Monday, December 27, 2004

The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman (2001)

Why is it Serial Killers are worse than hitmen? This guy's got over 100 under his belt! It's cause they're icky, I know...

Genre: Crime Documentary

Starring: Richard Kuklinski (as himself)

Directed By: Arthur Ginsburg

Overview: This two-part documentary shows how and why Richard Kuklinski became a successful hitman of over 100 murders.

Acting: Well it's quite obvious that Richard is genuine and doesn't slip on any of his lines. Of course Part One (1992) has him being less smug and cocky than in Part Two (2001). He's a good, captivating speaker. The Medical Examiner on the other hand is goofy and bug-eyed. The other people in this documentary were tolerable.
Rating: 7

Script: These documentarians decided to have their questions heard by the camera. There were questions I would have liked to ask. After 17 hours of interviews for Part One (1992), you'd think the editor would have put a couple of those in there. Ultimately though, the cold Iceman kept us frozen to his words. Too bad about the other interviewees. The interviews with Richard were a little less interesting in Part Two (2001), because they were more factual statements than opinions, but still great.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: Honestly, I would have preferred to watch some guy walking in a park or something that looks like a crime scene rather than hearing someone speak the words that were scrolling up on the screen. Having a fixed camera with a very tight shot of the Iceman was very effective, so much so that they decided to use it in Part Two (2001). The biggest problem this documentary had was once you've watched the first part, the second is just a lot of repetition. The Medical Examiner says the exact same thing 10 years later, only wearing a different doctor's outfit. Part One (1992) was mature and intelligent with pretty standard stills and videos of the killer growing up and with his family. Part Two (2001) had horrible fake crime scenes being snuck up on by gritty digital camcorders, and often used the exact same footage as in the first part. Ultimately, they should have re-edited them together. Too much repetition and low-budget lameness.
Rating: 5

Plot: Oh Lord, is this ever a good story. From current interviews with the inmate including his methods - Poisoning with Cyanide in every possible way (spilled drinks on clothes!) to "shooting his head clean off with a shotgun" to interviews with his wife, who was oblivious of the fact that her husband murdered for a living for the last 30 years. The progression from one Part to the other is really unfortunate, no one wants to see the same movie twice. They really should have re-edited. Still the story is a great one and I give it big Kudos.
Rating: 8

Mood: There really was nothing innovative about the Documentary style here, it's very run of the mill, predictable in it's presentation. Part Two (2001) had some pretty horrible haunting music, seriously it seemed as though it was ripped off of "Unsolved Mysteries" or "A Current Affair". It was strange to me, because I don't recall this millennium as being one that utilizes such cheese.
Rating: 5

Awww, Daddy Dearest

Overall Rating: 64% (Missed the Mark a Little)

Aftertaste: Part One (1992) is great. If ever you see it on TV on the Documentary Channel or something, watch it. It's much better and more real, especially the interview with The Iceman. There's more honesty and less showing off. Who knows, maybe the fame got to him and he grew smug. Still there's some segments in Part Two (2001) that I wouldn't give up: "I killed a guy with a crossbow to see how well it would work... No I didn't know him, it wasn't a contract hit, or personal... The crossbow? It worked great." This will stick around rattling in my brain for a little bit. Nice addition to the sickness in my head.