace, but the clichéd, redundant script and weak acting f*ck everything up to the extent that you don't care for any nice pace; you just want the damn movie to end.

The cinematography and editing are adequately done, the main score is effective, and the gore is bland for the most part.

Either way you look at this movie, be it from a critical or gore-fix (?) point of view, you should skip it. Hell, you shouldn't even read the plot synopsis on the back of the DVD box. Ignore this crap fest.

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all over the place
megan myers1 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Yet another example of a story that had a great pretense but just didn't pan out. It went all over the place depicting the past histories of multiple serial killer but never gave us, as viewers, enough time to focus in the present day killer and develop a dislike for him so that in the end, we are satisfied that he got his cum-uppance. I mean, the casting was OK and they acted well but they weren't given a quality, flowing story to play this out properly. The mousey reporter lady who ended up getting captured by the psycho didn't really show much concern about her predicament. It's like she was more bored with just getting the scene over with so she could get home and watch Desperate Housewives or Lipstick Jungle or something. She could have fussed and kicked and whined around far more to make the scene a bit more realistic. Her stoic defiance of being just seconds from getting butchered out was far different than most people would be reacting.
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Who would have thought serial killers could be so dull?
acustomer6 May 2010
It actually makes a lot of sense. Serial killers are people, and much of people's lives are somewhat boring. If this moving was attempting to capture the abject boredom of having a compulsion to kill, it has succeeded admirably. Two problems: 1. I don't think that was the filmmaker's intent and 2. Even if it was, this would still be completely unentertaining.

The first issue is the pacing of the film. You ever hear how great directors help tell their story with every single frame of film? Now think of the opposite. Vast portions of the film are spent watching cars drive, birds chirp, people doing various things with phones, and people just plain standing around. It's incredible that the film is only 85 minutes, because it looks like they could have shortened it to 30.

The second issue is that they clearly have not mastered "show, don't tell." Having wasted dozens of minutes on people standing around, walking around, and sepia toned near-stills... they narrate. And oh how they narrate. You start feeling like you're watching a series of 15 minute long Twilight Zone episodes with the requisite intro and exit statements. And when they're not flat-out narrating, they're having the actors speak exposition to each other.

And lastly, close to half the film seems to be spent on flashback re-tellings of random real life serial killers. It leads you to wonder: how much new story is actually in this movie? It runs 85 minutes. Subtract off 10 for credits and opening. Maybe 1/3 of the rest is random real stories adapted (poorly). And 1/2 of the whole movie is wasting useful story telling time through slow pacing, in what I can only imagine was an attempt to be "suspenseful." So, if you watch REAL carefully- you might see about 25 minutes of real movie in here.

Though well... the production values were pretty good (despite a deep seeded love of sepia) and the actors were competent. So that's something. And makes it perhaps even sadder that they didn't seem to have that much to say.
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Good gore, but thats really the only thing good.
The Movie Watchers2 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was the occasional, generic detective thriller movie that have hundreds of other movies just like it (hence the name "Copycat" I guess). First off, I would like to say that this does have its good points and A LOT of bad points. Good gore, effects, dead bodies, etc were pretty good, except even some of THEM seem like they were fake, mainly some of the stabbings which were a bit TOO smooth. The acting was the kind of acting that is in almost every B movie, average, but at some points seemed like the actors didn't really care. The movie actually seems to revolve around the old famous killers, rather than the one that the movie should actually be about and has a really whacked-out ending, which to me made no sense. "Copycat" really has no flair or anything to separate this movie from the hundreds of other movies just like this, so it's not all that famous. It's just slapped back into the Thriller section of the Movie Store, waiting to be sent into the archives, or more realistically, in the "for sale" section where it will most likely sit and rot.

If you like detective/thriller movies I suppose you should RENT this, BUT only if you can find nothing else to watch for cheap.

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Not quite what I expected but still not very good.
Paul Andrews6 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Diary of a Serial Killer is set in Los Angeles where a serial killer is at work, his sixth victim has been found & local reporter Laura Nelson (Chloe Snyder) is on the story & is more eager than most to see the killer brought to justice as her mother was one of his previous victims. The killer leaves no forensics behind & the police are stumped so a cop gives Laura a letter left at the crime scene by the killer to print as her headline which he hopes will then flush the killer out, I have no idea why he thinks that though. As more letters come to light they form a sort of diary for the serial killer who expresses his feelings, inspirations & motivations through them as Laura quickly becomes top of his hit-list...

