SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS
James Glickenhaus never gets inside what motivates this particular serial killer but the film does end on a remarkable climax in the killers boneyard with the revelation of a Noahs Ark of animal skeletons. The film is also techno savvy there is a very amusing sequence with Scott Glenn trying to access his sons computer for vital information only to have to go through the passwords that require him to recite his sons Little League batting score and what he gave him for Christmas (even if such a sequence displays computer technology that is surely far in advance of the then average home PC).
The major problem with the film is the kid. James Glickenhaus clearly wanted to do a loving tribute to his own real-life son Jesse who plays the son in the film (and has appeared in two of Glickenhauss films since) but this unfortunately gets in the way of the film. The films major plausibility hole is turning the kid into a behavioural science genius. It seems ridiculous to suggest that Scott Glenns FBI agent has to rely on his son to solve his crimes surely, the FBI have their team of behavioural experts and their own computer banks to analyse common factors in crimes? The climax where the kid simply walks into the killers hideout makes one realise that variants on the behavioural stupidity of people walking into darkened rooms where a killer is lurking did not die out with the 1980s slasher cycle.
On its own, the relationship between Scott Glenn and Jesse Cameron-Glickenhaus works well. There is a remarkably upbeat ending with Glenn and Cameron-Glickenhaus visiting the grave of the executed man where Glenn reflects on the meaning of life: Remember after a shower how I taught you to shake the water off your head like a dog? Well, grandpa taught me that and someday youll teach your kid that. That part of grandpa and me and you will never die. Bodies, they have chemicals and when they die they go back into the Earth you know like your goldfish that turned into the soil that turned into the apple you ate from our apple tree. The good things go on forever. Thats why you turned out such a good kid. Scott Glenn gives a much more animated performance than usual. Native American actress Sheila Tousey gives a cool and intelligently aloof performance as Scott Glenns FBI partner. As the killer, Zitto Kazann has been chosen for the remarkably wild-eyed and completely wired look he manages to convey.
James Glickenhaus also made the obscure horror film The Astrologer (1975); the cult ultra-violent vigilante film The Exterminator (1980); the action films The Soldier (1982), Shakedown (1988) and McBain (1991); the Jackie Chan film The Protector (1985); and the time travel film Timemaster (1995). Glickenhaus has also produced Maniac Cop (1988) and the Frank Henenlotter films Basket Case 2 (1990), Frankenhooker (1990) and Basket Case 3 (1992). Glickenhaus has now retired from filmmaking and works as a financier.