Humans have come a long way from their savage days but the animal instinct still lies hidden inside us. While most of us have successfully civilized our ways, there are some out there working in the dark, stalking, observing, and finding comfort in taking lives; one after the other. Serial killers have existed throughout history. Our society is complex in the sense that we are both repulsive as well as fascinated by shocking stories of violence, cruelty, and madness. Cinema gives us a chance to experience the thrill of getting into the disturbed mind of a madman.
A lot of film directors have tried to show us the working of a serial killer’s mind on celluloid. While not all the films did a great job some went on to become classics. Here’s a look at some of the most perturbing serial killers and movies made on them.
Henry Lee LucasFilm: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Henry Lee Lucas' life was destined to appear on screen though the real events would have been much disturbing than what was showed in the movie. A serial killer who sought pleasure by raping, strangulating and stabbing his victims, Henry’s childhood had a big role to play in his transformation into America’s most prolific serial killer. The movie starred Michael Rooker in the lead role.
John Wayne Gacy
Film: To Catch a Killer (1992)
Also known as the Killer Clown, John Wayne Gacy was a ghastly rapist and murderer who would lure his victims to come home and later strangle them to death after sexually assaulting them. Watch the movie directed by Eric Till and starring Brian Dennehy and Michael Riley to know why a man who dresses up as a clown to entertain kids at parties and who undertakes major charitable works for fundraising starts killing young boys and later dumps them in the crawl space of his home.
Unidentified serial killer who murdered gay men
Film: Cruising (1980)
This film starring one of Hollywood’s most premier actors, Al Pacino, attempts to throw light on the unsolved bag murders wherein a serial killer went on a killing spree mutilating and dismembering six gay men and later packing their remains in a black plastic bag.
Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed
Film: The Countess (2009)
A spine-chilling true story about Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed, a Hungarian countess who brutally tortured and murdered hundreds of girls in the belief that it would preserve her beauty. She was convicted of 80 murders. The film was directed by Julie Delpy who also starred as the film’s lead character.
Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy
Film: The Deliberate Stranger (1986)
A terrifying serial killer who made confessions that were too outrageous to believe, Ted Bundy was a charismatic man who raped, kidnapped and killed young women. A necrophile, Ted Bundy’s evil and sadistic desires took the lives of several women in the 1970s. The film saw Mark Harmon in the lead role.
Jack the Ripper
Film: From Hell (2001)
Inspired by one of the most famed serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper, the movie takes viewers into the dark reality of London city’s most infamous slum Whitechapel. The maniac would cut the throats of his victims, mostly prostitutes, followed by abdominal mutilations. Sadly, the murders were never solved nor the killer identified. Johnny Depp plays the role of an intense psychic inspector in the film.