On July 14, 1966, Richard Speck entered a nurses' dorm in Chicago. Once inside, he proceeded to torture, rape, and kill eight young women in one of the bloodiest murders in history. Chicago Massacre is the second film I have watched in the past week to focus on this despicable excuse for a human being (the other one titled simply Speck). This one stars the unlikely Corin Nemec as our centerpiece killer. Joining him in the cast are horror veterans Tony Todd (Candyman) and Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster, Lost). It is a low budget profile, but one that is not without its charms.
There seem to be a bunch of these serial/mass killer-themed direct-to-DVD films hitting the shelves, including ones about Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, and our subject at hand, Richard Speck. I guess there will always be a fascination with these sick, depraved individuals, and the horror that they bring into the world. I cannot claim to know a lot about these guys, and am probably more familiar with the even more disturbed film characters that they inspired, in whole or in part. Still, watching something like Chicago Massacre that is much closer to reality, without being real (never make the mistake of believing this to be reality) can be a disturbing event. Even watching a dramatized and perhaps sensationalized version of what really happened can still stir up emotions that you may not know you had. I know that I felt a little off-kilter watching this, and it is not particularly good, while not particularly bad.
The film begins with a brief clip of Nemec, as Speck, behind bars musing on why they haven't let him loose yet. From here, the scene shifts to the past with Speck having one of his numerous run-ins with the law in Texas before hopping a train and leaving town. He arrives in Chicago, and he uses his odd charismatic charm on any lady he meets. He decides to pay a visit to one of the young women he meets, in what would be the event that sealed his fate. It seems as if all he wanted to do was visit the girl he had met earlier, and possibly commit robbery. Plans change and the unbalanced side of Speck comes into play — what began as a robbery wound up being a night-long torture session. He rounded up the women, bound them, and then one by one he would take them to another room and murder them.