THE ZODIAC KILLER (1971)
Article #1632 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-2-2005
Posting Date: 1-30-2006
Directed by Tom Hanson
Featuring Hal Reed, Bob Jones, Ray Lynch
A homicidal maniac known as The Zodiac Killer is on the loose in San Francisco.
The opening of this movie takes pains to point out that it is a true story, and that if some of the dialogue sounds strange, the viewer should remember that it all really happened. I don’t know the actual details of the case, so I can’t say how accurate this movie is, but as for our psycho, he’s apparently a rabbit-loving, woman-fearing ex-postman who believes that all his victims will be his slaves in the afterlife, which also has something to do with the rising of Atlantis. There’s an interesting user comment on IMDB about this movie from someone who claims to know the makers of the movie; he says that the purpose of the movie was to catch the killer himself, who would of course have found a movie about himself to be irresistible. Since the killer was never caught, I’m assuming that it didn’t work. If the movie has any message, it’s probably that we should all be scared to death that some psycho will knock us off at any moment and that the world is full of such psychos just waiting for their chance; both the beginning and the end of the movie deliver this message. Unfortunately, some of the murders come off as more comic than terrifying, the movie itself is pretty muddled (for example, a scene with a psychic goes precisely nowhere), and the overall effect it had on me was one of indifference. Certainly, anybody seeing the movie in the hopes of gaining any real insight into the psyches of serial killers will probably come up short.