B.T.K. is based on the true story of Dennis L. Rader, an American serial killer who systematically bound, tortured and killed his victims. Using his job as a security officer he selected his victims by accusing them of trivial offences, choosing those with a fiery response for murder. This truth is used as the basis for a bland and laboured horror B-movie which may have a shocking story to tell, but prefers to focus on grizzly deaths than offer a genuine insight into the mind of the killer.
Rader’s position as a man abusing his power while viewed as a seemingly normal guy married with two daughters is like the mask of many serial killers: they are those you might least suspect. His murders were spread out over 30 years and he was eventually sentenced for the murders of seven women, one man and two children. Rader is played by Kane Hodder, most famous for his roles as masked killer Jason Voorhees. With his face in full view, he looks a lot like a cross between Neighbours’ Harold Bishop and Brit Nick Frost yet lacks the acting talent of either. His menacing face and icy glare rarely change whether he murdering his victims or chatting away to family. The deaths are nasty and graphic, easily earning B.T.K. an 18 rating and sure to be of interest to hack and slash friends who would have seen Hodder as Jason, and the only real focus for the story which limits this film to being disposable entertainment.
Anyone looking for an insightful documentary into the life of Dennis L. Rader and ponderings on his motives won’t find it here as B.T.K. settles for delivering an alter ego reasoning for his murderous tendencies. As a result, it’s best enjoyed as a harmless killfest – look elsewhere for a more accurate character study of Rader.
Audio commentary with Michael Feifer and Kane Hodder, behind the scenes feature.
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