Entertainment Magazine

Murders of Hollywood: The Evil Side of the Rich

Posted on the 25 August 2012 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan
Murders of Hollywood: The Evil Side of the Rich

Movie: Murders of Hollywood

Director: Fred Calvert

Rating: **1/2

Hollywood – it’s more than just a sun-drenched city in Southern California. It’s an institution that manufactures incredible dreams. It’s as though someone is offering you a ticket to get famous, rich and become a superstar. People come here with aspirations to make it a big and sizzle in the biz of entertainment. And thousands have come and among the many, a lucky few rose to the status of a star. But what price do some pay and what evil do some commit to state their claim in paradise.

Murders of Hollywood: The Evil Side of the Rich

What makes more news – an actor’s successful film career or his multiple affairs or addiction to drug or a mysterious death? As we know it – news that’s bad or controversial sells the most. And news that’s honest barely sells, and that’s a fact and we have real examples to substantiate it. In this divisive documentary, you’ll be exposed to some of the most sensational and shocking real-life stories of murders in Hollywood. From the silent era to the present day, passion, hatred and greed have pushed the rich and the famous over the edge of violence. Throwing light on few of the most controversial murders in Hollywood, let’s dissect to see what makes this documentary captivating.

The opening narration of Hollywood as it is today by Fred Calvert – the director,

Murders of Hollywood: The Evil Side of the Rich
is eloquent and gives a perfect start to the documentary. Music by Douglas Lackey is equally enthralling and subtly expressive in a unique way. What you see in this documentary is something you may very well find on web provided you search. However it’s the chronological narration of these murders that makes it a compelling watch. Starting from the 20s to all the way up to the 80s and 90s, encompassing some of the most outrageous murders, Fred with crisp editing by Sukunya Wangsomnuk breathe life into this film.

Come to think of it and you’d ask yourself why would I want to see some tragic end of a superstar, who’s properly dead with a bullet to his head and brain shattered all over the wall behind him or stabbed multiple times in the stomach and chest or with a completely disfigured face, beaten by a baseball bat. It’s gross, isn’t it? I think that’s where this documentary falters as it only manages to recount the life of a murdered celebrity just the way the world knows it. There’s no additional information shared besides pictorially narrating the crime scene with photographs and sketches, which I liked by the way, but nothing beyond that. It turns little boring due to this after a point of time.

The clear color video footage is shown of Hollywood as it looks today in and around the various victims’ surroundings. Recent footage of Sal Mineo’s building where he was killed outside of is captured nicely. All these add up to some good moments to look forward to if you’re planning to watch. What questions your conviction is that none of the chapters have any interviews or real footage to authenticate what you’re shown.

Murders of Hollywood: The Evil Side of the Rich

Elizabeth Short

Some of the murders in this documentary include – Virginia Rappe, who was claimed to be killed by Fatty Arbuckle. He was acquitted after three trials only to be called not guilty. But, Fatty’s career came to a standstill after that. Virginia was murdered; it was after she was dead by yellow journalism and lynch mob public. From the ‘William Desmond Taylor’ killing on Feb 1, 1922, ‘Thelma Todd’ murder on Dec 16, 1935 to the Elizabeth Short gruesome killing on Jan 15, 1947, when she was found dead, severed in half on the sidewalk of a vacant plot. Beth was also known as ‘The Black Dahlia’. There are many more grotesque murder stories in this documentary including the most bloodiest of all – that took place at the residence of Hollywood’s top director Norman Polanski, in which his wife Sharon Tate was killed by 16 stab wounds to chest and her back which eventually ended the life of her unborn child.  The killings were orchestrated by six homeless, drug-addicted youths who called their killing revolution – ‘Helter Skelter’ and confessed that they did it with a sense of euphoria.

In essence; ‘Murders of Hollywood’ works partly for its persuasive narration.

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