Wednesday, September 19, 2012

849. Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992)

Running Time: 87 minutes
Directed By: Nick Broomfield
Main Cast: Nick Broomfield, Arleen Pralle, Aileen Wuornos, Steven Glazer


Wanting to watch a movie last night, but needing something short, I went for the streaming portion of Netflix and found a documentary by Nick Broomfield, recounting one of America's first serial killers, Aileen Wuornos.

To recount the plot for a documentary is really unneeded, so I'll just hit the basics and leave it at that. Nick Broomfield travels from England to Florida, in an attempt to shed some light on the case of Aileen Wuornos. If you don't know who Aileen Wuornos is then you should rent "Monster" and get a little of the back story and in fact, I'd recommend it. For the time being, suffice it to say that she was a prostitute turned serial killer, murdering seven of her johns, citing the reason as self defense. During her first trial, for the murder of Richard Mallory, she gave a tearful testimony, recounting a brutal rape inflicted upon her. However, the jury found her guilty and she was sentenced to death. In fact, she would go on to to be sentenced to death six more times and during the course of this documentary she was sitting on death row, awaiting the electric chair. When Broomfield arrives in Florida, he meets up with Steven Glazer, Wuornos' attorney and Arlene Pralle, Wuornos' adoptive mother. What Broomfield achieves over the course of his time in Florida isn't anything new in the case of Wuornos, nor does he shed any new light onto her innocence or guilt. Instead, Broomfield uncovers a crooked cast of characters who are out for #1, seeking to gain monetarily from the Wuornos case.

Arlene Pralle
You know, in watching this documentary I was more appalled with the behavior of Arlene Pralle and Steven Glazer, than that of Wuornos. In fact, when I watched the footage of Wuornos on the witness stand, giving that tearful testimony in the case of Richard Mallory, I tended to believe what she said and actually bought her story; that she was being raped and that she murdered Mallory in self defense. Her story seemed to be far too detailed for a woman of her seemingly low intelligence. Yes, indeed it was more appalling to me to see a woman who claimed to be a good, old fashioned, Christian woman refusing to talk unless she was paid. And what about Steven Glazer, an ex-musician and a man who seemingly only appeared in this documentary so that he could strum his guitar and show off his "talent". Prior to representing Wuornos, Glazer was one of those TV attorney's. You know the ones, the guys who make a joke of themselves on television, almost begging for clientele. Glazer too is only out for the greenbacks, using the Wuornos case to further his own career and fatten his pockets.

Steven Glazer - this man COULD be standing next to you in court....for a fee, of course.
In the end, I'm not really sure that this Wuornos documentary really deserved inclusion in THE BOOK. I enjoyed it and took it as an education in the case, but the education wasn't that extensive, because Broomfield himself really didn't get anywhere. In fact, I think Broomfield stumbled into THIS documentary and it doesn't seem to resemble the picture that he first set out to make. What he stumbled into was a documentary detailing all of the instances and facts where people tried to gain monetarily from the selling of this serial killer. Was Wuornos guilty? Probably. But is it very possible that the state of Florida was simply hungry to convict a female murderess? Yes, I think so.

RATING: 6.5/10  I'm really begging something to come along and just blow me away and the Jarmusch movies don't count because I'd seen them before. I need something new, fresh and exciting and I need it soon.


September 19, 2012  7:54pm

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