dir. Jacobson
Opens Fri Sept 6
Clinton St Theater

When Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in 1991, police found the remains of 11 bodies inside his apartment. He had a freezer with severed heads in it, skulls that had been boiled and painted, ten sets of hands, and three torsos in a 55-gallon drum. Dahmer drilled holes in his victim's heads and poured acid into their skulls to lobotomize them (one victim lived for two days). He fried their flesh and ate it with steak sauce. He sawed apart their bodies at all hours of the night, and his apartment, while tidy, reeked of rotting flesh.

Dahmer, the fictionalized depiction of Jeffrey's life, disappointingly, does not get into the gore or motivation involved in Dahmer's crimes, but is more a portrait of the man as he was--what he did, where he went, his lifestyle of alcohol addiction and constant smoking, his low-rent job, and his methods of luring victims into his death lair. The story is slow paced, well shot, and believable, especially with the sheepish Dahmer look-alike, Jeremy Renner, and the flashback portrayals as Dahmer as a nerdy youth.

Oddly, the film makes no effort to glorify, condemn, or judge Jeffrey Dahmer in any way. It feels like, "A Week in the Life of a Serial Killer," which makes the film contemplative, but sadly, not frightening. The most notable scenes are when Dahmer stumbles into his first murder and must drink himself into oblivion in order to cut up the body, all the while gagging. When he finally gets the job done he collapses on the couch, crying.

Don't expect to be scared by this film (unless you're a fucking pussy). Instead of trying to disturb, the sentiment is more Jeffrey Dahmer smoked pot, Jeffrey Dahmer worked in a chocolate factory, Jeffrey Dahmer lifted weights, and for some reason, Jeffrey Dahmer cut people open and took out their organs. Huh.