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Cherry Pop

'Dahmer: Collector's Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Jeremy Renner, Dionysio Basco, Bruce Davison, Matt Newton, Artel Great, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2002) 2020 / MVD Visual)

Overview: A butcher. An animal. A monster. Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (Academy Award© nominee* Jeremy Renner, The Avengers) was vilified when authorities discovered he murdered, dismembered, and even tried to consume the bodies of 17 young men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

But is there such a thing as a human monster? Starting somewhere between popular legend and historical fact, 'Dahmer' dares to explore the truth of a man many called an abomination of nature, but who was most decidedly a living, breathing person.

Inspired by life events, it takes you into the demented world of this lonely factory worker and examines the ways in which his twisted personal pain led to the most self-destructive extremes of human cruelty.

Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, Jacobson's film shows little violence. That's a point I'd like to stress because there is a certain audience I think will appreciate this film but who may not give it a chance because they expect graphic nastiness.

Against the film's interests, the marketing tries to sell the film to the cheap horror-movie audience and I think this is a pity. Instead of depicting violence, Jacobson's film discomforts you using dramatic means - principally writing and acting. All of which are used with enough skill to distinguish the film from cheap horror movies.

It would be wrong and unfair to dismiss 'Dahmer' because of its packaging. It is a well-written and performed character drama.

It's subject matter is too horrible for the general drama audience to welcome, but at the same time its serious approach makes it too straight for the entertainment market.

By that I mean the Hannibal Lecter/Seven audience, who prefer their serial killer tales abstracted (and therefore made safe) by the presence of movie stars.

'Dahmer' is more akin to Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer in being low budget, filled with unfamiliar faces, and focused so much on the killer that there is no awareness of the authorities or justice in the story. There is no hero cop or FBI agent in pursuit.

Furthermore, 'Dahmer' is very unlike McNaughton's infamous film because, as already mentioned, it's low on violence, but also because it's a technically better-executed piece of work.

The photography and editing, the use of music, the already-mentioned acting and writing, make this a surprisingly good-quality film considering the expectations stacked against it.

One technical achievement I find worth noting is how well it recreates period. Sequences set in the '80s have a visual authenticity that puts big budget studio attempts to shame.

Obviously, you know what kind of film you like. If what I've said above sounds interesting to you, then I recommend giving it a look. I repeat that you will not see much in the way of gore or violence.

There are plenty of films with more graphic content dressed more commercially. 'Dahmer' won't make you feel good. It isn't a fun movie, but if you are looking for something with more substance you may just find it here. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature from a brand new 4K HD master struck from the original camera negative supervised by director David Jacobson presented for the first time in its original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Audio: DTS 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Mono LPCM
English and Spanish Subtitles
Audio commentary by director David Jacobson and actors Jeremy Renner and Artel Kayaru
Making of Featurette (SD, 16:17)
Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
Story Boards
Red Band Trailer (SD, 02:13)
Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 01:45)

'Dahmer: Collector's Edition' [Blu-ray] is out September 15th, 2020 via MVD Visual.

'Dahmer' Trailer