Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sleaze-Bag Sensationalists Strike Again

I was reading the Globe and Mail online and came across the above story, about an upcoming film on the Bernardo/Holmolka murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. The film is called Deadly and stars Laura Prepon (Donna from That 70’s Show) as Karla Homolka. Now, I usually just ignore these sorts of films because sensationalised trash does not appeal to me. However, this time it really bothers me. Perhaps it is because it happened in my own country and I can still vividly remember when the story broke. It was horrific, anyone from Canada can tell you just how sickening it was – and we had a publication ban so the particulars of the case could not be disclosed to the public.
I was working with guy who had a lap top and remote access to the internet, he was reading the full details in the American press. He asked if I wanted to read the details for myself. I should have said no, but my curiosity got the better of me (yes, I have a problem with that) and I read the details. I will not mention them, but they are truly horrific. Homolka and Bernardo are sadistic, sick individuals who should both rot behind bars for the rest of their lives. Sadly, reports on the film indicate that it takes the position that Homolka was a victim too, enthralled by the sinister charisma of Paul Bernardo. In fact, we know that Homolka was an equal participant in these crimes. After she cut a deal with the Crown to hand over the video tapes of the crime, it became apparent from said tapes that she was just as intent on their purpose as Bernardo was.
I am not sure why I am so particularly moved by the murders of French and Mahaffy. (not mention the forgotten victim, Homolka’s own little sister, Tammy) Other people have met with grizzly ends and while it saddens me, even angers me – it doesn’t stick with me in the same way. Perhaps it has something to with being 10 years old and growing up in the areas where and at the time when Clifford Robert Olson was abducting kids. (I know someone who worked on the case and learned far too much about it as well) It was a bad time, most other kids I knew went out to play feeling at least a bit uneasy. At one point, after a recent abduction, I was even too scared to play in the park across the street.
To know that someone is making a dramatic film about this case just sickens me. The argument has been made that the Canadian public has a right to now the facts of the case, all the facts not just what was allowed to be published. Fair enough, for those who have to know a documentary about the case could have been made and not a dramatic recreation. (something that television shows like Law & Order and Da Vinci’s Inquest have done already) The problem with dramatic recreations is that they take dramatic license, even in “factual” stories. Given that the tagline for this film is “Until death do us partake” I suspect that the dramatic license will have been rather severe.
I feel badly for the families of the victims, a thing like this must open up old wounds. I would be surprised to find any sensitivity in this film having read about writer/director Joel Bender’s first film (again as writer and director) was a cheap exploitation flick called Gas Pump Girls. His resume as listed on is even less impressive with junk TV shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Sweet Valley High and Survivor making up his biggest accomplishments. I don’t agree with censorship however, and would not say Deadly shouldn’t be shown in Canada by law, that is a decision that should be left up to the owners of the nation's theatre chains. I think the Canadian public should show its disgust and boycott the film entirely. Myself, I would definitely make a point of defacing the posters.


Anonymous Kootenay connection:> said...

I agree with you totally. I think that as long as people are willing to watch this type of crap that it will be produced and the more produced the more horrific the production will be. Maybe, maybe , maybe we'll start to get smarter as a race but I really have my doubts.

08 April, 2005 20:55  

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