My Friend Dahmer: Film Review

I like to go into movies knowing as little as possible about them, so I rarely watch trailers and dodge plot summaries online where I can. This generally works well for me, except with My Friend Dahmer, because I didn’t realise it was about Jeffrey Dahmer‘s early life, so I spent the whole movie waiting for his killing spree to begin and felt disappointed it wasn’t about that.

Ross Lynch stars as a young Dahmer, who likes to collect roadkill and put them in jars of acid to watch them decompose and watch his doctor go for regular runs. His mother Joyce (Anne Heche) has mental health problems and his parents are always arguing, edging ever closer to divorce, and he’s a loner at school until a group of nerdy outsiders lead by John ‘Derf’ Backderf (Alex Wolff) make a fan club for him because they’re entertained by his weird, pretend seizures.

As mentioned above, I really wanted a film that delved into Dahmer’s serial killer days, but this focuses on his home and school life during his teenage years, based on a graphic novel by the real Derf about his experiences as Dahmer’s friend in the 1970s. Because of this personal link, My Friend Dahmer provides a fresh spin on the serial killer genre and sheds new light on the infamous killer, who has been portrayed on film multiple times (I just haven’t seen any of them), and doesn’t go over much old ground.

I found it very slow in places, perhaps because I was waiting for something that was never gonna come, but it was still very informative and interesting, and gives us a real insight into the makings of a serial killer. It is also very creepy in places. I was preparing for something R-rated and gruesome, given the heinous crimes he carried out, but you get little glimpses and teases of grim stuff, usually decomposing roadkill or him fantasising about dead bodies, and there is palpable tension in the air when he starts to really contemplate killing someone.

Lynch, who is best known for Disney Channel show Austin & Ally and the Teen Beach Movie franchise, is impressive as Dahmer, making him a real uncomfortable watch. He adopts his posture and walk and gave me the creeps. Wolff was fine, although his character is somewhat questionable given that he encourages Dahmer to put on his ‘spazzing out’ performances. Heche drove me mad, but I think that was the whole point.

My Friend Dahmer is not what I expected so I felt a tad let down, but it is still an intriguing watch nonetheless.

In cinemas Friday 1st June

Comments

  1. thealma atkins says:

    Article found on the internet back in June 2018, thought we would share.
    A Deathbed confession: Article by, Writer, reporter, LGBT Activist; Dick Leitsch June 15, 2018. “Before I pass, being an Activist for the welfare and safety of the LGBT community I feel it a necessity in exposing the near-death of Jeffery Dahmer, Jeffery too waltzed with death.
    Re-edited updated on December 12, 9:00 a.m., 2018 Anonymous
    “Personally, Jeffery Dahmer sickens me to my core, as I and thousands of Gay New Yorkers celebrated his date of arrest, and his murder while in prison.
    The monster Jeff hides another secret, Jeff was brutally beaten and nearly killed on, June 7, 1:45 a.m., Sunday1981. Location; the Beach Bar, Newport Pier located at 16501 Collins Ave A-1a Sunny Isles Beach Hollywood FL. 33160.
    Jeffery did his best to keep that a secret from his boss, the cops and the news, after all, Jeff had an image of being a monster and must keep them shaking in their shoes. Jeff was piecing together subs at the Sunshine Sub shop in the strip mall and living in the Bimini Motel during the time of his beating and near drowning.
    There’s a chapter of Jeffery Dahmer’s life he was very-successful at hiding from everyone. It’s no secret Jeff had to hide his sexual orientation from his friends at Revere High and from his grandmother Catherine whom he loved dearly. His grandmother talked to Jeffery about homosexuals, explaining to Jeff that queers are an abomination to God, and will not be excepted into the kingdom of God ect; Jeff made sure he hid this chapter from all his friends in high school and his parents and brother David. There were two other facts he hid, Jeff made sure one knew about.
    Jeffery Dahmer fell in love just once in his life, a romantic love not that sick disturbed dark sided love for murder. Jeff remained in love, concealed that one-sided love for thirteen-years till he took his last breath in prison, taking his thoughts and dreams of a one-sided love affair with him.
    Jeffery Dahmer fell hard for a man that was the Polar opposite of him. This was a case that opposites DO NOT attract, however, Jeff never wavered in his quest to Win him over.
    What makes a great reporter, for one having many closeted gay men working in a great many places in many states, like I always say, we are everywhere. These underground ties and connections make for great reporting getting firsthand accounts.
    November 29, 1994, Columbia Correctional Institution
    A guard working at the Columbia Correctional Institution informed me through the underground gay-grapevine of what Christopher Scarver had told him in passing, Christopher told the guard before the other guards strolled in the gym what Jeffery’s last words were as Scarver shoved Jeff’s bloody head down on the locker room floor, then walked away to wash his hands.
    Jeffery Dahmer; “I don’t care if I live or die, go ahead and kill me, [it’s finished….]”
    Dick Leitsch

