The Deliberate Stranger, 1986

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives; who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? Friedrich Nietzsche;The Gay Science, 1882

Fucking theives.

 

Ⓒ Lorimar Productions

It’s the wrong place, the wrong time for Mark Harmon (Chicago Hope, 1994 – 2000) to dawdle through the serial killer routine, BTK was still out there when the film was released; not just any serial killer routine but something that requires so much more from a biographical film. Even though the TV-film by Marvin J. Chomsky is “stunningly accurate”, I’m… We’re talking about Ted Bundy here and a mere three hours on TV does not do justice to the body count, which, according to him, is in “three digits”. Plus Mr. Larson (on whose book the film is based), it seems, is remembering things in a completely different way than another Bundy authority, Ann RuleThe Stranger Beside Me: August 17, 1980; W. W. Norton & Company, does have a few film adaptations but, again, none do justice to the painfully detailed account of the fascinating, inexplicable, and true chameleon, Theodore Robert Bundy‘s life. None but the recent Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, 2019 by Joe Berlinger with Zac Effron as Bundy and Lily Collins as Liz Kendall and the lovely Kaya Scodelario (Crawl, 2019as Carole Ann Boone and Grace Victoria Cox as Carol Daronch (even in fiction, he’s surrounded by a bevy of beauties.), the only lady to survive and escape that wretched Volswagen and also live to tell about in court, with a finger pointing right at Bundy’s calm but calculating and at that moment, almost bemused and arrogant and also smiling face as if the jury would not believe the pretty 21-year-old single white female, Daronch and the almost horrifying account of the kidnapping that could have been even more appalling had Bundy overpowered her.

Carol DaRonch testifies at a pre-sentencing hearing for convicted murderer Ted Bundy on July 28, 1979, as the stern yet indulging and scolding Judge Edward Cowart looks on.

However, James Hadley Chase (1906 – 1985, the king of thrillers) always ended his stories with a dictum; “Crime never pays“, such may indeed have been the case, when Bundy was baked on The Chair (and not Old Sparky, which had been decommissioned only a year before), at the Florida State Prison, on January 24th, 1989 and he looked like fried vegetables after being removed from the chair – one of the reasons he wasn’t given a lethal dose of the IV administered, sedatives and paralytics. And justice was served after close to a murder spree claiming 30 or more lives. However,  back home it sure does pay, and a whole lot, just look at the ex-PM on the run from the law for plundering the country like it was fucking ‘free for all’ buffet, money laundering billions of dollars that belonged to the people of the land and then making public properties his own, and now with him hiding in the UK, with connections to the RSS and RAW, and the Brits are refusing to hand him back because of some ‘reparation treaty’ or lack of it – I would like to see if a (p)big-profile Brit robs the country and comes here and we say no when the MI6 tells us, not ask but tell, to return the delinquent, which is a word that doesn’t even begin to describe the criminals that the family members are.
Then there’s his daughter, first getting caught red-handed in a controversial MSWORD technicality (Sans Serif started it all), then her husband, desecrates the resting place of our founder and is let off after the local-police refuses to arrest him (and no one in this province would touch him until the Rangers- a rank above the Police – was called in, and he was out the next day, vacationing at a hill station, but we know what Mr. Chase is trying to innocently imply here, plus, he was writing this back when the world was a simpler place, somewhat livable.
So the Rangers were called in to arrest him since he was in a province where Feudalism and Slavery simply cannot be abolished since the rulers, except the current one, encourages the age-old practices to not get abolished and that their leaders or masters are treated as demi-gods (now when election time comes who would not vote for their gods and go for the other row, the opponent who is indeed an honest man, with clear intentions, well his policies and quick dispensation of justice and sentence to be carried out without any red tape delays? The demi-gods, the slave population will vote for the same people they have been voting for 40-50 years or their daughters will be raped by the landlords in front of the father who will then be asked to wipe the dust off his Land Cruiser while his brothers, cousins, everyone has had a go, all this while poor daddy-o watches on helplessly, cleaning his demi-god of a master’s car).

After watching true crime, a line from Nietzsche’s rather lengthy quote, God is dead, comes to mind. The rest of the quote by Nietzsche in his book, The Gay Science, does not give here. For he meant well, addressing the privileged, the agnostics the ones who acted like gods. An atheist himself, Nietzsche suggested that enlightenment had eliminated the possibility of the existence of God  However, proponents of the strongest form of the Death of God theology have used the phrase in a literal sense, meaning that the Christian God, who had existed at one point, has ceased to exist.
How can He allow what happened to the twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach, when Bundy escaped prison and tore the girl apart and didn’t even leave the body be, forget burying it. That’s a very emotional question and going up against the Divine Decree and Design (mysterious ways) is a foolish notion since I could be wrong and burn for it. But I’ll let it be there for the sake of rebellion.

Oh, my bad. He was and still is right where He was, the injustice and powerplay are only for some to suffer from, why? Am I questioning His plans? Do you think I’m a fool? Agnostic, maybe, but going headfirst into heathen hell (it’s started here, I can feel the heat) is a thought that makes me shit my pants, and as it is it seems like He’s not as fond of me as He was, from birth until thirty-one years with everything landing in my lap without having to do zilch, well, I did put in much work but not as much as the returns were. However, since this pilgrim turned 32, man, that’s a story for another time, for another short review. It ain’t pretty but it’s funny, not to my daughter, but for the keen reader.

Anyway, The Deliberate Stranger is sometimes tense, at times suspenseful, but too tame for a film based on the Chi Omega Murders. It is mild in its presentation although a few scenes do send a chill down the spine as Harmon becomes Bundy by imitating the rigid posture and suspicious expression; that too if the viewer is familiar with the subject matter. 

 

Left: Real deal Ted Bundy, shackled and bound, flashes a smile to the reporters. Right: Mark Harmon in character and jitterbug stripes for being a diaper sniper after being arrested for the disappearance of twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach

Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, 2019is far scarier in its proposition, even after having watched and read most stuff based on Bundy and John Wayne Gacy and Dahmer (with Jeremy Renner as the extremely perverted and lonely and psychotic and ruthless and unassuming and a complete wreck, Jeff) in school, along with the strange tales of Rader, Kemper, Gein, and others. I wasn’t popular in school or college or.. umm.. ever. Self-loathing? What else do you expect after having watched this much misogyny (check out the recent reviews), back to back since it is part of the formula now, metoo or not, fucking Agent 007 Nomi or not.

The Deliberate Stranger (1986) – TRAILER – ( PELICULA ONLINE ) – YouTube

 

 

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