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Did you like “Dhamer” ? Discover 13 films based on real serial killers



The true crime subgenre has always piqued the curiosity of many, and not (just) for the morbidity of the dead themselves, but for the interest in understanding how these characters’ minds and modus operandi work, who are considered real monsters, but who, believe me, they are real people, with whom we live with on a daily basis, whether to a lesser degree or even greater. Who knows…

Cinema has always delivered great films inspired by some of these ‘celebrity killers’, classics such as ‘Psycho’, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Seven’ are prime examples of films that have figured out how it works, both in the criminal part and in the criminal investigator, which ends up making these cases even more interesting for all the study carried out during the famous hunts.

However, this time we are going to cite here 13 films that have tackled real cases, or rather, productions that have adapted the stories of real killers, as was the case with the recent hit series made by Netflix, ‘Dahmer – An American Cannibal’. , which details the life story of Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most talked about serial killers in the United States, and who, no wonder, had already received other films, series and even comic books .

13 – The Countess (2009)

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Although the most famous cases of serial killers have taken place in the 21st century, there are much older criminals. In the 17th century, the Hungarian Isabel Báthory became famous for having murdered hundreds of young girls, because she believed that the blood of virgins would be the secret of eternal beauty. Unlike so many serial killers who specialize in covering up their actions, Báthory never really concealed the deaths, which took place in collusion with her husband.

Countess Báthory’s plans involved multiple torture techniques that ranged from pouring cold water over victims’ bodies and freezing them to death in snow to driving pins through nipples and under fingernails. The film directed, written and starring the always stunning Julie Delpy was critically acclaimed and became a huge blockbuster in France and loved by fans of the style.

12 – From Hell (2001)

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, “From Hell” is a reimagining of the crimes of Jack the Ripper. Never captured, the Ripper has remained in fans’ imaginations for the mystery surrounding his figure, something that was also achieved by the Zodiac assassin. Set in Victorian-era London, From Hell follows the investigations of eccentric Inspector Frederick Abberline, played by an as yet uncancelled Johnny Depp.

Albert Hughes, who is also the director of ‘The Book of Eli’ and ‘Alpha’, the filmmaker’s references added to the graphic novel allude a bit to the kind of stylization you’ll see in From Hell, which means it’s not is not a good indication for those looking for more realistic films.

11 – Henry: Portrait of a Killer (1986)

Henry Lee Lucas isn’t as well-known a killer as the others on the list, however, he still produced one of the style’s most beloved films, starring Michael Rooker (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) in the role. major. The film is so visceral that it’s one of the few to touch on the horror genre, rather than being categorized as drama, thriller, crime, or detective. In ‘Henry: Shadow of a Killer’ there is no room for a game of cat and mouse between policeman and murderer, the focal point is the crazy mind of the subject.

Rooker, in partnership with director John McNaughton, creates a character that goes far beyond a simple assassin serving a bloodthirsty spectator. The idea that people like Henry can exist spills over into the film and touches on what is most dear to us: our human vulnerability.

10 – Chasing the BTK Assassin (2005)

For 31 years, a serial killer known as BTK has terrorized the small town of Wichita, Kansas. BTK killed ten people between 1974 and 1991 and returned to combat in 2005 when captured. His name was Dennis Rader. A psychopath who killed 10 people. Rader sent letters to local newspapers and the police outlining details of his crimes. Gregg Henry delivers a serious and very true performance, like the fearsome BTK, which was also discussed in the Netflix series ‘Mindhunter’.

09 – Citizen X (1997)

Known as The Butcher of Rostov, The Red Ripper, or The Rostov Ripper, Andrei Chikatilo terrorized parts of the Soviet Union between the late 1970s and 1990s. Produced by the United States in partnership with the Hungary, Citizen X is not a Soviet view of history. Directing is by Chris Gerolmo, who in the previous decade directed “Mississippi Burning,” a racism-heavy film.

Gerolmo was also responsible for writing the adapted screenplay for the book by Robert Cullen, author of “The Killer Department”, a book that follows the eight years of hunting, capturing and condemning Chikatilo, until today considered as the wildest in Russia. Jeffrey DeMunn plays the terrifying Chikatilo, but the focus is on detective Viktor Burakov, played by Stephen Rea.

08 – Night Stalker (2016)

There are many reasons why a person becomes a serial killer. In the case of Richard Ramirez, who acted in 14 carnages from 1984 to 1985, there is no way to determine exactly. In 2016’s “The Night Stalker,” we follow a series of fictional interviews between a lawyer and the killer, who must confess to his crimes.

