HUNT FOR THE BTK KILLER
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Stephen T. Kay
What's it about
This TV movie-of-the-week deals with the capture of one of the world's most well-known serial killers, the BTK killer.
Is it good movie?
I've never really enjoyed TV movies. When I was young, I used to watch them solely because I’d hear during the previews when the commercials were on that there might be a hint of nudity. As always, I was disappointed time and time again to find that there were hardly any boobs- just melodramatic acting, and true stories usually taken way out of context to the point of laughability.
Unfortunately the Hunt for the BTK killer is really no different. Instead of an engaging, realistic thriller in the vein of Fincher's Zodiac (which I heartily recommend, by the way), we get a generic, bland 'thriller' that would have me dozing during the commercials. Playing the role of Dennis Rader is Gregg Henry (who I believe really is the man), and let me tell you, this character is poorly written. Ooh, he's a regular guy who is simply 'just another guy' who is smart enough to evade police while humming to himself to show how "crazy" he is! Lame.
And he's the BTK killer. Bind, Torture, Kill. Where’s the beef? The only real meat comes in brief flashback scenes, and even then, there's not nearly enough nastiness. IT's all so nondescript and frankly quite boring. We don't get a lot of back story, but more of a courtroom-drama-flashback type tale. There's a lot of talking in this movie; lame, overdrawn dialogue performed by mostly marginal and overrated performers (Robert Forster, I’m looking at you).
Blech. There really isn't much to be said about this movie. It is slow, the acting (save for Henry trying his ass off) is weak, and the plotline is choppy and poorly executed. For a story about one of the world's most prolific and terrifying serial killers, this is a true injustice.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture that holds up rather well in this mess of over lit scenery and silly rock music filters.
Audio is really nothing to write home about at all, despite being a 5.1 mix.
Extras you say? Nein, not here.
The Hunt for the BTK killer is worlds better than Ulli Lommel's previous "effort" which was truly, truly awful. Therefore, as far as movies about BTK go, this one takes the cake, but that's not saying much. The film is a generic and plain carbon-copy of stuff you've seen before, and besides Gregg Henry's awesome ability, this one is a dog and doesn't deserve your time.