3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 64 minutes
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In a time when the most notorious of serial killers are all getting their own indie movie translations (many of them unfortunately not being very good), just as comic book heroes are all getting the Hollywood big screen treatment (many of them surprisingly very good), it’s refreshing to see a straight-forward serial killer documentary. Filmmaker John Borowski brings us the facts and only the facts in his chilling documentary focusing on one H.H. Holmes, dubbed as America’s First Serial Killer.
“H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer” tells the complete story of H.H. Holmes and the castle he built in the guise of a hotel, which was actually a deathtrap, filled with torture chambers, acid vats and a crematorium. Guests checked in and many didn’t check out. Holmes pulled off his grisly deeds without a hitch, but it wasn’t until his con-artist ways led him into a life insurance scam gone wrong that all of Holmes’ secrets were brought out into the open, including his blood soaked house of horrors.
This nineteenth century crime doc is told through black and white re-enactments, classic photos of the actual locations and people involved, interviews with Holmes experts, and effectively bone-chilling narration from Tony Jay, the one and only voice of the Supreme Being in “Time Bandits.” True crime enthusiasts will be thrilled at the great lengths director John Borowski and crew took in bringing this story to life, and those just looking for a good spook show will not be disappointed either as this is the ultimate horror story. Torture chambers, a mad doctor, skeletons, acid vats…oh my!

Posted on October 17, 2004 in Reviews by

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