Based on the true story of the eight year long manhunt in communist Soviet Union (1982 - 1990) for one of the most savage and elusive serial killers on record - Andrei Chikatilo (a chilling Jeffrey DeMunn).
The story starts out with newbie forensic pathologist, Viktor Burakov (a great Stephen Rea), and his first cadaver that comes into the morgue. A quick nightime search of the wooded area where the body was found is completed with eight MORE bodies found in varying degrees of decomposition and desication. All are children, boys and girls alike and have been murdered, raped and mutilated in some very odd ways.
Viktor, somehow, is put in charge of the WHOLE blessed case by Colonel Mikhail Fetisov (Donald Sutherland). With Viktor now being forensic expert, detective, and case cracker extraordinaire, he is more than a little wary of his own capabilites and feels like the only man who cares about these horrific murders that are taking place.
The investigation continues on for many years with many murders being committed over time because the case is being buried under the communist parties' government red tape and "poo pooing" by the Colonel's superior and sinister leader, Bondarchuk (Joss Ackland).
Thankfully and finally the cold war hits and Viktor is given permission to bring in a psychiatrist, Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky (Max von Sydow) to create a psychological profile of the serial rapist and murder. Not only is this the first case of serial murder in the USSR but the first to employ psychological profiles, US FBI tactics, and dissemination of the crimes to the general populus.
With fifty-two victims to his name, the killer they deem "Citizen X" finally takes shape right before their eyes... Watch this doozy of a true crime story and see if they "KATCH THEIR KILLER"!
All of the performances are top-notch with only a bit of the Russian accents faltering a bit, even in Sutherland's double award-winning portrayal. Rea, DeMunn, and von Sydow also deserved awards for their truly engrossing performances.
If you like true crime or the Hannibal stories, you are sure to enjoy this film!
Happy Watching and Don't Talk To "Strangers On The Train"...
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