Thursday, 31 May 2012
The Las Vegas Serial Killer (2 Stars)
I review films from any age. My very first review was "Metropolis", made in 1927, and yesterday I reviewed "Avengers Assemble", made in 2012. I review a large number of German films, most of which are well known to people who live in Germany. I watch many low budget films. Anybody who appreciates the magic of cheap films that rely on a good plot rather than fancy special effects knows the name Ray Dennis Steckler. He was a director who made about 30 films from 1962 to 1997. When people say "low budget" they usually mean a film that costs less than $100,000 to make, but Steckler's budgets were the lowest of all. Some of his films were allegedly made for less than $500. This was possible by using his family and friends as actors, and filming everything himself. His most famous film is "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies", made in 1963. I strongly recommend that film, but "The Las Vegas Serial Killer" isn't one of his best.
The film is about Jonathan Glick, a killer who is released from prison and settles in Las Vegas. Far from being reformed, he immediately sets out on a killing spree, murdering prostitutes and nude models. At the same time two petty thieves are operating in Las Vegas, mugging women and stealing their handbags. Glick kills a woman shortly after she has been robbed, leading to the thieves being the main murder suspects.
The problem with this film is that unlike Steckler's usual films there is no real character development. We have no explanation for the way Glick is; he merely stalks the streets and kills. The two thieves hardly talk to one another, so we don't get a chance to understand them. The film is as cold as a documentary.