My Friend Dahmer

Dilynn Damon (12th), Reporter

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Have you ever met a kid who wandered the roads looking for roadkill to submerge in acid? A kid who faked epileptic episodes for laughs? Who spends his high school mornings drinking scotch from a styrofoam cup? No? Well, apparently Jeffrey Dahmer was that one particular kid. John Backderf’s (American cartoonist) critically acclaimed graphic novel My Friend Dahmer is currently under film production. The book is a recollection/ memoir of Derf’s high school experience with Dahmer before he became notorious for his killings. Director Mac Meyers decided to keep the film centered around Dahmer’s adolescent years in high school as he struggled to suppress his sickening urges and perpetual loneliness.

Jeffrey Dahmer also known as the ”Milwaukee Cannibal” was a convicted serial killer who committed crimes involving necrophilia, cannibalism, lobotomy, and the dismemberment of bodies, murdering 17 males between 1978 – 1991 putting him in the top 20 most notorious serial killers of all time.

“The only motive that there ever was was to completely control a person; a person I found physically attractive. And keep them with me as long as possible, even if it meant just keeping a part of them.” – Jeffrey Dahmer

This powerful novel gives us a unique perspective on Dahmer not as a monster or the infamous serial killer we have all come to know, but rather a troubled kid who has been dealt a bad hand, sympathetic in a way. We begin to see the transformation of a misunderstood child and yet we wonder why? Why didn’t anyone do anything? Could it have been stopped? No one really knows, but Derf’s disturbing novel gives us that better understanding of Dahmer, we can only hope that the film does the same or even better.

Set in the 1970’s Meyers film won’t be your typical serial killer narrative, the film doesn’t focus on the sexual violent crimes that television seems to exploit, instead Meyers makes the point “it’s just about Derf’s weird friend Jeff.” Simple as that.

After going through countless actors to cast the perfect Dahmer, Meyers met with Disney star Ross Lynch, (Austin and Ally) coincidentally Lynch already had an uncanny look to Dahmer which immediately peaked Meyers interests in working with him“ I felt that he both had the versatility as an actor and the look. I thought it was exciting that he was just ending his run as the lead of a Disney show and was the lead of their Teen Beach Movie franchise — but he looks like Jeff! And then, even more so, when you put some glasses on him.”

Fans are curious to see if Lynch can master Dahmer’s cold cynical look, droll sense of humor, and most of all his sympathetic appeal. It is recommended that those who wish to see the film to read Derfback’s novel in order to have a better understanding of the irony within the story and title itself.
The film is set to make a world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, no further details have been released. Both director Meyers and writer Derfback can only hope that fans are satisfied with the films outcome. Derfback wants the audience to realize that we all know a “Dahmer”. That one particular kid, in his case one of the worst serial killers of all time… Jeffrey Dahmer.

“When I was a little kid, I was just like anybody else.”

– Jeffrey Dahmer

https://www.amazon.com/My-Friend-Dahmer-Derf-Backderf/dp/1419702173

See Disney star Ross Lynch as serial killer in ‘My Friend Dahmer’

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/03/tribeca_to_premiere_my_friend.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Dahmer

http://www.biography.com/people/jeffrey-dahmer-9264755

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