Raising Jeffrey Dahmer (DVD)

As the years pass since the media circle that surrounded around Jeffrey Dahmer and all of the crimes that ey committed (for those that were not around or were not cognizant at the time, Dahmer killed 15 (or 17) different men and male children over the course of 13 years. The premise of “Raising Jeffrey Dahmer” is to provide information about the growth of Jeffrey from child to adult, and to show that a good father loves eir progeny, no matter what they have done in life. Thus, it is no surprise that Jeffrey Dahmer’s father still has the same love for eir that ey did back when ey was born.

The focus of the documentary is on Lionel Dahmer, Jeffrey’s father, and attempts to look scientifically and empirically into what lead Jeffrey to commit crimes. Saying that, the narrative (which is conducted more like an interview than having a cohesive and coherent dialogue) plods along, attempting to probe each and every facet of Jeffrey’s life, from birth until the parents’ divorce and then until the crimes took place. Perhaps the most interesting inclusions during Raising Jeffrey Dahmer has to be descriptions of the odd things that child-age Jeffrey did; taken in the context of the crimes, some of this aberrant behavior starts to make a lot of sense. The acting skills of Rusty Sneary during the film as Jeffrey is telling, and really makes it easier for viewers to connect the narrative put forth by Lionel and Shari (played here by Scott Cordes and Cathy Barnett). The amount of special features that are present during this DVD are slightly sparse, and the only things that really come forth as integral viewing have to be the gallery of still pictures and the director’s commentary that are available for viewers to hear.

If individuals like the style of Raising Jeffrey Dahmer, make it a point to keep a focus on Ambler’s new project, Hope. Further kudos has to go out to Lionsgate for continually being at the cutting edge of film and sticking their neck out on the line with untested directors and films that have previously flew under the radar. Give “Raising Jeffrey Dahmer” a chance if you wish to get a little information about what signs may be present in the next serial killer, how to combat them, and how to create a family situation that is helpful, instead of harmful, to an individual.

Rating: 7.4/10

Raising Jeffrey Dahmer / 2008 Lionsgate / 85 Minutes / http://www.lionsgatedvd.com /

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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