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Copycat

Directed by Andy Hurst

Written by Ellis Walker

Starring Chloe Snyder, Mark Hengst, Andreas Beckett

Produced by Ralph E. Portillo, Jamie Elliott

Rated R

86 minutes

**

Hey, Ulli Lommel…got a special message for you this week. Assuming you read these, which isn’t likely given that you’re still pumping out your special brand of direct to video drivel to an unsuspecting video store audiences instead of slinking off into the night like the crime against video store patrons you are. Anyway, message: If you want to keep doing lousy movies about serial killers, you may well want to grab a copy of Copycat, because even though it’s not that great, it’s still light years ahead of your spectacular sludge piles.

Copycat is all about a killer who’s been busy studying up on all the greats—Ramirez, Dahmer, Gein—and putting their methods to work in his own serial killing endeavors. Naturally, a whole lot of killings draw both police and journalists like flies, and thus the killer finds himself tailed by journalist Laura Nelson, whose mother was the victim of a serial killer herself. Laura finds out more about the great serial killers than she ever wanted to, but her exposure to these monsters gives her fresh insight to chase this newest one down. And the closer she gets to him, the closer he gets to her.

Sure, Copycat is nothing great. Of course, we get plenty of footage of the serial killers in their elements, stalking victims outside gay bars, killing people while delivering milk, so on and so forth. But these elements are strung together in a sufficiently rapid fashion that it’s difficult to get bored, because by the time you’re actually ready to start yawning angrily at the screen for wasting so much time, they’ve moved on to the next thing. This prevents you from ever working up sufficient steam to get bored or pop the disk out, so in a sense, Copycat has achieved some minor manner of success.

Also, by adding the stalk-the-journalist subplot, we’ve actually managed to compress several short films into one significant whole, and that’s a fair upshot. Of course, the whole thing is bland and mediocre at best, so the upshot can really only be fair.

The ending is actually fairly satisfying, and it probably won’t surprise anyone to know that that serial killer is going to be dead by the end of this.

Special features include audio options, Spanish subtitles, and trailers for The Morgue, Artifacts, Restraint, Dead and Gone, and Unemployed.

All in all, Copycat may never win awards for being a great movie, or even a great serial killer movie, but it will at least manage not to enrage anybody or waste anyone’s time. So it’s a fair rental if nothing else you want happens to be around, or you’re just really into serial killers.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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