Where Are the Se7en Copycat Killers?
Every time a movie about serial killers comes out, I worry that somewhere, there’s a sick individual who is going to take the film to the next level and start killing in the manner in which the movie villain killed.
But it’s actually the opposite – real life more often influences film. For instance, Buffalo Bill (read Gunaxin’s Tribute to Buffalo Bill) in Silence of the Lambs was based on Ed Gein and Ted Bundy. In fact, Ed Gein also influenced Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho.
There have been two brilliant serial killer movies since Lambs, and those are Seven and Saw. In Saw, the manner in which Jigsaw kills is far too complicated for anyone in real life, though it made for an entertaining film. However, the manner in which John Doe kills is less complicated (in most cases), and seems ripe for a real life killer to copycat. But has it happened? No. Most serial killers are far less creative and their motive is usually sexual.
In Seven, from the brilliant mind of writer Andrew Kevin Walker, the killer’s motive is to murder relatively bad people. I’m not saying any of them deserve it (except for the pedophile), but when it comes to these sickos out there, you’d think at least one of them would stand up after the film and say, “Hey, I can do that, too!”
Of course, to be truly creative, you wouldn’t be a copycat. But even the most creative people require inspiration, and John Doe, though fictional, is one of the most creative serial killers ever. Look who he killed:
A fat pig of a man who stuffs his face with food all day.
A lawyer. Ha!
A drug dealer, who also happens to be a pedophile.
Well, he never got around to killing Wrath, but Brad Pitt is very angry in this film, even before his wife gets her head chopped off.
I’d venture to say that these types of people getting it in the movie Seven are slightly more deserving than the virtual random people that most serial killers go after (okay, maybe not random, but certainly more random than the above). So, perhaps if serial killers started targeting, say, drug dealers, pedophiles, mobsters, American Idol judges, or other loathed and despised people, they may actually get a bit more sympathy when they’re finally caught.