The Zodiac Killer, 1971 – ★½

A first time attempt at film making by a man who previously had been the manager of a pizza chain. ‘The Zodiac Killer’ was billed less as a faithful attempt at charting the killers history, and more as a ‘stunt’ film aiming to try and catch ‘The Zodiac Killer’ himself. If he had any sense, he’d have stayed FAR away from this film.

I honestly dont have much to say about this one. Its an inconsistant plot that deals with a load of loose strand characters as they slowly come to realise that a string of murders may be at the hands of the Zodiac Killer. But the scripts pacing is so inconsistent and frankly SO dull, that I really found myself struggling to keep on top of all the stuff that was happening (or…wasnt happening more often than not)

The dialogue feels rambly and is mumbled for the most part, and this isnt a particularly heavy on dialogue script, so the fact it doesnt even manage to nail what lines there ARE present was dissapointing.

The direction was rough and rudamentary. There definitely was some guidence on set and location as to how they wanted these scenes to play out. But it’s clear that there wasnt much time for retakes and even less time for anything more detailed than ‘Walk on, say line, walk off’. it’s SUPER basic, not the worst ive seen. But not great.

The cine has a thick layer of heavy grain film and grime running through it, which DOES help add a sense of retroactive stylisation. But it doesnt help with the compositions and sequence building, both of which are really basic and frankly quite poor. Theres really not a lot of stand out cine here.

All in all? This is a reallly REALLY cheap effort, and a first time effort to boot, producing a film thats absolutely an interesting time capsule in terms of seeing how people dealt with the zodiac stuff so close to the time it happened in (this film came out less than 2 years after the final murder) But thats all it’s really good for in my opinion.

With an aimless and mumbly script, poor direction and cine, graphic violence that gets as bad as; Someone falls over, gets stabbed with a prop knife and gets a tube of fake blood poured in tiny dribbles over there body in such a way that it looks like they’re being awkwardly face painted. Its an interesting movie in a historic sense, but in a viewable sense. This was dire for me, and not one I can recommend.

source https://letterboxd.com/tytdreviews/film/the-zodiac-killer/

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