Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Deliberate Stranger, The (1986) (TV)

Directed by:
Marvin J. Chomsky

Well-done, engrossing made-for-TV biopic (originally a two-part miniseries) about real-life serial killer Ted Bundy features a cleverly-cast Mark Harmon, People Magazine's "Sexiest Man of the Year" back then, as the suave mass murderer who used his looks and clean-cut image to lure lots of women to their deaths. Based on the novel "Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger" by Richard W. Larsen; a journalist, real-life-friend and one-time-defender of Bundy's, who is played here by George Grizzard. Frederick Forrest, John Ashton, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush all play various detective or police officers working on the case, Glynnis O'Connor is Bundy's girlfriend, Deborah Goodrich (APRIL FOOL'S DAY) as Bundy's co-worker, Terry Farrell and Starr Andreeff as victims and many other familiar faces. Bundy was only charged with a few actual murders (when he fled to Florida), but was suspected in at least 25 others and himself claimed to have killed "over 200" women. He was executed in 1989.
It's not on DVD yet, but an unrated (which would probably get no worse than a PG-13 rating), 192-minute video was released by Warner Bros. back in the day.

Score: 7 out of 10

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