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Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Life

1 rating: -3.0
A movie

A lurid dramatization of the shocking misdeeds of Milwaukee murderer Dahmer, from the early roots of his obsession with the dead to his later acts of cannibalism.

Release Date: 1993
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Life

Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Life – what a bunch of crap

  • Jun 6, 2003
Pros: not a single pro was involved with this movie

Cons: yes, it was a con job

The Bottom Line: ____________

I know now why tigers eat their young
Carl Crew’s mother should have taken that advise and saved us all a lot of pain. Crew is responsible for this lousy take-off of the sad life of Jeffrey Dahmer. Crew IS the crew in this movie. He wrote it, he produced it and, surprise, he plays the part of Dahmer. Add to that the droning sound of his voiceover during the entire movie, little time was spent on the actors learning their script.

To keep it a family production, David R. Bowen directed and co-produced the movie, as well as writing the ‘original’ music. Donna Bowen played Dahmer’s mother and was also production assistant. Casey Bowen was production assistant as well. There, that rounds out the family nicely, doesn’t it?

I had just finished watching Dahmer by David Jacobson, so I thought I’d continue my morose weekend with The Secret Life, etc. I can’t even say that Crew’s talent was wasted on this production and that perhaps with bigger backing, etc., it would have been a better film. As long as they used this script, it would never be a better film, and I mean NEVER.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t care for Dahmer either. Both miserable releases in my book.

Carl Crew is just a horrible actor, at least in this movie. I’ve never seen him in anything else nor do I know he if has done anything else. Furthermore, I don’t care. His facial expressions and mannerisms were so wooden and stilted I got splinters just watching him.

The movie was so poorly shot it made you laugh because you just know you could do better with your camcorder if only someone would produce your work. Crew was VERY generous in his interpretation of Dahmer’s ‘secret life’, at least according to what true stories have been released about him. The one thing his movie did that Dahmer did not do, however, was take you through to the discovery and arrest of this pitiful creature.

I will admit I didn’t follow the original story too closely back in 1992, but I would imagine that some of the information released on both these videos was factual concerning his drug and alcohol addiction problem. If so, coupled with his family background, I can’t say I understand what he did, but in a way I do understand what he did. Not that any of those three things, even combined, justifies kidnapping, raping and killing people, but it does tend to shed a new light on things.

Much like Ted Bundy, Dahmer seemed to have a charismatic make-up that drew people to him. In addition, his innocent golden boy looks and manner made many people forgive and forget when they encountered him, especially on his several interactions with police officials. I’m not pointing any fingers but you have to wonder if just one person would have stepped forward, how many lives could have been saved?

Crew relys on the stalking factor in Dahmer's life, with soem pretty gory scenes on the dismemberment jobs. Speaking parts are slim but he makes up for it by droning in the background like some boring English professor that hates his job, telling the story. I guess the idea was to pretend it was a diary of sorts. It didn't work.

Sound quality was horrible, you could hear the echo off the poorly made sets. Really, I can't say enough bad things about this production.

This movie was released in 1993, just one year after ‘the discovery’, when people were still holding hands to their hearts in shock. I think that was Crew’s idea, to get the people while the meat was still fresh and cash in. Pretty sick if you ask me but it seemed to work for him. This was a thrown together production, disjointed, not factual, shock fest. Gotta admit, Dahmer was a better production and even it stunk like the apartment in Milwaukee.

That’s the other thing I never understood. I’ve had things go bad in the fridge, I figure most people have had something ‘go over’, or had a critter crawl under something and die. You KNOW that smell, it will friggin take the breath right out of your body. How in the living Hell did he get away with this for so damn long? Even with police visiting his apartment several times. He was cute, sure, but not THAT damn cute.

Should ya waste your pennies on this? No way, frankly it stinks.



Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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