DVD Review: Son of Sam

Son of Sam
Directed and Written by Ulli Lommel
Starring Yogi Joshi, Elissa Dowling, Jamie Bernadette, Cassandra Church, Bertrand Pare, Dawna Chae
Lionsgate Entertainment
Release Date: September 9th, 2008

Between 1976 and 1977, David Berkowitz murdered six people and wounded seven others in a series of attacks that terrorized New York City. He was dubbed the .44 Caliber Killer by newspapers and was self-titled the Son of Sam in a letter found near one of the shooting victims. After Berkowitz was finally arrested, in part due to an unpaid parking ticket, he cited both a Satanic cult he was supposedly a member of and his next door neighbor’s dog that was possessed by a demon who commanded him to go out and kill. This is Berkowitz’s story, as recounted through the imagination of Ulli Lommel.

Lommel, who has been making movies since the early 1970s, has seemingly made his post-2000 career out of writing and directing low budget direct-to-video tales about true-life serial killers or knockoffs of Hollywood fare. One would guess that after a handful of misses he’d finally get one right, but Son of Sam is not that film. Here, Lommel takes broad strokes with the most generic information about Berkowitz to paint a clearly unnecessary fictionalized account of the Son of Sam murders. Truth is always stranger than fiction. Would it have killed Lommel to browse through the Wikipedia entry on Berkowitz to get some of the details right?

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