BluRay/DVD Reviews

AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER

By • Jun 1st, 2004 •

Share This:

Columbia-Tristar

Giving one of the greatest performances in film history in MONSTER, Charlize Theron galvanized moviegoers and ignited renewed interest in serial killer Aileen Wuornos. If you thought Theron did a good job, see the real Wuornos. Theron eerily inhabited the soul of the woman.

Director Broomfield follows up his 1992 documentary, “Alieen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer,” with 2002 interviews leading up to her state sponsored execution.

This riveting documentary easily stands alone. Broomfield is now a part of the story. He, and co-director/director of photography Joan Churchill, retrace her story using portions of the previous film. Bloomfield makes the key point in “The Selling of a Serial Killer” that Wuornos’ incompetent lawyer, mother, and multiple members of the Florida state police were all out to get famous and make money selling the story to Hollywood. It is a disgraceful expose.

Bloomfield was served with a subpoena to appear at Wuornos’ final state appeal before her execution as our country’s “first female serial killer.” He decides to capture his participation in another documentary. However, after 12 years, Bloomfield finds a different Wuornos telling a fantastic story. The killings were not self-defense. Yes, she was a homeless highway hooker but she was actually in “the robbery business.” She wants to make a full and complete confession to us on camera. She is impatient to be executed.

What did twelve years on death row do to her?

Broomfield is shocked at her confession and really can’t believe it. He appears betrayed and decides to go back and re-examine her past. This is rather chilling as we are shown the depravity, isolation, and tragedy that sealed her childhood and designed her fate. Wuornos freely admits to incest, rape, pregnancy at thirteen, prostitution, and being forced to live in the woods for two years.

The most startling thing about this film is when Wuornos, thinking the taping is over, admits she has been lying to Bloomfield. She wants to die and now has her own reasons for saying she was in “the robbery business.” It was self-defense. Wuornos believes radio waves are penetrating her prison cell and she wants to get off death row.

The documentary is made up of news footage, footage from the court, and new interviews with Wuornos’ childhood friends. The audio is remarkably good, especially when Wuornos makes her whispered confession to Bloomfield. Bloomfield knows to keep the camera trained on Wuornos’ face. We are given the privilege of making up our own mind about whether she was our “first female serial killer” or a sad victim of men who wanted cheap sex in their car and brutalized her for being a homeless whore.

There are no special features or commentary tracks on this single disc. There is the trailer for “Monster,” “Secret Window,” “Trapped” and “In the Cut.”


Directed by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill

Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
1.85:1 Fullscreen
Running time: 89 minutes

Tagged as: ,
Share This Article: Digg it | del.icio.us | Google | StumbleUpon | Technorati

Leave a Comment

(Comments are moderated and will be approved at FIR's discretion, please allow time to be displayed)