Directed by Andy Hurst this serial killer thriller was released on DVD in the US under the alternate title Copycat which is odd since there's already a serial killer thriller called Copycat (1995) staring Sigourney Weaver & Holly Hunter, the two are not dissimilar & could easily be confused. I would have thought the title Diary of Serial Killer would have been more commercial rather than the generic & nondescript sounding Copycat, but then again what do I know? Anyway the film itself isn't a complete disaster but I didn't think too much of it, the main thing about Diary of a Serial Killer that sets it apart is that there are three mini films within the film itself. I mean there's the main wraparound segment featuring the fictional serial killer, the usual cops tracking him down & a nosey reporter who gets herself into trouble but then at certain points the film switches from this fictional premise to real-life reenactments of notorious serial killers Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer & Ed Gein all of whom have had several films made about them already but is Diary of a Serial Killer the first to feature all three? Who cares? The film switches narrative with little regard to the viewer or the flow of the particular segment that is currently playing & while the variety is welcome I didn't think it worked particularly well as the film keeps jumping back & forwards all the times. Also it's never made clear whether these reenactments are the serial killer's imagination of what he thinks they should be or whether the makers were striving for authenticity. The pace is alright, the character's are alright & it's watchable but nothing overly memorable or original & a terrible twist ending that makes zero sense doesn't help it's cause.

There's some gore but nothing too excessive, someone is stabbed & has a knife stuck in his hand, someone gets a drill in the head, there's some brief intestine eating in Dahmer's cannibal scene, a woman gets her brains blown out, there's a rotten corpse seen & a girl gets a pitchfork through her head in a scene that looks like it could have come from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The film feels like a thriller rather than a horror & s such there's not much in the way of scares.

Shot in Los Angeles the production values are good & probably better than most straight-to-DVD releases although having said that I only saw it a few hours ago & I can barely remember anything about it. The acting is alright from no-one I have ever heard of or seen before.

Diary of Serial Killer is an adequate way to pass 90 odd minutes I suppose but it's rather forgettable in it's own right. I thought it was pretty average & certainly wouldn't be in any rush to see it again.
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My Review
joemamaohio29 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Investigative journalist Laura (Chloe Snyder) is hot on the trail of a serial killer who killed her mother. With the help of the police she follows the clues given by the killer...diary pages that chronicle the lives of some of the world's most infamous serial killers.

It's an homage to the killers that Laura doesn't understand. As she delves deeper into their lives, she realizes just how sick people can be, and unknowingly draws the newest serial killer to her doorstep.

Once again, a lame attempt at a somewhat interesting concept. It's unnerving in the sense that people like Gein, Dahmer and Ramirez actually exist in the world, and it shows what true evil can look like. But yea, the acting, effects and everything else about this film is low-budget at best.
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Waste of time
David Murphy7 December 2016
I wouldn't go as far as to say that this film is the worst film I've seen (I've certainly seen worse) but it is definitely in the top 10 worst films I've seen.

They had a good idea for a film but spoiled it with poor acting and historical inaccuracy. The ending was very rushed and poorly thought out and it feels like the film spends ages building up to something but doesn't provide what it built up to. Parts of the film don't make sense. The way they portrayed Ed Gein and Dahmer was very inaccurate (how ever Richard Ramirez' portrayal was somewhat accurate).

All in all, the film is a waste of time and money and I wouldn't even recommend to the most die hard serial killer obsessives.
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"Battle not with monsters least you become a monster yourself" Friedrich Nietzsche
sol10 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** Very odd kind of crime flick that takes us, courtesy of the killers extensive collection of films DVD's and video tapes, down memory lane in seeing first hand the crimes of a couple of deceased and celebrated serial killers: Ed Gein whom the film "Psycho was based on and the gay and cannibalistic Jeffrey Dahmar. We also get to see what started the notorious Night Stalker Richard Ranirez now sitting on San Quentin's death row in his life of crime,in him murdering some 30 people, in him being influenced by his psychotic uncle a Viet Nam veteran who taught young Richard everything he knew in murdering defenseless human beings from his experiences in Nam.

The film "Diary of a Serial Killer" centers around young L.A reporter Laura Nelson who's obsessed in capturing the person who murdered her mother. As Laura gets a beat on the elusive killer he in turn sets her up for a final showdown in a deserted factory not to murder her but enlighten Laure in what makes him tick as well as get her to put him, a very disturbed and troubled young man, out of his misery!

We also get to see super star serial killers Ed Gein Jeffrey Dahmer as well as a very young and innocent, at the time, Richard Ramirez in action in films and videos that the killer somehow got a hold of and played for Laura to watch. We see the killer do all this besides leaving Laura letters, written in his victims blood, that he left as clues to his identity!

***SPOILERS*** By the time the killer got through with Laura she became as deranged as he was which was his plan all along! Like being exposed to an infectious disease Laura's exposer to the killer turned her into what he is and was! And it wasn't a pretty sight for both Laura and the police who came on the scene to rescue her!
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