Saturday, September 11, 2004

Portrait of a serial killer

Last movie I watched was the documentary, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. Aileen Wuornos was the prostitute/serial killer whose story was the basis for the movie, Monster.

I highly recommend the documentary, haven't seen the fictional movie version. Wuornos could pull off short stretches of seeming sane, but I would challenge anyone to conclude she was anything but crazy in her final speech the day before she was executed. She seemed a tragic combination of terrible upbringing, outright insanity, and rage. I doubt any avid supporters of the death penalty will see this film, and that's too bad (my personal opinion of the death penalty is a wishy-washy semi-opponent).

One sidenote: the documentary maker said that virtually everyone who knew Wuornos betrayed her in order to get money in a deal for a Hollywood movie. I'm very interested in knowing whether that deal, which the documentarian clearly condemns, resulted in the fictional movie Monster that has received such acclaim. A bit of brutal Hollywood irony, if true. Even more ironic is that the DVD makers stuck a trailer for Monster at the beginning of this documentary.

UPDATE: So it turns out I'm only about 2 degrees of separation removed from a glamorous Hollywood director. I have a source that knew people involved in making the Hollywood version of this story, Monster. I broke my source's ankle and got her to talk: apparently the Hollywood director (Patty Jenkins) visited Wuornos extensively and was on her good side, so the exploitation may be less of a concern, at least for people other than Wuornos' relatives and friends.

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