It seems like certain low budget filmmakers just flip through their serial killer trading cards looking for inspiration. I’ve no qualms about watching a documentary that deals with specific serial killers from a just-the-facts analytical point-of-view or even a well-made docudrama like Helter Skelter or Zodiac, but these DVD releases of late have just been low rent exploitation flicks of questionable taste and quality. This November necrophiliac serial killer Ed Kemper gets his turn.
“Co-ed killer” Edmund Kemper committed his first murders as a teenager in 1964 when he gunned down his grandparents, a crime for which he spent several years in a state mental hospital before convincing doctors he was sane. His killing spree resumed for a year beginning in mid-1972 with the brutal murders of six female hitchhikers; afterwards dissecting their corpses and performing necrophilia. His lifelong struggle with his abusive mother came to end in 1973 when he beat her to death with a pick hammer while she slept. After which he severed her head and used it for oral sex and later even as a dart board. He then turned himself into police, plead insanity, and is currently serving a life sentence in a California prison.
I don’t know about you but this doesn’t exactly sound like something I want to see dramatized in any graphic detail. But we might be getting just that. The official plot synopsis for Kemper – I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this aspect of the story is entirely fictitious – goes a little something like this:
“Inspired by the events surrounding Ed Kemper, the Santa Cruz serial killer commonly referred to as the “co-ed killer.” An ordinary man leading a routine life, no one is more surprised by the fact that Ed Kemper is responsible for the gruesome murders than his friend Detective Tom Harris. Assigned to find the killer, he’s betrayed when Ed reveals himself as the killer. Harris is trapped in a cat and mouse game, hoping to bring Ed to justice and stop the horrific killings.”
Tom Harris? As in Thomas Harris, author of Silence of the Lambs, who has said he based the character of “Buffalo Bill” on Ed Kemper? I think we can already tell what events really inspired this flick.
Working from a script by Jack Perez (director of Wild Things 2 and The Asylum’s 666: The Child), Kemper’s cast of relative unknowns is directed by Rick Bitzelberger. Bitzelberger’s credits are an eclectic lot, everything from family-friendly made-for-TV Christmas movies to multiple episodes of the late night Skinemax series “Erotic Confessions”. He also co-wrote the Alyssa Milano classic, Embrace of the Vampire.
Kemper is coming to DVD on November 25th from our friends at Lionsgate. Hey, what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with a movie about a serial killer who likes to rape corpses?
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