The Zodiac Killer Reviews
As I'm sure you guessed, they didn't catch him. The movie is ... interesting. It offers it's own theory about who the Zodiac was, dramatizing most of the crimes in detail. A ton of stuff is totally made up, but it manages to entertain ... quite a lot at times, but often not in the way it intends to. The 4K transfer of this film produced by the American Genre Film Archive looks amazing, especially for a 16mm film blown up to 35.
Hal Reed gives his career performance (I think he acted in two movies total) as the Zodiac, a good-looking young postman with a genuine love for bunnies and a sociopathic hatred for people, the latter of which he keeps hidden beneath a gentle, self-effacing guise. But, as he deftly narrates at the beginning and end of the tale: he could be anyone you know, there are more like him out there, and the only reason you are still alive is that you've been lucky...so far!
Along his path to infamy Zodiac encounters some great characters, most notably Grover, who temporarily steals his thunder as the funniest, meanest "bald headed bastard" ever to don a wig and a green suit and schmooze the ladies. Grover is your typical swinger, ever on the look-out for the "easy piece" of tail; unfortunately he has a Napoleonic temper, carries a gun, and wears his wig too loose--a recipe for disaster. We lose Grover too soon, but around that time Zodiac gets his freak on the asexual serial killer way--moving from guns to knives to jumping up and down on the hood of a car while crushing the little old lady trapped under the hood. I don't remember that last one in the Zodiac files, but hey, he was never caught so who knows what the hell all he did.
Zodiac gets some great speeches, from the skin-crawling opening narration, to his sermon at his basement altar as he speaks to the souls of his slaves. Reed also does a very good job in a beach campfire scene with a couple he's lured, where he moves from his kind and gentle character, to one that grins and laughs at all the wrong moments as he toys with them.
The Zodiac Killer should be a winner for fans of 'seventies exploitation. While it moves at a slow pace, it offers plenty of unintentional laughs, un-PC dialogue and a stand-out main character not above wearing the big nose & glasses disguise a la Groucho Marx, not afraid to cry, and not afraid to believe that Atlantis is coming back someday.
Why watch it? In the final twenty minutes, after a murder scene involving a car bonnet and an old ladies head, we are treated to a sudden burst of gratuitous violence that while outrageous are also unintentionally comic moments of depraved genius that is well worth the wait.
As you might have guessed this film also contains more red herrings (be those ludicrously silly) than there are in the North Sea!