I rented this one last week and had been putting off watching it - I knew that it was going to be "heavy and dark" and I just didn't want to bum out Christmas with it. But having got the holiday over and done with, and being a bit depressed at the Cowboy's heartbreaking loss Christmas night, I popped it in the DVD player after my family had gone to bed.
This is one more powerful, "mess with your head" movie, all the more so because it is a true story. For those unfamiliar with his story, Gacy was one of America's most prolific serial killers. He was found guilty on 33 counts of murder in 1980 after being arrested in 1978. 29 bodies were buried in the crawl space beneath his house, all young boys - mostly runaways he had raped and killed. In 1993, with John Wayne Gacy's appeals running out, a young pre-law student named Jason Moss took an interest in his case and wrote Gacy a letter, hoping to actually get the notorious killer to open up about his crimes so he could write a term paper about the case. To spark Gacy's interest, he portrayed himself as a disaffected, confused young bisexual who was alienated from his family - in other words, to fit the profile of Gacy's victims.
After a couple of letters had gone back and forth, Jason answered his phone at 4 AM one morning to hear the operator say: "You have a collect call from inmate John Gacy at the Menard Correctional Facility. Will you accept the charges?"
What follows is some very taught drama as Jason tries to play the role that will keep Gacy fascinated and get him to open up, while at the same time not getting so caught up in the role that he loses his true self. His relationships and grades suffer at first, but the real drama occurs when Gacy's time runs out and Jason decides to pay him a visit before the end.
This movie is indeed very dark and heavy. There are a lot of strong homosexual references that may be offputting for those who find male homosexuality distasteful, but in the end it is worth it. In the final credits, they roll some footage of the real Jason Moss talking about his complex relationship with Gacy. Apparently, the relationship left some real scars, because Jason Moss committed suicide in 2006. All in all, this is one of the most powerful and disturbing movies I have seen in a long time. Anyone else catch it?