Green River Killer
directed by Ulli Lommel
(Lions Gate, 2005)

This is a disastrously bad, ridiculous excuse of a film. You would think the life and crimes of a man who killed dozens and dozens of women over the course of two decades would be interesting enough for any director, but Ulli Lommel threw accuracy out of the window whenever he felt like it (either that, or he couldn't even be bothered in the first place to do a Google search for "Green River Killer"). Based on what I saw here, all Lommel knows about these infamous crimes is that some fellow named Gary Ridgway killed a bunch of prostitutes in the Seattle area in the 1970s. I'm not talking about the kind of problems that can be blamed on a low budget here; Lommel either didn't know or just didn't care about the facts.

In the movie, Ridgway picks up all of his prostitutes at this tiny bar, leading each girl out in front of the same group of people time and time again. Even when it finally dawns on the bar owner that this same weird dude left with all of her working girls right before they died or went missing, and she mentions it to the police (who seemingly don't care that she's a madam), Ridgway keeps on doing it -- and no one seems to be the wiser. Any one of these regular bar patrons could have identified the killer, no matter how much beer poured through their bloodstreams.

Then there's Ridgway's job. In real life, he did detailed custom painting at a trucking plant; in the movie, all he does is move boxes at some warehouse. It's hilarious, really; he and his two co-workers literally pick up boxes and move them from one stack to an adjacent stack over and over again. Then you have one scene showing Ridgway killing a prostitute in his house while his obviously troubled young son is in the other room. That never happened in real life, and I find it quite odious that Lommel would take such offensive liberties with this unfortunate boy. And don't even get me started with the salacious little tidbit Lommel chose to throw in at the very end. This man obviously has no shame.

Lommel isn't even talented enough to be an amateur filmmaker, in my opinion. Green River Killer is a disgraceful, incompetent film in every possible way. If you're going to exploit the victims of an inhuman serial killer for profit, at least show them or the audience a little respect.

review by
Daniel Jolley

2 October 2010

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