Massacre: Richard Speck" DVD
There are days when
I'm convinced I'm one of the last dozen people on earth who remembers
when Corin Nemec was Corky. And worse, who remembers when he was
Because watching Nemec
in the latest attempts to outrun his past--and this time in horrific
scar makeup--is actually wavering wildly between comical and terrifying.
And this time, Nemec
is bringing us Michael Feifer's take on Richard Speck's rampage
of killings back in the mid sixties. Just in case you're not conversant
with the details, Speck took nine student nurses in Chicago hostage
and beat, raped, and killed eight of them. The last survivor,
who hid under the bed, manages to give details to the police.
Now...that's not comical.
Nothing about that is comical. Though Nemec manages to bring a
raw, almost hysteric, edge to his portrayal of Speck that belies
a certain skill. One minute a down-home shitkicker country boy,
the next a cold steeled killing machine, and then seguing into
a deep but somber remorse, Nemec takes Speck through the gamut
of possible emotional ranges in a serial killer to an unexpected
Granted, maybe movies
like "Mansquito" weren't exactly the way to get his
skill across. It's hard to look like a Serious Actor when you're
toting an M-203 around and blasting genetically modified mosquito
men. But "Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck", for all
its bluster and splatter and gore, gives Nemec a chance to actually
expand for a change, and do something that almost makes you forget
"Gentlemen, synchronize Swatches".
Almost. He's never
gonna get past that as far as I'm concerned, not least of all
because back when my friends and I were twelve the best possible
thing we could do with our high school careers was be Parker Lewis.
Indeed, he could Not Lose. So too did we hope to at least Not
My own geriatric flashbacking
aside, "Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck" at least manages
to generate some authenticity for a change of pace, unlike the
flood of serial killer movies Lions Gate has been putting out
lately courtesy of non-stop trash machine Hollywood House of Horror.
"Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck" actually manages to
get us caring about the character, giving juuuuuuust enough exposition
to know what's going on without bogging things down.
The ending allows the
loose ends to be tied up in a fairly succinct fashion, and Nemec
ramps up the chuckle factor by having Speck burst out a string
of profanity unlike anything I can generate. Until about the last
four minutes, in which a baffling video is described--and maybe
even partially shown, I couldn't quite tell--in which Speck, in
prison, has sex, does drugs, and sports a couple of breasts from
hormone treatments he smuggles in. That just takes the whole proceedings
and throws it squarely into a "huh?" zone from which
there is no escape except the end credit roll. Which, mercifully,
The special features
include Spanish subtitles, English closed captions, audio commentary,
audio options, deleted scenes, a stills gallery and trailers for
"Murder Set Pieces", "Curse of the Zodiac",
"Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield", "The BTK
Killer", "Black Dahlia", and an advertisement for
All in all, not bad.
A decent performance from Nemec and a little bit of actual narrative
goes a long way in "Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck".
If you're looking for something harrowing and horrifying, then
you could probably do a whole lot worse, unless you can't stand
a story where you already know the ending.
Massacre: Richard Speck
Directed by Michael Feifer
Written by Michael Feifer
Starring Corin Nemec, Andrew Divoff, Tony Todd, Debbie Rochon
Produced by Michael Feifer
out the Video Store Guy on his own ever-lovin' website.
Featuring never before seen pieces exclusive to Reel Advice! (reel.panel2panel.com)