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Gacy (The Crawl Space) (2003)

  Directed by: Clive Saunders
Written by: David Birke, Clive Saunders
Starring: Mark Holton
Links: Gacy on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 2.50 (2 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 184th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Gacy (The Crawl Space) (2003) is also mentioned in pearly's review of The Nameless (1999).

"Another day, another crappy serial killer movie" - a review by andy-j

This is the story of John Wayne Gacy, or rather, part of the story of John Wayne Gacy, as it really doesn't tell us that much. Gacy was a homosexual serial killer, praying on young men who worked for him in his construction company. He would rape and then kill his victims, burying the majority of them under his house. No-one suspected a thing for a long time - Gacy was a well-liked and hard-working member of his community.

The movie opens with a brief scene of Gacy's childhood - that of him being verbally and physically abused by his father. I suppose this is meant to be some sort of "explanation" as to why Gacy turned out the way he did, but, by itself, it explains nothing (there are plenty of people who have suffered worse abuse who haven't gone on to kill). It's the only explanation we get though. Then we shift forward some years, where Gacy is in the midst of his killings and he is having troubles keeping the smell of the corpses under control. We see Gacy in action - he cozies up to a few guys, kills them and disposes of the bodies, all the while playing the nice guy to everyone around him.

This film just has it all wrong. It's drawn out, unexciting, generic, and seems to go over the same old ground several times throughout the movie. The acting is ok - Mark Holton, who plays John Gacy, doesn't really give us any insights into his character, and doesn't give him any depth, but I suppose that's partly due to a poor script and direction. The focus is all wrong - instead of telling us what it is about Gacy that drove him to murder, we just get tedious scenes of him killing people. Snore. The movie tries to build suspense at several points, but totally fails.

Don't bother with it people. I found an article on crimelibrary.com about John Wayne Gacy that was more entertaining and informative than this movie. Read that - it's free.

andy-j gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 20 Jan 2004

"Stinkier than Gacy's crawl space" - a review by pearly

Sometimes, when you're at the video store and nothing is inspiring you, someone might recommend a movie that you would never have hired yourself. And it might turn out to be the best thing you could possibly have hired because it's such a fantastic movie that it totally changes your life. And sometimes, you end up hiring something that's a great heaping pile of garbage.

Gacy is such a movie. It's based on real life events involving John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer who befriended and then killed over thirty men in the 1970s. Gacy was clearly made with a low budget, and it shows in the end product. The story is interesting, but only because it is based on these actual events, and I am sure that it would be quite easy to make a movie about Gacy that is better than this one.

The editing is so heavy-handed that it's almost beyond belief. The film-makers must have found it a struggle to fill enough time to make the film long enough to be feature-length, so in between each scene there is a series of repeated shots of Gacy's basement, showing framed pictures of clowns that cover the walls. Just clowns, over and over. If you took out each of these vignettes and sewed them together, they'd probably go for a good five minutes, which makes up over a twentieth of the running length of the movie, i.e. much too much. This, coupled with the fact that aside from these shots of clowns, there is also about five minutes' worth of shots of maggots crawling around under Gacy's house, should help you to understand that out of the years and years of stuff that Gacy did, the film itself doesn't even really scratch the surface.

The acting is nothing much to speak of; Mark Holton as Gacy himself is passable, but was probably chosen mainly because of his physical similarities to the real Gacy, rather than any real talent as an actor.

The most interesting stories can come from real life, but it is entirely possible to take everything that made a story interesting in the first place, and jumble it all up so that all that is left is a skeleton. In short: don't bother watching Gacy.

pearly gives this movie 2 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 20 Jan 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 2.50
Lowest rating: 2 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 3 (by andy-j)
 
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Reader comments

  1. pretty lame could have been alot better

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from missy rush on Sat 06 Mar 2004 13:05 #

  2. I absolutely loved this movie. I really think that it gave a great explaination of what happened in John Wayne Gacy's life. It's a sheme that you people could say that this is a terrible movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Kelsey on Wed 02 Mar 2005 06:51 #

  3. Oh, and did I mention I simply adore killer clowns? weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Kelsey on Fri 03 Jun 2005 09:12 #

  4. This movie was so-so. Expected more out of it, but Gacy was a complex monster to try to pin down. By the way, is it just me or is there a shot of a palm tree near the end of the movie (in Des Plaines, Illinois?)

    Rating given: 3

    A comment from Beastfan on Sat 31 Dec 2005 04:58 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 5.25 (4 ratings)

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