Brian De Palma Helming The Boston Stranglers Movie
by Alex Billington
June 4, 2008
After hitting an all-time low with Redacted, Brian De Palma is heading back to the 1960's to investigate more murders. De Palma has signed on to direct The Boston Stranglers, a thriller about the real life Boston killings and their controversial resolution. De Palma, best known for numerous classics like Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito's Way, and Mission Impossible, has been serving up rather mediocre fare in recent years. He'll be partnering with producer Gale Ann Hurd (Terminator 3, Aeon Flux, The Incredible Hulk) and writer Alan Rosen ("Diff'rent Strokes", "Head of the Class") on The Boston Stranglers. Will we finally get another good movie out of De Palma?
The script was adapted from Susan Kelly's nonfiction book "The Boston Stranglers: The Public Conviction of Albert DeSalvo and the True Story of Eleven Shocking Murders" (check it out on Amazon). Between June 14th, 1962 and January 4th, 1964, thirteen single women (between the ages of 19 and 85) were murdered in the Boston area. Most had been sexually assaulted in their apartments. While the police were not convinced that all of these murders were the work of a single individual, much of the public believed they were the work of Albert DeSalvo, who was stabbed to death separately after confessing to the murders. Interestingly, Kelly's book only details eleven murders. This sounds like a very similar story to Zodiac, David Fincher's film about San Francisco's zodiac killer.
I haven't been too pleased with De Palma recently, so I hope both The Boston Stranglers and The Untouchables: Capone Rising take him back to his roots. He's a great director, he's many so many classic films, but either he's lost his touch or he's just been giving crappy material recently. Either way, as long as The Boston Stranglers doesn't turn out like The Black Dahlia, I'll be happy. I don't have anything against noir murder mysteries, but since this is so similar to Zodiac, it's got to stand up on its own and bring something unique to the table or else it'll be quickly forgotten. That is unfortunately the reality of cinema today, all because David Fincher did such a phenomenal job.