Serial Killer Cinema

An Analytical Filmography with an Introduction


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About the Book

The release of Silence of the Lambs in 1991, which swept the major Academy Awards categories, legitimized the serial killer movie, a genre that dates back as far as the silent era. From Absence of the Good to Zodiac Killer, this reference work allows a detailed study of the development of the serial killer film as a distinct genre with its own character types, narrative patterns and styles. An introduction outlines the historical evolution of this film genre and covers the whole range of cinematic interpretations from the response to Jack the Ripper and other real life serial killers through the late 1960s to the current state of the genre.

Arranged alphabetically by title, the filmography covers over 500 feature films and select television movies. Each entry contains a listing of the film’s main credits, a synopsis of the film, a summary of the film’s respective merits and a discussion of how they fit into the themes and structures outlined in the introduction. Only films that portray the serial killer as a repeat, pattern killer, and directly or by suggestion reveal the killer’s aberrant sexual motivations or their craving for manipulation, domination, and control (with subsequent desires to punish women or society) are included.

About the Author(s)

Librarian, film historian and freelance author Robert Cettl lives in South Australia. He is a full member of the Australian Society of Authors and operates the DVD review site (

Bibliographic Details

Robert Cettl
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 576
Bibliographic Info: 135 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [2003]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3731-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0709-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix

Preface     1

Introduction     5

Serial Killer Cinema Filmography     33

Bibliography     521

Index     525

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Exceptional…insightful reviews…sprinkled with photos, this hefty volume is both impressive and invaluable”—Shock Cinema
  • “Offers solid information”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly
  • “Highly readable”—Video Watchdog
  • “Comprehensive…all-encompassing…of major interest”—Film Review