A serial rapist and sex offender, Jeffrey Dahmer (also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster) killed and mutilated 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
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It’s not unexpected that so many films have been made about Jeffrey Dahmer, given the horrific nature of his murders and the country’s enduring fascination with serial killers.
1. The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer (1993)
This was a straight-to-DVD film with no special effects. Carl Crew starred as Jeffrey Dahmer in David R. Bowen’s biographical crime drama. An narrative of Dahmer’s life, spanning 14 years of his murderous career, is documented in this book
Some feel that this is the most gruesome and disturbing of the Dahmer films. This was released two years after Dahmer’s arrest, thus his crimes were still fresh in the public’s memory at the time of its publication.. The film was made just a year before Dahmer was assassinated in prison, which is horrifying.
2. Dahmer (2002)
Dahmer’s final years and his troubled inner life are explored in this film, which stars Jeremy Renner in the title role. “It lets you brush up against the humanity of a lunatic, without making him any less insane,” observed Entertainment Weekly in their review of the film.
It also speculates on how Dahmer was able to go undetected for so long while murdering dozens of people in his basement. Dahmer’s victims were disproportionately minorities, making them less likely to be taken seriously by law enforcement. In one scene, a victim makes it to the police only to be sent home by Dahmer after he says the victim is inebriated.
3. My Friend Dahmer (2017)
Dahmer’s high school years are shown in this film version of John Backderf’s graphic novel. He plays Joyce’s mother and Dallas Roberts is the actor who portrays Dahmer’s father in the film.
This film was appreciated by critics. “Extremely emotional,” said the Hollywood Reporter. ‘A serious and daring attempt to represent the inner life of a sick puppy when he wasn’t quite sick,’ said Variety of the movie.
4. The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012)
The LA Times describes this film as a “hybrid of documentary and fiction” since it incorporates both staged and real-life interviews. It features interviews with others who knew Dahmer, such as his next-door neighbor Pamela Bass, the detective who accepted his confession, and the medical examiner on the scene at the time of the crimes, Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen.
We learn that “evil can pass right in front of our eyes on a regular basis” through this film, according to TV Guide.
5. Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks (2017)
The lady who became Jeffrey Dahmer’s closest confidante provides a unique perspective in this two-night Oxygen documentary film. In order to shed light on the gruesome and intricate investigation, it relies on new interviews with key witnesses.
Lionel and Shari Dahmer (who had not talked publicly about their son in more than two decades before this film) are interviewed. Billy Capshaw and Preston Davis, two of Dahmer’s living victims, are also highlighted.
6. Raising Jeffrey Dahmer (2006)
This film focuses on Dahmer’s early years and his connection with his father, Lionel, which is explored in depth. Based on Lionel Dahmer’s personal chronicle of his son’s childhood, the film depicts the narrative of a father’s unwavering love for his son. In addition, the film explores Lionel’s sense of betrayal at his son’s depravity.
7. Dahmer vs. Gacy (2010)
Using the DNA of serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy, a top-secret government lab sets out to produce the ultimate killer (another notorious serial killer). They’ve managed to get away, though!
Dahmer and Gacy go on a murderous spree across the United States. God-trained Ringo, armed only with a shotgun and a liquor bottle, is hot on their heels. Ringo has to deal with his own inner demons, a horde of Japanese ninjas, and a serial killer who is a step above the rest.
Aside from the facts of his atrocities, there is no basis for this particular Dahmer film other than the facts of his crimes.
8. Serial Killers: The Real Life Hannibal Lecters (2001)
This film places Dahmer in the perspective of other infamous serial killers. This documentary uses the fictitious Hannibal Lecter as a springboard to examine the atrocities of Ted Bundy, Albert Fish, John Wayne Gacy, and Andrei Chikatilo.
9. Footage of Dahmer’s 1992 trial
The complete video of Dahmer’s 1992 trial is available on YouTube, however it isn’t a film about him. Watching Dahmer’s trial is a great way for true crime fans to learn more about the man’s mind.