Monday, May 5, 2014

B.T.K. (2008)

It's nice to see Kane Hodder working again. I realise he's been in many films since his name first hit the radar as Jason Vorhees, but I don't often see him get so much screen time.

The first thing that made me appreciate this film is that right from the start they tell you that it is a fictional account based on an actual serial killer. To me, a lot of the "celebrity serial killer" movies would be far more enjoyable if they just admitted that they were making things up and taking an infamous name to them.

 So now that I know not to start picking apart the facts from the case as portrayed in the film (which is a nasty habit of mine), I could sit back and let the story play out the way the filmmakers envisioned it.

Hodder plays Dennis Rader, known to the world as the B.T.K. Killer. While "BTK" actually stands for "Bind. Torture. Kill.", I joke that in this film the "B" stood for "be a douchebag." Seriously, the character was the stereotypical not-quite-a-cop on a power trip, writing tickets on the slightest of infractions during his rounds as a compliance supervisor. Hodder played it beautifully.

Unfortunately, Hodder's performance was the only really outstanding quality to be found in the film. As we begin to see more of his family, particularly when they are confronted with the facts that dear old dad might be a serial killer, the story quickly disintegrates into an after-school special with the three female family members squabbling like they are staging an intervention and blowing their delivery up to dramatic soap opera proportions. Other minor characters seem to either over-act or just fall flat.

On the horror side, there was one shooting death scene in particular that caught my attention as being visually intense, however impossible. They also do well with providing suspense and tension whenever Hodder is alone with anyone who looks like a good victim candidate, and given that we're already forewarned that it's a fictional story it allows for wondering who may be next on the kill list.

Info on IMDB: B.T.K.

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