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Night Stalker (DVD Review)

31 Aug, 2009 By: Angelique Flores

Night Stalker

Street 9/8/09
North American
$26.99 DVD, $69.99 three-DVD/Blu-ray promo pack
Rated ‘R.’

Night Stalker is director Ulli Lommel’s latest take on a real life serial killer. The movie is loosely based on Richard Ramirez, who went on a murdering spree in the Los Angeles area from 1984 until his capture the following year.

Lommel, who has helmed many other direct-to-video films about real serial killers, uses a handful of facts, but takes much artistic license.

The Night Stalker is portrayed as an attractive, almost cool, mysterious guy with a dark side. His female victims are the ones shown in negative light, as nagging or selfish girlfriends.

The movie is largely based on alternating scenes of the murders, satanic worship and drug use, making it pretty repetitive, as the murders were committed in very similar ways here.

During the murders, there were background sounds of two people having sex. I suppose that was the filmmaker’s way of showing that these killings were sexually arousing to the killer. It made the bloody scenes all the more chilling and creepy. The dialogue, which was graphic and deliberately shocking at times, also was a bit hard to stomach.

Lommel seems to be attempting to give this gore-fest an arthouse feel, going from color to black-and-white in a gritty, unsteady camera style, and using a repetition like a visual art series.

For horror and arthouse fans — and fans of Lommel — this one is for you, as Night Stalker plays out more like a twisted horror film than a biopic.

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