Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Amy Lyndon
What's it about
Serial killer Dennis Rader aka BTK returns from a long hiatus to stalk the streets of Wichita, Kansas.
Is it good movie?
Before I begin this review, I have something to confess. I, your humble critic, (wait, this sounds like Iím revealing Iím the real BTK) live and write out of Wichita, Kansas. And for those not in the know, my city is famous for a few things. Barry Sanders, Kirstie Alley, Don Johnson, Pizza Hut, lots of airplanes, and a really bad dude named B.T.K. Yes, even in the land of Dorothy and all that, a serial killer roamed our streets, carrying out some very evil deeds during the 1970s. Then he disappeared for 30 years, only to reemerge to taunt the police and scare the hell out of everyone. Fortunately, as the press coverage grew and his ego expanded, the cops nabbed him before he had the opportunity to kill again.
Now the reason for my above confession is so I can explain my review as I probably have a different viewpoint for the latest movie about the killer: B.T.K. I can critically examine a movie, but itís tough to get by how crappy they make Kansas look and how stupid the script is. I know the place it kinda dull, but come on, at least visit the place before making a film about the region. Make your jokes, but any setting, any landscape can be made effective and interesting. Go ask the Coen brothers; they know a thing or two about embracing a region and mining it properly.
Regardless of these initial minor bitches, B.T.K attempts to follow the path of the fantastically horrifying Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a near documentary-style flick from the late 80s that perfectly captures the mindset of a madman. With B.T.K., director Michael Feifer attempts to mold his tale in this manner but fails on nearly every level. He made a stellar piece of junk. At times it feels like the film wants to examine the murderer and his reasons for killing, but it just canít get a grip. Itís too busy showing Rader messing with his neighbors and smiling awkwardly. The movie canít decide if it wants to make Rader Jason Voorhees or a realistic dude.
And with a serial killer story, thereís a built-in terrifying tale, one thatís so creepy, so down right f-ed up that thereís no reason to enhance the majority of the story. But B.T.K is set after BTK had committed the crimes, after he reemerged in the public eye when he only taunted the cops and media. The real killer never killed again, but this movie has him returning to the slaughter. Why change that? How freaking crazy is it already that a serial stalker/murderer/church president returned three decades after his crimes have been committed to screw with the city again? I just donít understand the need to alter anything. Itís like having a movie about Ted Bundy joining a prison gang, or if John Wayne Gacy had joined the circus as a clown, or if Jeffery Dahmer set up a bakery in the neighborhood and sold eyeball ice cream. Itís just stupid. Real life always trumps fiction.
Well, rant over, and B.T.K still sucks. Itís poorly written, poorly directed, and poorly acted by horror icon Kane Hodder. Sorry fans, but without a mask on, Hodder just doesnít work. Itís like he doesnít know what to do with his face and overacts the smallest little humanistic tics. Heís on too often instead of just allowing the audience to feel his creepiness.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear 16x9 Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Surround.
B.T.K is a cheaply produced and run-of-the-mill serial killer movie that falls in line with the slew of other recently received features. Next time, maybe someone can create a story that not only engages the brain of Rader, but shows of Wichita a little better as well. Come on, please?