Landscape Suicide (1986)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Filmmaker James Benning documents two notorious criminal cases in order to prove his thesis that the landscape that surrounds us subtly influences our behavior and the way in which we see the world in this avant-garde docu-drama. The first case he examines is set in Southern California and tells the story of a wealthy suburban teenage girl who brutally stabs a cheerleader on the victim's front porch in 1984. The girl, Bernadette Protti, was tired of being unpopular and teased so she murdered the cheerleader. After the crime is outlined, the next scene features the killer (an actress reciting from police reports and courtroom transcripts) talking to an unseen interviewer about her crime. The second case deals with the notorious Ed Gein, the young man from Wisconsin whose story provided the basis for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Once again, filmmaker Benning has an actor speaking from the police and court transcripts against a blank wall.

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Keywords

cheerleading, front-line, front-porch, girl, interview, investigation, killing, murder, suburbs, high-school, landscaping, play [recreation], produce [showbiz]