As often happens in such gruesome cases, the story of Jeffrey Dahmer it has details that one would consider exaggerated if it were a work of fiction. But unfortunately, most of the atrocities that Ryan Murphy pick up in Dahrmer, his series for Netflix with Evan Peters as protagonist, Are true. Which includes the passivity of the police in the face of the crimes of this serial killer who killed 17 young people between 1979 and 1991.
However, the highly publicized Dahmer trial in 1992 set the teeth on the cultural industry. How to resist a killer nicknamed ‘the Milwaukee Butcher’ whose modus operandi included necrophilia, cannibalism and collecting human remains?
In this way, although this case has inspired fewer films than that of other serialkillers, has its corresponding filmography with titles ranging from exploitation to the more or less serious reconstruction of a terrible story, with an unexpected stop in the hilarious humor. For those who have known little of the Murphy series, here is a list of titles.
‘The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer’ (David R. Bowen, 1993)
Shot and released when Dahmer was still alive (one of his fellow inmates murdered him in 1994), this film smells like series B from all sides. However, it presents a curious detail: Carl Crew, the actor who plays the murderer wearing an epic eighties ‘mullet’, is also the author of his script. For the rest, his style and his tone are reminiscent of a mixture of the then so fashionable Henry, portrait of a murderer with a tabletop telefilm.
‘Dahmer, the Butcher of Milwaukee’ (David Jacobson, 2002)
Although the second film about Dahmer and his crimes passed unnoticed, it had an unexpected side effect as it was one of the first leading roles in Jeremy Renner. The actor, unknown at the time, called thanks to this film the attention of a Kathryn Bigelow who signed him for The hurt Locker. And from there, as we all know, to stardom and to wielding the bow of Hawk Eye for Marvel.
‘Raising Jeffrey Dahmer’ (Rich Ambler, 2006)
According to multiple testimonies, Jeffrey Dahmer showed signs of serious mental illness from a very young age. So why didn’t anyone, least of all his family, lift a finger about it before he turned into a monster? This film, centered on the murderer’s relationship (Rusty Sneary, as an adult, and luke adams in his childhood) with his parents (Erin Macgrane Y Scott Cordes) tried to give an answer… and had to settle for a very discreet welcome.
‘Dahmer vs. Gacy’ (Ford Austin, 2010)
Indescribable? Intolerable? inflammable? There each one with their opinion on this Z series production that brings together Dahmer (the indefatigable Ford Austin, a man whose record on IMDB is longer than a day without bread) with John Wayne Gacy (Randal Malone) another serial killer very present in the collective imagination of the United States. Both the ‘Milwaukee Butcher’ and the ‘Murderer Clown’ are resurrected in the film by an experiment of the US government: raise your hand if you also expected it.
‘My friend Dahmer’ (Marc Meyers, 2017)
In 2012, the cartoonist John ‘Derf’ Blackderf published a comic based on the friendship (to call it somehow) that he had with Jeffrey Dahmer in his high school years. This adaptation, the most critically acclaimed film about the murderer, insists on the fact that Dahmer’s environment (here, Ross Lynch) neither knew nor wanted to help him when he was still a young man tormented by his homosexuality and his mental problems.
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The other Dahmers: the films that portrayed the ‘Milwaukee Butcher’ before the Netflix series