The Killer Within

The title of this film caught my eye because it is so similar to one of my favourite novels by one of my favourite writers: The Killer Inside Me, by Jim Thompson.

pulpy goodness, mmmm...

But Bob Bechtel is no Lou Ford. Aside from being a killer, that is.

Thompson’s Lou Ford is a brutal, unfeeling sumbitch who’d just as soon shoot you in the eye as pass you the salt and pepper. Bob Bechtel, contrariwise, is a schlubby-looking senior who happened to have shot a fellow college student at point-blank range while the latter was lying asleep in bed. Bechtel blamed his action on bullying he’d had to put up with throughout his life, up to and including alleged abuse by the boy he shot. (Incidentally, that claim is disputed by friends and fellow students from the time.) Bechtel was put away in a hospital for the criminally insane for 5 years and then released because the family of the boy he’d killed declined to press charges. Continue reading



Of Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro has said that this is the film where it’s as if his ‘balls dropped’. And I can see what he means. It is easily his most accomplished film so far.

It is both beautiful and brutal, mesmerizing from the opening shot to the closing one. I found myself in tears more than once–sometimes because of the beauty, sometimes because of the brutality.

The Captain is certainly the scariest monster he has ever created. And he’s human. That’s what makes him scary, I suppose… He makes the bugs and beasties of Mimic and Hellboy look like mere pushovers.

Plus, I got to meet GDT.
Guillermo is one of my favourite filmmakers.

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Wow, as I sit here in an internet cafe just north of Dundas on Yonge, it turns out to have been a really good idea to just sorta drop everything and come to Tronna for the weekend and just hope to get into some TIFF screenings by using the rush lines.

I was able to buy a ticket for the first film I wanted to see. It never did sell out. It was Deliver Us From Evil, a documentary about Oliver O’Grady–a pedophile Catholic priest who molested at least a hundred kids in central California starting in the 70s. He fully cooperated with the filmmakers–likely not intending to come off as the sociopath he does (!)–and it was really interesting to hear his side of the story. But it was excruciating to see the pain he had inflicted on the victims and their families. I was in tears I dunno how many times and wanted to rip that (seemingly oblivious) sonofabitch’s nuts off by the time the house lights came up.

Then, later in the evening was the premiere of the new film by one of my favourite filmmakers, Werner Herzog: Rescue Dawn. This is a narrative version of the story of Vietnam POW Dieter Dengler, whose story Herzog told a few years ago in the documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. I got to the theatre two and a half hours before the screening and there were already 12 people in the rush line. Yeesh. Luckily, the theatre holds 1200 people, so it seemed likely that I might be able to get in on rush. But about an hour before the screening, some kind soul came up to me and flat-out gave me a ticket to the film! Yeah, gratis. So I got outta the rush line and into the ticket-holders line (which was ‘way around the block by that point). Happy as a clam. Kept checking my back pocket and feeling the ticket there–to make sure it was real. 🙂 Continue reading