B.T.K. – DVD Review


A portion of this review has been taken from my review on The Hunt For The BTK Killer.

Dennis Rader was a simple man. He had a wife and two children and lived in middle class suburbia just going about his life like millions of others do everyday. Rader had worked as a Boy Scout leader, avid church-goer, and a pillar of his community. He had a bachelor’s degree in electronics and worked as a security guard making money so his family could live a comfortable life without worry. Little did they know that they had more to worry about then school tuition, bills, and keeping the house clean.

From 1974 through 1991, ten gruesome murders were committed by a man who sent letters to the police and reporters admitting his guilt. The letters described the acts and the murderer claimed sole responsibility for them. Almost as if bragging and showcasing his trade to the world. He referred to himself as the “BTK” killer which stood for “bind,” “torture,” and “kill.” This was his modus operandi, or “m-o” as it has become to be known on crime drama TV shows.

For a long time the letters stopped coming from the killer and the police had come to a stopping point because they could not find out who had committed the heinous crimes. In the Spring of 2004 the letters started again.

Dennis Rader and the BTK Killer are one and the same person.

Ya know, you would kind of think that either the fact that our film is about a killer that binds, tortures and kills or that Kane Hodder is playing said killer would make this somewhat scary and disturbing yes? Well, that is so far from the truth that it isn’t even funny. The story of Dennis Rader is well known by me because not only have I seen other films dedicated to his “work,” but I’ve also read up on him a god bit and know almost all the exact details of the things he had done. I know about his life and what supposedly lead him to do the things he did and then how he executed them. It is truly some frightening stuff that is bound to give anyone the willies, but this film certainly won’t. Aspects of truth were changed and altered but for what reason, I do not know. Hodder is only remotely decent as Rader and the rest of the film including script, acting, and suspense is God awful by any stretch of the imagination.

It honestly appears to me that the budget for B.T.K. had to be no more then fifty dollars and about twenty-three cents because they couldn’t even get decent props. Throw on top of that the incredibly bad acting and you are lead to believe that a bunch of retarded chimpanzees were given a toy and just told to “Go!” Pay attention to anyone you see besides Hodder and you’ll wonder where they found this bunch of winners. Whether it is Rader’s family the cops, the pastor, or any of the victims shown they all suck. Nothing to see here people, move along.

The film is shown in an Anamorphic Widescreen format and I’m not sure it will look any better on the finished disc, but this screener disc is not good at all. The image is gritty and just isn’t even remotely decent.

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound on this screener but the retail release will be in 5.1 Surround Sound. Hard for me to give a fair judgment here honestly.

None – A little internet research shows me that there is an audio commentary track on the actual DVD release, but I don’t know who is sitting down for it. Nothing is included on the screener I received.

You’d figure that a film about a serial killer kind of writes itself when it comes to the script, but one can really screw it up when you change the “true” story you’re presented with. Jackasses. The lot of them. B.T.K. is nothing to look at, nothing to revel at, and nothing to give a single damn about. I sincerely doubt that the actual DVD release available for purchase will give much to care about with a tad better audio and visual while throwing in a special feature or two. The film is just downright awful making being bound and tortured probably more enjoyable then watching this for an hour and a half. Killing I can do without no matter what you put me through. HA the irony here is that watching B.T.K. is torture. If you are bound while watching it though; I don’t wish to know about it.

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Lionsgate presents B.T.K.. Directed by: Michael Feifer. Starring: Kane Hodder, Amy Lyndon, Bob Arnold, and more. Written by: Michael Feifer. Running time: 85 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: May 12, 2009. Available at Amazon.com