    This is the Re-edited update on December 12, 9:00 a.m., 2018 [Anonymous Nurse]
    Reacher Writer David X: “That’s according to inmate Christopher Scarver. The other prisoner claims Jeff muttered a bit more, and Christopher was distracted by the sound of the running water and washing his hands and never heard everything Jeff said. While Jesse Anderson was being treated for head trauma in University Hospital, he came to for a while, Jesse talked with a female nurse, whose name I cannot say, she told me she would only talk to me if I signed a wavier and promised to never expose her name. A Nurse or Doctor are not permitted to talk about a patient’s information while in the hospital. According to this nurse, Jesse said that he and Christopher were set up and that it was a planned hit by prison guards, four guards chipped in and put 100-hundred on Scarver’s canteen account.
    But when it went down, Jesse panicked, said to Christopher, “Nigga stop, he’s hurt bad enough with one blow, nigga let’s step out of here.” According to Jesse, this pissed Christopher off, as he kept hitting Jeff. While Jeff was laying on the floor, Christopher turned his back for a minute or so and washed his hands in the sink, at that point as Jeff was dying, Jesse stood over Jeff, making note of Jeffery’s last words.

    Jesse Anderson tells the nurse on; November 29, 1:30 a.m., 1994
    Jeffery Dahmer; “I don’t care if I live or die, go ahead and kill me, then a pause as Jeff took in another breath, tell Dad, and Catherine, sorry, tell Messenger Rollins, forgive me, I couldn’t relinquish the demon from my mind, I tried for you, Messenger, I’ll communicate in your dreams, [it’s finished….]”

    Jesse told the nurse that four guards in their early forties each put $25.00 into the collection-plate a hundred dollars and put it on Christopher Scarver’s canteen account so he could go buy stuff off the blood money. Take it or leave it, after all, Scarver and Jesse both murderers. However, the Columbia Correctional Institution nurse taking care of Jesse in his last forty-eight hours swears she believed Jesse statements to be honest after all Jesse was near death, what on earth can the four guards do to him now. I truly believe these last words from Jesse Anderson are arcuate.
    Scarver showed some honor and decency for a dying Dahmer when Dahmer showed none for his victims. Even though Scarver ended Jeffery life, Scarver ended it fast knowing it’s what Jeff wanted. Scarver could have made Jeff suffer by beating him in sessions, slowly, but he did it quickly.” David X

    Dick Leitsch;1978 “Jeff had just turned 18 prior too, it happened at a bar not too far from Bath. Jeff was extremely careful to not be seen frequenting gay bars to close to home. So, he drove down to Cincinnati in search of a gay bar he could frequent, Jeff stumbled upon a bar tucked away by an alleyway on 4th and Plumb St downtown Cincinnati, the Badlands.
    Jeff’s 1st visit inside the Badlands was on October 17, 1977, he used a fake Id to gain entrance into the Gay bar. At some point, Jeff befriended Steve Vore from Fairfield Ohio, Kirk Hart, Louis Torres from Louisville KY, and two gay brothers, a Mike Cooley and his younger brother Ron Cooley, the brothers lived in Northside fifteen minutes north-west of downtown. The three sat and drank beer and talked in the front section of the Badlands next to the Coat Check. Jeffery Dahmer had no idea at first that Steve, Kirk, Louis and Ron and his brother Mike were part of what was christened in the 1960s the [MC-tag], Messengers Circle, throw away gays. At the time Jeff showed, the group consisted of 14 gay teens and young adult men. After a year passed by the Circle did their best in placing distance between Jeffery and them as time moved forward and Jeff began making the Circle a bit edgy. I know this because I have known and interviewed these men dating back to 1961 St Albans Charleston WV.

