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18.10.09

Kemper: Co-Ed Killer (2008)


Director: Rick Bitzelberger
Starring: Christopher Stapleton, Robert Sisko, Kate Danson
Rated R  Running time: 88 minutes
Released by Lionsgate

Direct-to-video schlock producers are now scraping the bottom of the barrel for a new name brand serial killer. With Dahmer, Gacy, Gein, and Lucas already well represented, it's time for some of the more obscure homicidal maniacs to have their moment in the sun. Enter Ed Kemper, a California-based maniac best known for decapitating his mother and then having intercourse with her severed head.  If that weren't enough for you, he also used his poor mother's noggin as a dartboard.

If you're interested in finding out more gory details about the life and works of Ed Kemper, I suggest visiting Crime Library or some other "true crime" website, because Kemper: Co-Ed Killer has almost nothing to do with the real life facts of the case. Instead, the film centers around a wholly fictitious cat-and-mouse game between a cop (Christopher Stapleton) and his friend, amateur serial killer profiler Ed Kemper (Robert Sisko). Sisko looks nothing like the real Kemper, being much older and much shorter than the man he portrays. Despite being miscast, he actually turns in a decent performance -- which is much more than this mindless production deserves. Bad dialogue, ludicrous plot developments, and lifeless direction make the film pretty rough going. It has the look and feel of a late-night cable skinflick, which isn't surprising as the director also wrote such fare as Erotic Confessions and Embrace of the Vampire. Writer Jack Perez is the proud director of Wild Things 2 and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. With such an esteemed pedigree between these two, you'd think they could at least supply us with enough sex and gore to compensate for the film's numerous shortcomings. But alas, most of Kemper's nastiness occurs offscreeen.

Kate Danson, Ted's daughter, has a small role as a crime scene technician. I'm willing to bet that her Dad broke out the checkbook in order to save his daughter any future embarrassment.

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