2010 / Director. Ulli Lommel.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I have a large tolerance for bad films and I often become so caught up in my admiration for shonky filmmaking that I forget how other people may react to them. Director Ulli Lommell is often regarded amongst the worst filmmakers of all time and the criticisms are appropriate. He was once a prolific director of such titles as THE BOOGEYMAN and COCAINE COWBOYS and he was one of Andy Warhol's creative cohorts. For the past 30 years he has pumped out an insane number of films and many of them have been serial killer bio-pics. There is no denying that his productions are shoddy and made on shoe-string budgets. Many of them look to have been captured on regular bottom-line cam-corders and make you wonder how they ever made it to distribution. But there's something admirable about his work at the same time. This is a man who gets out there with a "fuck off" attitude and continuously makes movies his way. No studios to answer to and absolute freedom to do what he wants. DC SNIPER is his telling of the infamous true-crime of a middle aged African-American man and his teenage protege who terrorised America with a random and sporadic killing spree. The 2013 film BLUE CAPRICE is an excellent adaptation of their story and 23 DAYS OF TERROR (2003) was a decent telemovie... which leaves DC SNIPER as the cheeky little try-hard. It was co-written by Ken Foree who also stars and everything about it is poxy. The dialogue is hilarious, particularly the direct-to-camera confessionals, and the cinematography is non-existant. My personal approach to micro-budget filmmaking is to shoot it well, frame it well and keep the camera fixed. Unfortunately Ulli Lommel missed that memo (or perhaps just doesn't give a shit) and his camera is all over the place. There is no such thing as a well framed shot in the movie and the angles are awkward and distracting. The interior scenes are terrible with uninteresting set decoration (lack thereof) and amateur sound recording... I can give some credit to the location stuff with a few nice moments of interaction between the killer and his student, which are acted quite well. My geeky affection for bad cinema rates DC SNIPER affectionately... it's good for shits n giggles and makes for a great point of study for student filmmakers. But to afford my readers some due credit I must concede that it is a fucking terrible film. If you haven't got a tolerance for this stuff then it will piss you off before the opening credits even roll. Don't bother with it.