    The Circle a group of battered bullied gay adolescence boys that all started out in life together reaching back to kindergarten, a group of men in the 50s 60s 70s with much in common, for starters every one of them had been abused and beaten and eventually thrown out of their parents’ homes and into the streets. Life in the 50s, 60s, and 70s was especially hard for gays. The leader of the Circle a young man Christened, Messenger, at the time Messenger Rollins, was 22-years old, a non-smoker, non-drinker non-drug user. Messenger was a force to be reckoned with from the very beginning of his childhood. He was beaten early as young as three for appearing a bit too feminine for his father and uncles’ taste, let the child abuse commence. He was one tough gay child, he was the only one that never denied his sexual orientation, don’t get me wrong, not once did he run around yelling hey, I’m gay.

    You never saw him on a float or jumping up and down in a parade. But he would not conform to his Christian’s parents of the Church ideology that gays were destined to burn in hell for the choice in living a life in sin as queers and lesbians. He faced backlash and fought his bullies head-on, including his own father, and never backed down no matter how bad he was beaten. He got right back up and fought some more. The rest of the sissy Mary’s ran and hid if someone said Boo fag boy.
    July 13, 1978, Jeffery’s Dahmer now 18, paid a second visit to the Badlands, and that was the night the dark sultry Messenger was there in the bar. The introduction did not go as Jeff had hoped when meeting Messenger face to face for the first time. To make a long story short, Jeffery Dahmer fell like a bag of mud for Messenger. Dahmer was rejected by him right off, however, that did not stop Jeff from perusing and pestering him for the next 13-years of his life. Showing up unannounced throughout Messengers life.” Dick Leitsch

    Monday 1:15p.m., July 27, 1981Miami Florida
    Steve Vore; “On Monday 1:15p.m., July 27, 1981 [Full Sun] Jeff shows up yet again this time when we stopped in the strip mall NE,170th St and Collins Ave and went inside the Sunshine Subs to get an ice-cold drink and a sub for lunch after a trying morning looking at apartments and housing.
    And for as long as I live will I ever forget seeing the food fall out of Messengers mouth or the look on his face when he saw Dahmer drive up in a van with some little dark-haired boy sitting in the passenger seat, the child looked to be very young around seven or eight. Then Dahmer waked into the Sub shop like he owned it, and walked right over to our, table when he recognized us at the table.
    Dahmer told me last time we talked on the phone he was stationed in Germany. We assumed he was out on a leave perhaps visiting family in Miami. We would later learn he was discharged from the army. Children flock towards Messenger like bees on flowers, he can reach and decrypt what’s on any child’s troubled mind. Rollins seemed very disturbed and distraught over the fact that Dahmer had left such a young child out in a hot van, even worse he left the child in the van when he came in for a to go combo, Jeff walked behind the counter and began making himself and the boy a sandwich, I remember hearing a man that worked there tell Jeff to wash his hands first before handling the food.

    Messenger and Dahmer had heated words outside concerning Jeffery leaving the child in the van alone, Rollins was scolding Jeffery for being so callous, and to get his ass over to the van and bring the child into the air-conditioning. Jeff kept trying to reassure Messenger that the boy was ok, he was a relative he picked up from the Mall and was on his way to take him home just around the corner, and he was just grabbing a sandwich for him and then he would get right back out to the van. Messenger was relentless with concern over the boy being alone in the hot van, he started pacing the floor staring out at the child and kept telling Jeff to hurry up and go to tend to the little boy. So, Jeff ran out to check on the boy sat in the van for a minute and ran back in, then told Messenger he’s fine, Jeff made his subs, as Jeff was leaving with them to go bag, as he was leaving Jeff sat a strawberry banana smoothie down on the table telling Kirk, tell Messenger it’s on me, winked, and took off to the van.

