COPYCAT. 1995. DIRECTED BY JON AMIEL. STARRING SIGOURNEY WEAVER, HOLLY HUNTER, DERMOT MULRONEY, WILLIAM MCNAMARA AND HARRY CONNICK JUNIOR. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is a terrific serial killer film which I’ve always enjoyed. Sigourney ALIEN Weaver plays Dr. Helen Hudson, an expert on serial killers who gets roped in to helping the police when women are suddenly turning up dead all over the city of Los Angeles.
She’s not too keen on getting involved because she’s been in retirement (not to mention agoraphobic and seriously messed-up) since she suffered an horrific attack by a truly sick, vicious murderer she helped to put away.
Officer Mary Jane Monahan, however, is one persistent little detective and she has no intention of letting Helen off the hook. ‘Off the hook’ is quite an apt turn of phrase, actually, seeing as Helen seems to spend half the movie suspended over a toilet with ‘one shoe off and one shoe on’ like ‘Diddle-diddle-dumpling, my son John’ from the kiddies’ nursery rhyme. When you watch the film, you’ll know what I mean.
The interesting thing about this particular serial killer is that he seems to be aping the ‘oeuvres’ of infamous serial killers from the canon of murder down through the ages. Guys like Albert Henry De Salvo, the infamous Boston Strangler, the Hillside Strangler, the collective term for Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, David ‘Son Of Sam’ Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted ‘The Ladykiller’ Bundy. I was a bit disappointed when he never got around to doing Bundy, despite positive indications that he was going in that direction.
The killer is basing the order of his murderous acts on one of Helen’s lectures on the art of serial killing. It’s up to Helen, Mary Jane and Mary Jane’s utterly dreamy sidekick Reuben Goetz, played by Dermot YOUNG GUNS Mulroney, to catch this sick SOB before he, wells, kills again. Because that what killers do, see…?
Musician Harry Connick Jr. is gross, disgusting and absolutely brilliant as pervy psychopath Darryl Lee Cullum. Check out he way he says ‘panties.’ He infuses so much perviness into the word that it’s both funny and stomach-churning at the same time.
Tiny little Holly Hunter is as cute as a button as she stalks down hallway after hallway holding that nasty old gun that’s practically bigger than she is. She gets to point it a lot while coming into rooms and, while she doesn’t actually say ‘Freeze, motherf***er/scumbag/you sick sonnovabitch!,” you surely know she’s thinking it. I bet she totally enjoyed all that gun-pointing. Which of us hasn’t pantomimed that very action at one time or another? Don’t pretend now. You know you have.
Remember when Holly Hunter was cavorting stark naked with Harvey Keitel in Jane Campion’s marvellous film THE PIANO? That’s what I think of every time I see Holly Hunter now. That was a brilliant film. You got to see Harvey Keitel’s ass and everything. It’s not the firmest or the most muscular ever committed to celluloid but hey, a naked ass is a naked ass. Don’t look a gift ass in the mouth, that’s what I always say.
William McNamara as the killer is pretty cute too. He has a distinct touch of the Cary Elwes’s about him. I’m not aware of anything he’s done since so I guess he didn’t become the next Harvey Keitel or whoever, but he does a bang-up job in COPYCAT, which overall is a great old serial killer romp. It’s just hard to resist taking the p**s out of it in places.
The Jeffrey Dahmer copycat killing is genuinely disturbing and what happens to Officer Dreamy… Well, I can’t tell you for fear of spoilers but, oh, poor devastatingly good-looking Officer Dreamy…! By the way, both Sigourney Weaver and the copycat killer both wear truly terrible glasses in the film. I guess they should’ve gone to Specsavers…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
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4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
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