The Honeymoon Killers

The Honeymoon Killers ★★★★½

Anti-Bonnie and Clyde made on a whim? A dare? A wing and a prayer? The production history (including firing Scorsese!) is as interesting as the serial killer couple the movie is based on.

Stripped of glamour, shot in low budget with chilling realism, The Honeymoon Killers is a disturbing look at a couple who preyed upon lonely women. Ray works his way into women's hearts via letter-writing, eventually meeting them to fleece them for whatever he can before moving to his next victim. Would-be victim Martha instead joins him, the two fall into a dysfunctional love, and they continue the scheme posing as brother and sister. But they're messy, unbalanced individuals -- when the scam goes wrong or Ray sleeps with the victims, they find no other choice than to kill.

Murder is a sickly business in Honeymoon Killers. It looms over the film at all times, and the few times it actually strikes are ugly and uncomfortable. Honeymoon Killers makes characters of all its victims in the short time they have -- lonely, foolish people with dreams, friends, family who don't deserve the deaths they get. I really felt for them, something that's hard to accomplish.

A nearly documentary-style, life in its victims, and a gritty un-stylized take on murder make Honeymoon Killers a near classic in a way -- a movie that leaves such a mark, leaves a faint stench of death on me by bringing me to close to the reality behind its story. It's strong, unique and honestly I don't think I can handle watching it again.

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