    Messenger insisted on following Jeff out the door and walked over to the van, Rollins tried getting the child to roll down the window, however, the child was reluctant to speak when Jeff scolding and grabbed the boy by the left arm when he tried to open the door in reaching for Messenger. Jeff smiled at me and asked us if we were going to the beach bar later that night and drove off. Rollins was beside himself, I told him not to worry, I am sure that child will be home in no time. For as long as I live will I ever forget seeing Rollins turn and watch the van pull out and onto the street and drive away? He said, “you guys, that child was not a relative of Jeff’s, I am 100% sure of that. The boy’s eyes were full of terror, the boy was sending me mental signals before Jeff drove off, I feel sick to my stomach over this. I should have grabbed the keys and insisted on bringing the child into the sub shop to talk to the child for a while to see if things were right. The little boys light is about to be dowsed for I am confident of that.”
    It bothered and upset Messenger for the rest of our stay. I believe that, and the fact of five years of pint up anger Messenger had towards Jeff may have been the rage that pushed Messenger towards attacking Jeff with such ferocity the night he tried to kill Jeff in the water.
    We ran into Jeff two more times, actually-Jeffery was back to his old tricks and started stalking Rollins here in Florida the same way he did in Ohio”. Steve Vore

    Dick Leitsch, “The man Jeffery fell in love with, finally snapped and tried to kill Jeffery Dahmer on June 7, 1:45 a.m., Sunday 1981 at the Beach Bar Newport Pier 16501 Collins Ave Sunny Isles Beach 33160. Messenger was on a vacation from Dallas Texas with childhood friends Kirk Hart and Steve Vore. Dahmer had approached and antagonized Messenger for the last time, a fight broke out on the Newport Pier at the very end of the dock, in the fight Dahmer was pushed off the Pier and into the ocean he went. Messenger jumped in behind him and the fight continued in the water. Messenger pulled Dahmer to the shoreline lay Jeff on his back and the three men left Florida that same night. Funny, how something like that was kept under tabs. I never once heard Lionel Dahmer talk about his son almost being killed on any of the TV interviews, or in love with another man, and why is that, because Jeffery hid the fact, he stalked the man he loved, the man that had rejected him so many times in the past.

    I interviewed a teen employee working at the Sunshine sub shop, he explained to me during her shift, his boss Ken Haupert, told Jeff when he showed up Tuesday for his shift the 9th of June 1981, looking like hell. Ken Haupert wanted to call the police and file a report because Jeff’s eyes were so black and blue, but Jeff would not abide by that. The police had already had a report July 7th, concerning a dead body by the dumpster, and had stopped in weeks prior to and talked to Jeff about the body by the dumpster, and the blood spatters in the storage outside the room where Jeffery worked. Mr. Haupert sent Jeff home, told him to rest and come back in a few days after the swelling and bruises faded so to not scare the customers. Before Kirk Hart and Steve Vore died, they handed over a dozen of pictures they took of Jeff Dahmer through the years and when they were in the parking lot of the Bimini Motel located 1600 N Ocean Drive Hollywood FL. Too bad Messenger pulled back the reins that night and let Jeff go with a warning. I wish he had drowned Dahmer that night after seeing what Dahmer had done to so many people.”
    Dick Leitsch reporter, writer, LGBT Activist

    2018 Anonymous: It’s been said, that the young dark-haired man in these pictures MAY be Messenger Rollins. To this day all efforts in trying to track and find this man have led everyone to a dead end. All we have, to go on is The name Messenger Rollins, and these four photos.
    Picture taken September 15, 12:15a.m.,1987 Image Copyright © 2018

    Image Copyright © 2018

    No location of Dance Bar or date on these two pictures may be Cincinnati Ohio

    Image Copyright © 2018

    Picture source: These are pictures that were found inside a 1978 WHO album cover bought by a couple at a garage sale in Ohio in 1993. The album and Items bought by the couple once belonged to a man by the name of Steve Vore, a Fairfield Ohio resident. There was a total of 11-pothos of Jeffery Dahmer and this dark-haired man. Our researchers were able to track down Steve Vore’s brother, sadly, Steve Vore died from complications due to Aides in 1992 from his injection in 1978 at the New York Blood Center, where he and many gay men were vaccinated with HIV-contaminated Hepatitis-B vaccine program. We do know for a fact that Steve Vore is the one who took the pictures dating back to 1977 last one taken in Milwaukee 1991 in front of the Bar 707 Metro.

    Image Copyright © 2018

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