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My Friend Dahmer (2017)

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A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school.

Director:

Marc Meyers

Writers:

Marc Meyers, John Backderf (based on the book My Friend Dahmer by) (as Derf Backderf)
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Popularity
2,021 ( 1,051)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zachary Davis Brown ... Freshman Boy (as Zac Brown)
Lily Kozub ... Freshman Girl
Ross Lynch ... Jeff Dahmer
Vincent Kartheiser ... Dr. Matthews
Alex Wolff ... John 'Derf' Backderf
Adam Kroloff Adam Kroloff ... Mr. Burlman
Anne Heche ... Joyce Dahmer
Brady M.K. Dunn Brady M.K. Dunn ... Bossy (as Brady Dunn)
Michael Ryan Boehm Michael Ryan Boehm ... Shorty (as Michael Ryan)
Dallas Roberts ... Lionel Dahmer
Liam Koeth ... Dave Dahmer
Tommy Nelson ... Neil
Harrison Holzer ... Mike
Cameron McKendry ... Moose
Jake Ingrassia Jake Ingrassia ... Gooch
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Storyline

A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the Acclaimed Graphic Novel


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

R for disturbing images, language, teen drug use, drinking and sexual content, and for brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

My Friend Dahmer See more »

Filming Locations:

Cleveland, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,545, 5 November 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,355,664, 25 February 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

My Friend Dahmer was filmed in Jeffery Dahmer's actual childhood home in Bath, Ohio. Revere High school he went to was going to be used for the movie as well, but the school rejected the offer. See more »

Goofs

On a couple occasions, Derf is seen drawing with a Sakira Pigma Micron pen. This particular artistic lining pen wasn't invented until the mid 80's; yet the movie takes place in 1978. Another time Derf is sketching with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pen, another drawing pen that wasn't available in that same time period. See more »

Quotes

Jeffrey Dahmer: I have to pick up road kill, but I'm trying to quit.
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Connections

References Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady Doubonette
Written by Nick Nicholis and Don Parkins
Performed by The Bizzarros
Courtesy of Clone Records
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User Reviews

 
A bold effort to portray Dahmer's pre-blood shed years
25 September 2018 | by hughrcarsonSee all my reviews

If the events chronicled in My Friend Dahmer, are in any way an accurate representation of the late teen years of Jeffrey Dahmer, then it would surely have come as no surprise whatsoever to anyone that knew him, of the awful scenes that were soon to follow.

Of course, the life and times of Jeffrey Dahmer are the stuff of infamy now and Marc Meyers' engaging film is therefore bold in its ambition, choosing to focus the lens of inquiry not upon Dahmer's eventual macabre practices, but on his formative high school years. Before the killing had even begun.

The obvious question that this therefore raises is whether such an approach in any way offers sufficient enough material with which to keep engaged a cinema-going audience - beyond the morbidly curious, wannabe mass murderers and trainee clinical psychologists, that is.

And the answer, on balance, is a resounding...yes.

Meyers' film is a sort of dark coming-of-age drama, with an implied gruesome twist.

Painted as an awkward and dysfunctional youth with something of a lumbering gait, the teenage Jeffrey Dahmer (portrayed convincingly here by Ross Lynch), is every bit the social misfit. Wishing to 'belong', but having little idea of how to do so, he is offered something of a lifeline in this regard when a handful of his classmates become first amused, then quickly obsessed by some of Dahmer's impromptu clowning about.

Dahmer is only too happy to perform one particular 'spazz' routine - as it comes to be known - on command, much to the mirth of his new found set of 'friends', who proceed to egg him on enthusiastically to greater and greater lengths.

But with a private life spent either dissolving and dissecting roadkill or drinking heavily - even at school - it is clear that such social interaction with his peers is but a thin mask on the face of the truth. Jeffrey Dahmer is an incredibly troubled soul, and any new-found 'popularity' gained proves to be short lived. It is not long, therefore, before he resumes his role of general recluse and social leper.

Behind every twisted serial killer there is usually some form of dysfunctional background, and Dahmer's - whilst perhaps less pronounced than other multiple murdering maniacs that we may choose to mention - is one which certainly will have played some sort of role in shaping the nature of the man that he was to become.

Anne Heche is quirky in her portrayal of Dahmer's depressed, anxiety-riddled, pill-popping mother, Joyce, whilst Dallas Roberts portrays Dahmer's father, Lionel, as a man often absent from the family home, who quietly despairs of both his eldest son, and his increasingly untenable marriage to Joyce, medicating himself with alcohol, accordingly.

Collectively the couple seem to have paid very little attention to Jeffrey, instead focusing the bulk of their love and devotion upon Dahmer's younger brother, Dave (Liam Koeth), even to the extent of fighting fiercely for post-divorce custody of this younger sibling, yet effectively abandoning a by then eighteen-year-old Jeffrey altogether to live alone in the family home.

If he was feeling unloved prior to that, this therefore would surely have been the tipping point. As it pretty much proved to be.

All credit then to Marc Meyers on what proves to be a fascinating piece.

My Friend Dahmer - based upon John Backderf's book of the same name - is an important and effectively realised insight into the mind and motives of a disturbed soon-to-be serial killer.


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