As you may already know, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is already making history on Netflix, and Evan Peters has a real chance of decorating his house with many awards this year and next.
If you haven’t yet seen the miniseries that’s currently making waves on the internet, there’s no time to waste: all ten episodes are available on Netflix if you have a valid subscription.
You can read more about the show here in our special review.
As far as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is concerned, over the years, many filmmakers have tried their finger at the sea, trying, with the help of actors, to portray him as well as possible. None of them, however, have managed to capture the essence – not the way Ryan Murphy and Evan Peters have, at least.
Other actors who managed to make you believe them, hate them, and fear them – best roles portraying serial killers
Charlize Theron – Aileen Wuornos
It’s no surprise to anyone anymore that Charlize Theron is one of Hollywood’s finest actresses, capable of metamorphosing into almost anyone if she really wants to.
She played serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2004). For her role executed to perfection, Theron received a well-deserved Oscar.
Steve Railsback – Charlie Manson
In 1976, for the release of Helter Skelter, Steve Railsback stepped into the shoes of Charlie Manson, the serial killer who basically didn’t kill anyone, but theoretically did.
And if what we’ve just said seems strange to you, we’ll explain in a moment.
Charlie Manson was the leader of a satanic cult, drawn from the hippie era, but taken to the extreme in a crazy way that had nothing to do with “peace.”
In 1969, followers of Charlie Manson arrived at the home of actress Sharon Tate (wife of director Roman Polanski) and killed her, but not before torturing her. At the time, Tate was pregnant with Polanski’s child. The couple’s house also contained four friends of the actress who did not escape the horrors and were also killed.
Charles Manson was not present at the murders, but is considered the perpetrator.
The interesting part is he continued to be worshipped by both his followers and new ones even after he was sent to prison.
Lou Diamond Phillips – Richard Ramirez
The Night Stalker was one of many films that attempted to chronicle the life of serial killer Richard Ramirez. Although the physical resemblance between Lou Diamond Phillips and Ramirez isn’t exactly one-to-one, just like Evan Peters and Jeffrey Dahmer, the actor’s performance brings extra points.
Richard Ramirez has wreaked terror on America as one of the most chaotic serial killers. While most brutes of this sort have a “pattern”, some preferring sex workers, others children or gay boys, etc., in Ramirez’s case there was no such question. He killed and raped children, women, men, and the elderly.
He was also said to be a Satanist and, feeling protected by the “divinity” he believed in, did not feel he needed to be careful in covering his tracks. All this eventually backfired on him as he was caught.
Steve Railsback – Ed Gein
Although Charlie Manson and Ed Gein don’t have much in common, not physically at least, it seems that Steve Railsback managed to play them both and did so, in both cases, admirably.
Ed Gein was caught in 1957 and is considered one of the first serial killers in history (that we know of, at least). With serious mental prowess, Gein, a reclusive man who didn’t seem to pose a danger to anyone, used to make lampshades out of the skin of his victims, or even upholster his furniture in this way.
In addition, he had an extreme fondness for desecrating graves, one of the bodies unearthed from the cemetery being his own mother’s.
Ross Lynch – Jeffrey Dahmer
Before Evan Peters, the role of Jeff Dahmer was played by Ross Lynch, the young actor who struggled to show us the younger, more inexperienced version of the notorious serial killer.
To be fair, Lynch did a terrific job in My Friend Dahmer (2017), which prompted many to say when Murphy’s version was announced, “Another Dahmer movie?”.
However, as I’ve already mentioned many times, the last one, the one with Peters in the lead role, is by far the best.
Michael Rooker and Henry Lee Lucas
You may remember Michael Rooker from The Walking Dead, or even from other movies and shows you’ve probably seen over the years. And if you haven’t seen Portrait of a Serial Killer yet and you like the niche, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to get a hold of it and reserve an evening for it.
To be fair, Michael Rooker manages to be a bit more charming in his role than Henry Lee Lucas ever could. One only has to see the film, as well as a documentary about the real character, and you’ll understand exactly what it’s about.
Even so, Rooker’s acting performance is what it needs to be, and this role confirms that, if anything.
Michael Rilley Burke – Ted Bundy
Despite the avalanche of Dahmer movies, the most famous serial killer is and will always be Ted Bundy, and that’s because of the televised and broadcast trial of the stations of that time. Basically, his trial turned into a real soap opera, despite the fact that we’re talking about real life, not a movie.
So, just like the leitmotif of this article, much has been written about Bundy and, “in his honor,” miles of film have been made.
One of the best performances belongs to actor Michael Rilley Burke in Ted Bundy, although if we were to draw up a top list strictly on the quality of the film, the award would go to Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, starring Zack Efron.