Production: USA, 1999
Director: Spike Lee
Category: Serial Killer/True Crime
This film treatment of the Son of Sam case is a strange choice for black director Spike Lee, normally more at home directing vulgar black melodramas or comedies; the director does his best to conjure up the New York of 1977, a decadent cocaine-fuelled metropolis teetering at the crux between disco and punk, fantasy and reality. He does so by focusing on one community within the city, deeply affected by the Son of Sam murders, refracted through a shining, blood-stained glass and juxtaposed with the squalor of the killer’s apartment, haloed in flies, daubed with quasi-Satanic cryptograms. The Son of Sam was a young Jewish man named David Berkowitz, whose mental disturbances came to the fore after his mother died and he discovered he was adopted. He went out and bought a .44 handgun, and embarked on a campaign to shoot dead courting couples in their cars; he claimed six victims between 1976 and 1977. He apparently believed that his neighbour, Sam Carr, was directing him to carry out these acts through Satanic influences; Berkowitz, who also referred to himself as “Beelzebub, the chubby behemoth”, was therefore marked as the Son of Sam. He was arrested in August 1977. Out Of The Darkness (1985) was a routine TV procedural of the case. It has also been postulated that Berkowitz filmed at least one of his murders, with a view to circulate a “snuff” film in underground circles. “Blood and family. Darkness and death. Absolute depravity .44”

Posted by Rictus-23

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