Netflix Night Stalker

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

I finally decided to invest a few hours and watch the Netflix docuseries Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. This is not my first or even dozenth true crime story/show about Richard Ramerez. So this really doesn’t have anything I have not either seen or read about the subject. However, I decided to give this a viewing. The primary reason is so many pages have complained about the graphic content. I understand if a family member/friend of a victim would say this. Actually, I expect it. However, if random true crimes and serial killer fans are saying this, I have to watch it. My catlike curiosity was piqued. 


The docuseries is a four-part show, details the life of Ramirez, who was convicted of 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults, and 14 burglaries in 1989. The show consists of dramatizations and real video/pictures. Out of the dozen different shows I have watched about Ramirez, this one is extremely informative. Kind of a long retelling, but the length is understandable since they try giving some background on everyone. So the 4, 45-50 minute episode (around 3 and a half-hour total) moves along nicely.


Now for all the complaints, we see practically everywhere. WTF did you expect? It is a serial killer documentary. This is a series made for streaming. This isn’t regular TV or cable. That means it doesn’t have the same censor rules as the ID channel, True Crimes, or any other murder shows on TV. They do show realistic dramatizations. With that said, true they are more realistic than most documentaries, but the effects are still B movie grade. We all have seen better.


Another complaint is the crime scene photos. I have seen every photo they showed either on other documentaries or in books. The only difference, most of those other sources have the censor bars or are blurry spots to cover up the gore, these do not. They show you actual photos used in the investigation and court case against Ramirez. 


The other complaint that really bothers me is the reenactments. Naturally, they are going to be grisly and bloody. You are watching a rated R docuseries. People were shocked by a close-up shot of the knife in one of the victims. Do ya remember when Mr. Krabbs threw the knife in the hand of the cadet in Starship Troopers? That was more realistic and bloodier than this one scene. People were even complaining about slow-motion blood dripping. To top it all off, the effects were average and less. If I had to rank them, they would be SyFy quality. 


My opinion on the series. It isn’t bad. It is very informative with the people involved and evidence. With all the different elements, even at almost 4 hours, it is still tight. However, if you are only used to ID Channel and CSI shows, you might want to skip this. It does show real crime scene shots. And the attacks/rape scenes are rather harsh. But then when aren’t attack/rape scenes harsh? So horror fans should not have any problems. For everyone else, viewer discretion is advised.

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