The film features a brilliant portrayal of Lou Diamond Phillips as Ramirez and details his modus operandi, as he robbed homes and killed his victims, leaving a pentagram in place as part of a devout Satanist practice. It’s a dense and complex film, but it shows the inhuman sides of this criminal. He is perhaps one of the most vicious serial killers in history.

07 – The Crimes of Snowtown (2011)

“The Crimes of Snowtown” introduced the world to director Justin Kurzel (“Macbeth: Ambition and War”) and is based on the most famous detective series in Australian history. In the 1990s, James Vlassakis, John Bunting and Robert Wagner were convicted of torturing and killing twelve people. In the film, the initiative for the crimes goes to John Bunting (Daniel Henshall), a kind of extremist leader who attacks suspected homosexuals or pedophiles.

The construction of hate crimes becomes the focus of the film, told from the perspective of James Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway), a young man with no prospects in life, who sees in John an opportunity for social belonging.

06 – Dahmer – Killer Spirit (2002)

As in the famous Netflix series, the footsteps of Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, or as he is better known, the Milwaukee Cannibal, are faithfully portrayed in this film, here titled ‘Dahmer – Killer Mind’. Dahmer was one of the most vicious serial killers in history, leaving a trail of death, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia in his path of horror. Here we have Jeremy Renner, Hawkeye, early in his career playing an even more mysterious Dahmer than Evan Peters, who seems crazier.

05 – Helter Skelter (2004)

Charles Manson is not as brutal a killer as the others mentioned, but he is well known for the murder of Sharon Tate, who, in addition to being an actress, model and partner of filmmaker Roman Polanski, was also nine months pregnant when she was attacked by members of the Manson family. And ‘Helter Skelter’ is directly based on information provided by Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor in the case against Manson, which gives the film a less fictional edge.

Steve Railsback is absolutely insane as Manson and it’s truly chilling how he demonstrates that no matter what, he’s come out on top. Many years after the film, which exaggerates the drama of justice and accentuates the fanaticism of the defendants, we know that Manson has continued very well in prison, dating, receiving fan letters and selling autographed items. Although it focuses on the trial of Charles and the Manson family, the film is still graphic.

04 – Ted Bundy – The Irresistible Face of Evil (2019)

‘Ted Bundy: The Irresistible Face of Evil’, a film released by Netflix in 2019, follows the point of view of Elizabeth Kendall, a woman who has been in a relationship with Ted Bundy for years without suspecting his crimes. She wrote a book that served as the basis for the film, and we see Zac Efron in the role of the sadistic killer. Note: the film is directed by Joe Berlinger, who also directed a documentary series on Bundy for Netflix.

The film was directed by Joe Berlinger, who also directed the documentary series ‘Talking to a ‘Serial Killer: Ted Bundy’. Elizabeth Kendall is played by actress Lily Collins, from “The Mortal Instruments” franchise.

03 – The Golden Glove Bar (2019)

‘O Bar da Luva Dourada’ is undoubtedly the best presentation we can have of this movie. The promo video not only says you have to have a strong stomach to watch it, but it also has an interesting mix of laurels and reviews that warn the viewer this is a movie you might regret watching. The junction of dark German humor and the tragedy of a true story, because the protagonist is the German serial killer Fritz Honka.

Absolutely bizarre, raw and grotesque even in style, the film is another work by award-winning screenwriter and director Fatih Akin, who adapted Heinz Strunk’s novel. The film seems to like being controversial and proudly boasts low ratings, which together with the film’s run at festivals like Berlin, gives the title a certain cult status.

02 – Monster: Killer Desire (2003)

Aileen Wuornos has quite a storied history, as the woman was molested by her psychopathic father as a child and later raped by her brother. He began to develop aggressive behaviors, including self-harm, which left several marks on his face. After being arrested and convicted of several crimes, the prostitute began relationships with women and later implicated his girlfriend Tyra Moore in the murder of seven middle-aged men.

Charlize Theron, unrecognizable under her makeup, and just like Aileen, won the Oscar, the Golden Globe and the Golden Bear for Best Actress. Aileen was also featured in the American Horror Story: Hotel series, where she was played by Lily Rabe.

01 – Zodiac (2007)

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States was terrified of the emergence of the Zodiac Killer, one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of American justice. This serial killer claims to have killed 37 people, although only 7 victims have been discovered so far. And in the movie ‘Zodiac’, directed by David Fincher, we see his story.

Unlike the others quoted here, the film does not follow the killer, but the investigators of the case. It all starts when a letter is sent to a newspaper, written by someone claiming to be the infamous serial killer. As in the real case, the film does not provide the answers about his identity. Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo are among the cast. It’s simply the biggest movie to feature a real-life case in theaters.

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