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Gray Man, The (2007)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Gray Man, The (2007) I had always been curious of how a movie based on the crimes of Albert Fish would play out, considering the horrendous magnitude of the murders. I have seen the documentary film "Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation", which was okay, but really just relayed basic information you can see on forensic cable TV bio-shows. "The Gray Man" had me somewhat curious so I finally checked it out and found what I had been hoping for - a well produced, dark and closely adapted dramatization of Fish's mortifying murders...

It is speculated that Fish killed and cannibalized five or possibly more children around New York throughout the 1920s - the most notable case being the abduction of a 9 year-old girl whom Fish butchered, consumed and later taunted the parents with an obscene letter. "The Gray Man" contains most of the notable facts pertaining to actual events, detailing some of them remarkably well. Patrick Bauchau played the part of Fish very well, aside from appearing a lot more "enduring" than I would presume the real-life guy had been. He is portrayed as a charming, grandfather-ish gentlemen, capable of luring children to their demise as well as an over-zealous religious masochist behind closed doors. The scenes in which Fish is interacting and persuading the trust of kids are excellently disturbing and downright creepy, without showing any violence. In fact, there are NO on-screen deaths (aside from Fish's execution, which isn't even shown in it's entirety). The focus shifted from Fish to a detective, determined to track the insane predator down. Most of the movie, however, centers around Fish and his sadistic exploits and resentment towards and FROM his own adult children...

For a movie that didn't get a lot of press around it's initial release, "The Gray Man" is visually striking in it's time period setting and the tone captures a preeminently doomy and hazy atmosphere. The entire segment involving the Grace Bud kidnapping is incredibly chilling and factually detailed. In all, the film is a suitably stylish and especially solid account of one severely demented individual and surely one of the finer serial killer biopics I have seen...

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