- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: February 16, 2010
- List Price: $35.98[amazon-product align=”right”]B002XUBDV0[/amazon-product]
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
The public’s fascination with the lives of serial killers never seems to end. From Ted Bundy to Jeffrey Dahmer, there seems to be a never-ending supply of books, movies, songs, news stories, etc. dealing with these subjects. So, it unsurprising that there would be a film about Southern California’s infamous “Freeway Killer” William Bodin.
Bodin, it would later be found, was actually only one of three serial killers operating independently killing similar victims and dumping their bodies along the freeways of Southern California. Ironically, Bodin himself often used accomplices to kill his victims who were usually young boys and men, hitchhiking or prostitutes that Bodin would lure or force into his van, drug, sexually assault and kill. Bodin would eventually be caught and sentenced to death by lethal injection, with his execution taking place in 1996.
This film by director John Murlowski and writer David Birke attempts to show the story of Bodin, here portrayed by Scott Leet, and his most common accomplice Vernon Butts (Dusty Sorg), but with an absolute absence of any sort of back story on Bodin or his victims, no time spent exploring the criminal investigation that would lead to his arrest, Freeway Killer feels like more of a disservice to Bodin’s numerous victims more than anything else. The timeline is condensed and Bodin’s numerous convictions for sexual assault against minors aren’t even mentioned. The fact that Bodin sexually assaulted his victims isn’t even brought up in Freeway Killer, so I’m not certain what the purpose the film serves other than to open old wounds and show a few moments of violence.
Freeway Killer arrives on Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding from Image Entertainment. The video quality looks just as poor as the film itself. I tried to find out what the original source was for this movie, but my research was fruitless. It appears to have been originally captured in high definition, but on very poor quality cameras. The picture is flooded with video noise, detail is terribly soft, and there is some posterization at points — check the wall behind Bodin when he is in Jail talking to the cop.
The audio quality for Freeway Killer is quite underwhelming as well, but still a step up from the disappointing video quality. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is nothing spectacular, but there is good use made of the surrounds with atmospheric effects that sound somewhat realistic. Dialogue is intelligible and free from any distortions.
Freeway Killer’s supplements are yawn inducing, with the obligatory audio commentary, self-congratulatory “making of” featurette and a trailer being the only extras.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Commentary with Director John Murlowski and Writer David Birke
- Freeway Killer: Captured (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:11.28) — A making of featurette with interview segments by cast and filmmakers.
- Trailer (1.78:1; 480i/60)
The Definitive Word
Freeway Killer is another pointless exercise that through its lack of detail and exploration feels like nothing more than an exploitation film in the serial killer biopic genre. The lackluster video quality doesn’t help matters either. My recommendation is to skip it.
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