Netflix And Kill, The Films That Inspired Gruesome Real Life Crimes
The influence violent films have on real-life crime has always been the topic of fierce debate.
The majority of us obviously wouldn’t dream of partaking in a killing spree just because we’d seen one on screen, but there is a very small and unhinged section of society who, it seems, definitely would…
Simply by watching something, it can trigger an underlying urge to Netflix and kill (other streaming services can also be held accountable).
Here are some examples of films that come with a disturbing, real-life body count….
Scream (Wes Craven, 1996)
In 2001, previously clean-living Belgian lorry driver, Thierry Jaradin, was visited by his neighbour, Allison Cambier.
His sexual advances were rejected by the 15- year-old who had simply popped round to exchange some video tapes. Bruised by her rebuff, Jaradin excused himself to an adjacent room and returned in full-on Scream regalia.
With two large kitchen knives he stabbed her thirty times. Jaradin laid the girl’s corpse on a bed, placed a rose in her hand, then called the girl’s father to confess all.
Jaradin told police the crime had been premeditated – as well as inspired by the late Wes Craven’s slasher trilogy.
Although Craven failed to pass comment on this specific case, his stance on the influence of movie violence was made clear in a 2009 interview where he stated:
A killer who is already completely nuts, might use a movie as his format or pattern for a murder, but I think that person is going to kill anyway.
Meanwhile, Jaradin continues to serve a life sentence.
Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke, 2008)
The hysteria surrounding the romantic blood-sucking movies resulted in one case of a young Iowan schoolboy reportedly biting 11 of his classmates.
They boy’s father blamed the influence of the vampire films. What became of the boy and whether he kissed his mother with that same mouth remains unknown. However, thankfully, no classmates suffered permanent damage.
Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
The film in which Brad Pitt gave every man an inferiority complex inspired countless copycat clubs all over the world.From white-collar workers in China to students in Perth, Australia and even teenagers in Manchester, it seems many are up for a cheeky fisticuffs after a hard day’s graft.
The most disturbing case however took place in New Jersey where two care-workers Erica Kenny, 23, and Chanese White, 29, encouraged young children under their supervision to fight whilst they filmed the incident on a mobile device and uploaded it to snapchat.
On the footage, used in the trial, Kenny could be heard referencing the film. Upon sentencing the pair received three years probation.
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
Robert De Niro’s turn as disturbed driver, Travis Bickle, triggered a bizarre chain of events with one impressionable viewer.
John Hinckley Jr became fascinated with the film, aligning himself with the protagonist and developing an intense obsession with a then young Jodie Foster.
Hinckley Jr went so far that he enrolled in the same college as her so he could bombard her with poems and slip notes under her door.
Mirroring Bickle’s assassination attempt on a presidential candidate, Hinckley Jr attempted to assassinate president Ronald Regan but not before he wrote to Foster to confirm his plans:
The reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you.
Needless to say, Foster was not impressed. Hinckley Jr was institutionalised until September 2016 and now lives with his mother in Virginia.
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
From one bloke who lives with his mother to another, Norman Bates, the titular embodiment of the Hitchcock classic, famously impersonated his dead mother to make others believe she was still alive.
In 2015, 22-year-old Emmanuel Kalejaiye was branded ‘The Real Norman Bates’ by the Daily Mail after stabbing his mother 40 times before dressing in a pink tracksuit and matching flip flops to make his neighbours believe nothing was awry.
Authorities were alerted when his mother’s partner discovered the body after hearing a distressing voicemail, made during the frantic attack in which she could be heard screaming: “Don’t stab me, don’t stab me. You’re a demon.”
During the trial, it was revealed that Kalejaiye had written out a detailed plan of an alleged murder and another on how to walk in heels. He was unsurprisingly jailed for life.
A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)
Upon its initial release so many horrific crimes with eery similarity to the film took place that Kubrick withdrew it from release.
However, since the film’s eventual reissue in 2000 the only notable crime associated with it involved 31-year-old John Ricketts, who, in 2006, dressed as Malcolm McDowell’s character, Alex the Droog.
He attacked a 21-year-old woman dressed as Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard in a London pub, leaving her with four stitches and permanent damage to her mouth.
Ricketts pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
The Purge (James DeMonaco, 2013)
Johnathan Cruz casually spoke of going on a ‘purge’ when he was finally caught following a rampage in which several people were threatened at gunpoint and three were killed.
The Washington Post reported that Cruz made several videos on his phone where he could be seen shooting a revolver out of the passenger window and it is alleged that he texted his girlfriend throughout the spree with specific reference to the film, telling her: “I Purge every night now.”
Cruz was sentenced to the death penalty, and in February 2017 two further suspects were charged in connection with the crimes.
Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone, 1994)
Oliver Stone’s Tarantino scripted movie has the biggest body count of all.
Most famously, the film was mentioned in the case of the Columbine High school massacre, where Eric Harris, one of the shooters, wrote in a diary entry that April 20 (the day of the tragedy) was going to be ‘the holy April morning of NBK.’
The film has been blamed for countless murders including the shooting of William Savage and Patsy Byers, killed by lovestruck couple, Sarah Edmundson and Ben Darras who watched the film, and later went on a wild rampage. Relatives of Byers attempted to sue Oliver Stone, but the case was eventually thrown out of court.
A spokesperson and producer of the film was quoted in The Guardian saying:
Today’s decision is an affirmation of the rule of law that we don’t hold moviemakers, songwriters and authors liable for the criminal misdeeds of people who don’t understand what they’re watching, hearing or reading.
Stone himself was later asked in a Guardian interview if film could influence the viewer. ”
Of course it can. But it’s not a film’s responsibility to tell you what the law is. And if you kill somebody, you’ve broken the law.
Which is an incredibly fair point.