Saturday, January 23, 2010

What happens when the detective gets put in a mental hospital? ("The Alphabet Killer", a true story)


Here’s a good “have to” situation for a screenwriting class: The heroine, a police officer, has to prove she is sane and get out of a mental hospital to be allowed to solve a case. If she doesn’t get out, the case may never be solved.

Such is the case with the 2008 thriller “The Alphabet Killer” from Rob Schmidt and screenwriter Tom Malloy. It’s based on an unsolved case in Rochester, NY. Megan Paige, the young detective, is played by Eliza Dushku. Pretty soon she starts seeing ghosts of the victims, and winds up hospitalized. The say, she talks to herself – but does that make her crazy? I do that!

Later, in group therapy, another patient talks about not being able to get certain destructive trains of thought out of his mind.

She winds up institutionalized twice, and when she “gets out” she gets in danger in other ways. The film is a bit like “Se7en” and similar films but focuses much more on the personal problems of the detective.

The film was shot (2.35:1) on location around Rochester (appears to be late autumn, with wet snow at times), but the indoor scenes were filmed in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

The movie comes from New Films International and Starz Anchor Bay (DVD), but it does not seem to have had a wide theatrical release in the US outside of Rochester NY and LA (it should come from Overture Films if it did).

The official site for the film is here.

From “TheTrailerDOTCOM” on YouTube:

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