Before writing this article, I actually downloaded and read the comic “My Friend Dahmer”. After viewing this source material for the new movie of the same name, I think that Derf Backderf should have called his graphic comic “That Damaged Kid Who I Used to Amuse Myself, Dahmer.” Def paints himself as the so called “normal” kid who was nearly perfect in every way. He compares his own life to “Happy Days” He’s just a happy go lucky sort of nerd who just happened to sporadically hang out with a future serial killer for laughs. Here are five reasons why we will be seeing “My Friend Dahmer”. Comic spoilers ahead.
A Unique Point of View
Def recalls various episodes where he heavily capitalizes on his “friendship” with Dahmer, a train wreck of a kid whom he alternately pities and exploits. He writes with authority and makes the reader think he has the inside scoop on everything Dahmer. He invents some possible scenes from Jeff’s home life based on researching interviews and books he read, particularly one by Jeff’s dad Lionel, The end of the comic book has many citations for his narrative, including facts that “two or more of his sources agree upon”. Good enough.
The “Cautionary Tale” Factor
Derf wonders why the adults didn’t do something and the audience will be wondering about that weird kid in their neighborhood. Derf comes off in the comic as a bit preachy as if anyone could have known what was going on in Dahmer’s twisted mind, except Derf has it all figured out now. Derf brags that he made “lifelong friends” in high school and one of the things that he and his lifelong friends enjoyed was having Jeff pose in yearbook photos of clubs where he was not a member, and their big entertainment was driving Jeff to a mall to “perform” skits making fun of the disabled. During the car ride to the mall, Jeff polished off a six pack to the horror of his friends, but they don’t feel so horrible about what they are prompting Jeff to do as they are just members of his “fan club”. After the amusement wears off, Derf and his pals dropped Jeff like a rock only to catch up with many months later staggering on the side of the road. Could anyone have stopped him? Did his “friends” push this mentally tortured soul closer to the edge?
“My Freind Dahmer”, has been made into a film starring the blond, singer dancer Disney star Ross Lynch, as Jeffrey Dahmer. Just goes to show that a fair haired cutie can become a Disney heartthrob or cut your heart out and eat it–it can go either way. Anne Heche plays Mrs. Joyce Dahmer and its great to know that Dallas Roberts (one of my favorite actors) will be playing Lionel Dahmer. The casting of this adorable kid in the title role is sure to capture the teen dollars at the box office, These kids weren’t born at the time of Dahmer’s arrest in 1991 and he was murdered in prison three years later. They will squeal and squirm and say it is gross and then perhaps go home and write some Revere High fan fiction. It won’t be real to them.
Some of Us Will Never Forget
Unless you remember the barrels of human remains being removed from Dahmer’s apartment and the interview with the neighbor lady lamenting that Jeff made her a sandwich, you can’t imagine it. Those of us who had our dinner interrupted with this “Special Report” can never unsee it. Dahmer is back in pop culture in a big way and there will be plenty of folks searching for the 2002 biopic of the adult “Dahmer” starring Jeremy Renner who not only resembled the real killer but had his mannerisms down pat.
A Trip Back in Time
Dahmer’s childhood home in Bath Township, Ohio is actually being used in the movie. You can see from the trailer, that the film has that small town 70s vibe. The film is already getting lots of media buzz and will no doubt be critically acclaimed, as was the clever graphic comic on which the film was based. Movies made from comics are all the rage, so why not one about a deranged killer in a horror version of “That 70s Show”?