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Dahmer (2002)

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Biopic about notorious American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, taking place in both the past and the present.

Director:

David Jacobson

Writer:

David Jacobson
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Popularity
3,537 ( 999)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Renner ... Jeffrey Dahmer
Bruce Davison ... Lionel Dahmer
Artel Great ... Rodney (as Artel Kayaru)
Matt Newton ... Lance Bell
Dion Basco ... Khamtay
Kate Williamson ... Grandma
Christina Payano Christina Payano ... Letitia
Tom'ya Bowden Tom'ya Bowden ... Shawna
Sean Blakemore ... Corliss
Mickey Swenson Mickey Swenson ... Officer Phillips
Julius Branca Julius Branca ... Officer Powell
Pierson Blaetz Pierson Blaetz ... Officer Martin
Vincent Zangari Vincent Zangari ... Ohio Officer
Xavier Lawrence Xavier Lawrence ... Young Man in Bar
David Manis ... Shop Steward
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Storyline

Before his arrest and conviction for serial murders, chocolate factory worker Jeffrey Dahmer hunts Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for young attractive males to turn into unconscious (eventually dead) human sex toys, current acts which often prompt memories of earlier killings and of dealings with his suspicious but unaware father. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The mind is a place of its own.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for aberrant violence, sexuality, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 2003 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mind Is a Place of Its Own See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,093, 21 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$144,008, 11 August 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Kathryn Bigelow wanted to cast Jeremy Renner for Sgt William James in The Hurt Locker (2008) in large part due to his performance in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Rodney falls while dancing with the skeleton, first it's on top of him, then it's to his side, and then it's on top of him again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: On February 15, 1992 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was convicted of 15 counts of murder and sentenced to 937 years of federal prison. The following story was inspired by events from his life. Certain characters and events are fictional.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Though the names of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims were changed in this biopic, details of his killing methods were used; yet, the film's closing disclaimer states that any similarities to the history of any actual person, living or dead, or any actual event is entirely coincidental and unintentional. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: Slender Man (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

More More More
Performed by Andrea True Connection
Written by Gregg Diamond
Used by permission from EMI U Catalogue Inc.
Courtesy of The San Juan Music Group
By Arrangement with Media Creature Music
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User Reviews

Better than the packaging suggests
1 July 2003 | by malcreminSee all my reviews

Jacobson's film shows little violence. That's a point I'd like to stress because there is a certain audience I think will appreciate this film but who may not give it a chance because they expect graphic nastiness. Against the film's interests, the marketing tries to sell the film to the cheap horror-movie audience and I think this is a pity.

Instead of depicting violence, Jacobson's film discomforts you using dramatic means - principally writing and acting. All of which are used with enough skill to distinguish the film from cheap horror movies. It would be wrong and unfair to dismiss Dahmer because of its packaging. It is a well-written and performed character drama.

It's subject matter is too horrible for the general drama audience to welcome, but at the same time its serious approach makes it too straight for the entertainment market. By that I mean the Hannibal Lecter/Seven audience, who prefer their serial killer tales abstracted (and therefore made safe) by the presence of movie stars.

Dahmer is more akin to Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer in being low budget, filled with unfamiliar faces, and focussed so much on the killer that there is no awareness of the authorities or justice in the story. There is no hero cop or FBI agent in pursuit.

Dahmer is very unlike McNaughton's infamous film because, as already mentioned, it's low on violence, but also because it's a technically better-executed piece of work. The photography and editing, the use of music, the already-mentioned acting and writing, make this a surprisingly good-quality film considering the expectations stacked against it. One technical achievement I find worth noting is how well it recreates period. Sequences set in the 80's have a visual authenticity that puts big budget studio attempts to shame.

Obviously, you know what kind of film you like. If what I've said above sounds interesting to you, then I recommend giving it a look. I repeat that you will not see much in the way of gore or violence. There are plenty of films with more graphic content dressed more commercially. Dahmer won't make you feel good. It isn't a fun movie. But if you are looking for something with more substance you may find it.


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