Serial killers do not kill for vengeance or greed. Uncontrollable psychotic urges motivates their never satiated appetite for murder.
Cronicas by Sebastian Cordero (Ecuador)
Antibodies by Christian Alvart (Germany)
The Boston Strangler w. Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda
The Laughing Policeman w. Bruce Dern and Walter Mathau
Memories of Murder
Tell Me Something by Chan Yoon-hyun (Korea)
The Sniper (1952) by Edward Dmytryk
Red Riding Trilogy
Evilenko w. Malcolm McDowell
The House of Wax
Matt Parks…GREAT CHOICE with MS. 45 …an almost forgotten classic!!!!!
Citizen X and Les Fantomes Du Chapelier are also two great serial killer movies, not so famous though
1. Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin)
2. Homicidal (William Castle)
3. Cold Fish (Sion Sono)
4. American Translation (Pascal Arnold, Jean-Marc Barr)
5. The Honeymoon Killers (Leonard Kastle)
Zodiac, Peeping Tom, Hot Fuzz (I know, not what you would first think of as a serial killer movie but it is there), Frenzy, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Se7en, M, Cruising, Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, The Exorcist III, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Halloween, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre
oooh…FRENZY…ANOTHER great choice
Can’t pick just five:
Zodiac (David Fincher)Cure (Kurosawa Kiyoshi)Peeping Tom (Michael Powell)Clean, Shaven (Lodge Kerrigan)Se7en (David Fincher)Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)Manhunter (Michael Mann)Vengenace is Mine (Imamura Shôhei)
Night Of The Hunter
There are a few I can think of that are great movies that feature serial killers but not great movies about serial killers. For instance, Peeping Tom.
I don’t know about listing off, but there was a fantastic film last year that dealt with the youth of a serial killer.
If you haven’t caught the Australian film, ‘Snowtown’, I suggest you check it out. An excellent film!
This has always been the most morally troubling of film genres for me. An almost impossible subject to approach.
My favorites:ZodiacManhunterMMemories of Murder
1.ANGST One of the rawest examples of the serial killer as a psychotic force. Following every sudden impulse, and being a constant mess while committing the murders, unlike stylish smart murderers like Hannibal Lector.
2. VENGEANCE IS MINE
4.HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER
5. SOMBRE: Using experimental technics manages to dive into the mind of the killer. And disgustingly enough its almost like being him. A surprisingly moving and dark film.
When people see Tony Curtis in The Boston Strangler (not a lot of modern audiences have), they usually realize that it is not only his best performance, but truly one of, if not the best portrayal of that psychosis put to film.
It is a sadly neglected and underrated film.
Sombre, Noisy Requiem and Ms. 45. Yeah, I like twisted romance, existential malaise and compelx moral webs in movies.
Might have missed it, but I’m surprised that 1980’s Maniac is absent. Granted, it’s exceedingly low budget, but Joe Spinell’s Frank Zito is about perfect as the loser creep.
My list is definitely old school, but I think too many of the newer films are just too glossy, they lose sight of the filth and depravity inherent to the phenomenon being depicted.
5) The Vanishing (1988 Dutch version, not the lamo Jeff Bridges version)
4) Henry (of course)
3) Peeping Tom
Honorable mention: Freeway (Kiefer redeems himself for his participation in the American The Vanishing), Monster, Nightbreed (David Cronenberg’s Decker brilliantly underscored the reconceptualization of ‘the monster’), and 1984’s Fear City.