An Ordinary Killer - The Full review

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"An Ordinary Killer"

As the lights go down in the cinema...
You are anxiously awaiting the first scene of a true to life drama. You know that it is true to life because the screenwriter, has stood up front, just off to the side, telling you a little about how the picture came into production.
You first see a few of the credits...

NOW the show begins...

There is a car parked on the side of a road. The occupants are passionately kissing as a truck rolls by for the third or fourth time. You about jump out of your seat when you see what happens next... There is a deep, scratchy voice in the dark... "Sweet Adaline..."

More credits roll by then, there is a young woman on the screen. A beautiful young woman who is full of life. She crawls into bed beside her husband to wake him. She lets him know that she is planning to be home early that afternoon...

The screen quickly changes to another household and a argument is in progress, nearly violent. We watch as a van speeds down the road when they spot the young woman on the side of the road...
We now watch her in town, having switched vehicles, finishing her shopping and heading for the truck.Again, you begin to tense as the next events reveal themselves...

Soon we see Dan Haggerty giving orders to other officers...They are to search every where within the parimeter of the house... Along with Dan, is a young and up coming actor, TJ... He is quietly listening to what Dan is saying and proceeds to do what is required. Now we go to the Sheriff's Office and see a young man and his father being interviewed by Dan and TJ. As they leave... a man and a woman come in... The foursome are the parents, husband and father-in-law of the beautiful young woman we had seen earlier.

From the dark of the night comes that haunting, deep, scratchy voice... "Sweet Adaline..."

Soon, (but not soon enough for me) Terry comes into view. If you are a TK fan... you are happy to see him because, you know that he will get the job done... or will he??? Along with Terry there is another young upstart... DJ Perry.
There is now an answer to what happened to who...Upon the discovery... the first detective bows out gracefully but, leaves his partner under the careful care of the senior detective from the State Police.

Again, from the dark of the night comes the haunting, deep scratchy voice... "Sweet Adaline..."

There are many twists and turns in the story line from this point on...As each suspect is grilled, we view how a good officer conducts himself... The good cop, bad cop routine goes into play... You are sitting there watching the suspect sweat under the intense grilling by the bad cop... the good cop steps in to help the suspect relax... when suddenly you jump right out of your skin... and into the lap of the person next to you...

Again, from the dark of the night comes the haunting, deep scratchy voice... "Sweet Adaline..."

Bits and pieces of evidence begin to pop up out of nowhere... evidence that was found months after the horrific event. But, they could never connect any of it to any of the suspects on their list. That is until 28 years after the initial event itself... They lucked out... One very small piece of DNA solved a nearly three decade old crime...

If you are looking for a suspenseful... twisting plot...then "An Ordinary Killer" is the movie for you to see.

The screenwriter, Anthony Hornus, had followed the case from beginning to the end. He had sweated many hours at his typewriter just to make sure that the storyline of the screenplay stayed as close to the actual events as possible.
Even as the film was in production, Tony made sure that everything was real and not made up. His research and interviewing each one involved proves to be an outstanding job... only out done by the performances by the actors themselves...

Dan Haggerty gives a remarkable performance as Detective James LeBaron.You really are not use to seeing him in this type of role. He is our "Grizzly Adams"... and when you first see him on the screen... he really has not changed in appearance since those days. "Griz" gives you the idea that he knows what he is doing and struts with the authority of a top detective of the county.

DJ Perry is also believable in his role as Detective Lynn Kendall...  DJ narrates the movie also... as he portrays the only detective who is on the case from nearly the beginning until the very end. 
DJ give a performance with professional authority for his young years.
His character was the one responsible for keeping the case going even though the State Police Department had officially closed it.

Charles Matthau, the son of Walter Matthau, gives a remarkable performance of his own as
Detective Mark Payton. He comes across the screen as his father once did... with positive authority, but in a style all on to his own.

In the movie, he is one of the young detectives who follows the scientific details through the final stages of the investigation.

Terry (TJ) Jernigan portrays Detective David Sheridan, and comes across the screen with "Bullish Authority"...Strutting through the interrogation room... we are led to believe that he enjoys being the bad cop to DJ's good cop.
A real jump out of your skin performance.

Christopher Nendick, a relative newcomer to the International Silverscreen, plays Detective Steve Hersh. The young detective is quiet but, manages to locate evidence that is to finally convict the final suspect.
A suspect who was looked at and then over looked for lack of evidence years earlier. Chris's performance is very authoritative in a very quiet, almost shy way...

Terence Knox... portrays Detective Ben Bannister, the detective who was in authority through-out the first six years of the investigation of the horrific event for the small mid-Michigan town... Owosso.

Terry gives a performance that commands respect as his character moves across each scene.
At first a TOD fan might see the "SSgt.Clayton Ezekiel Anderson" on the screen but... quickly forgets that role and are lost in Detective Ben Bannister.
You are even surprised that you forget all about "Brothers, Fathers and Sons", and episode from the television series "Tour of Duty", when you see the look on Terry's face at the end of his character's appearance.
Defiantly, Terry's finest performance since his days in television...Way to go!!!

All in all... whether or not you are a "Tour of Duty" fan or a fan of "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams", "AOK" is defiantly a must see movie.

My daughter had read my notes on the movie from when I watched it the night before and wanted to see it on just the very short note.
Her words were... "Wow.. A story well done... The performances were a class act!"
A class act indeed... more like "Top of the Class" all the way...

Well done CDI...