AWAKENING THE ZODIAC
To its credit, Awakening the Zodiac has read up on the basic facts of the Zodiac case for the most part. The recreation of the incident at the start of the film, which becomes part of what we see on the film clip, seems to combine the Lake Herman Road shootings (the first killings in 1968) with the third attack at Lake Berryessa in 1969. (The victims at the latter scene were tied up before being killed, which is not shown here, while the Herman Road scene approximates more what actually happens, except that the killer didnt wear his distinctive hood at that scene). On the other hand, the trailer (see below) makes the completely untrue claims that The Zodiac was the most muderous killer in US history and that he was responsible for 37 victims
The biggest plausibility issue with Awakening the Zodiac is its very premise the Zodiac Killer still alive in the present-day. Michael Mageau, the only ever direct eyewitness to the Zodiac killings, placed the killers age as 26-30. Witnesses around the scene of the final canonical attack on taxi driver Paul Stine in 1969 put the suspects age at between 28-40 years old. Taking the most liberal of these estimations, this would make The Zodiac aged 26 in 1968. To be alive in 2017, the youngest The Zodiac could possibly be today is 75. The median age of the numbers given would make him 85 years old. Stephen McHattie, the actor playing The Zodiac, is 70, which still seems just a little too young. In reality, The Zodiac should be in a geriatric home, on a walking frame and/or suffering Alzheimers rather than running about abducting and shooting people.
Unfortunately, Awakening the Zodiac, while it ventures into the highly promising idea of the unmasking of The Zodiac, fails to make the mystery interesting in any way. The idea of finding evidence from The Zodiac in a locker auction is an intriguing hook. However, the films playoff of these elements are dull. None of the historical suspects or even the clues The Zodiac sent are debated. At most, the film mentions The Zodiacs second unsolved cypher. The rest of the film is the tedious stuff of running around being stalked by people.
Jonathan Wright made his directorial debut with the horror film Nostrum (2010) and prior to that had been working as an assistant director since the mid-1990s. He has also made a half-dozen other tv movies.