How well do you know your neighbors? After some tragic event that takes place in a neighborhood or apartment complex, the media always interview those who claim to have known the person or persons involved with the crime in question. And what are the typical responses? “He was quiet.” “He kept to himself.” “He seemed like a nice guy.” “I’m shocked that he would even be a part of something like this.”
These were similar reactions from those who lived around serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the notorious monster who killed, dismembered, and ate his victims (17 in total). Dahmer was seen by his neighbors as a quiet, reclusive man, that never bothered anyone. It wasn’t until 1991 when his Milwaukee apartment was searched that the truth was revealed and a murderer was finally stopped.
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files explores the events leading up to Dahmer’s arrest as well as the investigation and its aftermath. The documentary interviews three key players in the Dahmer case: Dahmer long-time neighbor Pamela Bass, Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, and Police Detective Patrick Kennedy. All of them provide insightful and disturbing insights into who this man was, and how he got away with he depraved acts for so long.
Interwoven throughout are little vignettes of Dahmer going through his daily life barely registering on the radar, very unassuming, and pretty mundane in his activities. It’s only once many of the events are linked together that you see that Dahmer’s seemingly dull “errands” have a very dark, and ultimately horrifying purpose behind them.
This is a film that gets under your skin and is hard to forget. This is primarily due to the fact that this actually happened and wasn’t fabricated by Hollywood. It’s pretty disturbing to think that the quiet guy who lives next door to you could be chopping up and eating bodies as you read this review. Sweet dreams!
Another thing that is interesting about this film is that it was funded through Kickstarter, which has grown a somewhat infamous reputation itself of being a place where regular people and even celebs try and get projects funded through public donations. You rarely hear about the successes that have come from Kickstarter campaigns, so seeing this finished film is proof positive that the Kickstarter system can and does work.
The DVD is loaded with special features, which include Deleted Scenes; a Q&A with filmmaker Chris James Thompson; Kickstarter videos; and film’s Trailer.
For a haunting look at one America’s most notorious serial killers, check out The Jeffrey Dahmer Files. And maybe get to know your neighbors a little better, just to be safe.
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files is available NOW on DVD!