What Lisa and Evelyn Watched Last Night #76: Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story (dir by Norma Bailey)


Last night, my BFF Evelyn and I watched the Lifetime original movie, Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story.

Romeo Killer

Why Were We Watching It?

First off, it was on Lifetime.  Secondly, both me and Evelyn love the true crime genre.  And finally, the film starred the very hot and very Texan Matt Barr.  Seriously, how couldn’t we watch?

There was one other reason that I wanted to see Romeo Killer.  Chris Porco, the subject of the film and a convicted murderer, actually obtained a court order to prevent the film from being shown.  The New York Court of Appeals overturned the order just two days before Romeo Killer was scheduled to premiere.  After all the drama about whether or not I would even be allowed to see it, how could I not watch when I got the chance to do so?

What Was It About?

Chris Porco (Matt Barr) is handsome, charming, and possibly a sociopath.  After his parents (Lochlyn Munro and Lolita Davidovitch) are attacked by an axe-wielding assailant, Porco is the number one suspect.  While the lead detective (Eric McCormack) tries to send Porco to jail, Porco’s mother insists that her son is innocent.  Meanwhile, Porco is attempting to seduce McCormack’s insecure daughter (Sarah Desjardins…)

What Worked?

Romeo Killer is the epitome of a Lifetime true crime film, in that it featured a truly disturbing crime, a charming villain, a driven cop, and a lot of melodrama.  Though the film made an attempt at ambiguity (for instance, we never actually see Chris Porco attacking his parents and the film ends with a quote from his mother in which she says that she still thinks that her son is innocent), it was also pretty obvious that the filmmakers believed Chris Porco to be guilty.  In the end, Romeo Killer made a compelling argument for Porco’s guilt (which is probably why he tried to keep the film from airing).

As portrayed in the movie, Porco comes across as being a pretty obvious, 1-dimensional psychopath but Matt Barr still does a pretty good job playing him.  Barr captures both the empty interior and charming exterior of the character.  (Of course, it should also be noted that Barr is about a thousand times better looking than the real Chris Porco.)  Among the supporting characters, Eric McCormack, Sarah Desjardins, and Lolita Davidovich all give strong performances.

Porco’s father is played by Lochlyn Munro.  Munro is a Canadian actor who has played small roles in a countless number of Lifetime films.  I don’t know much about him beyond the fact that I’m always happy to see him because, seriously, it’s just not a Lifetime film without Lochlyn Munro.  That said, Munro gave a sympathetic performance here.  The scenes where he staggers around the house after being attacked were difficult to watch.

What Did Not Work?

If I was the type to needlessly nitpick, I would point out what the film itself acknowledges with a disclaimer that appears immediately after the end credits.  While the movie is based on a true story and it does follow the broad outline of the actual case, it is also a fictionalization in which certain characters and events were created for dramatic purposes.  As such, some viewers would be justified in wondering which parts of the film are based on reality and which parts were created to tell a better story.

That said, as far as I’m concerned, Romeo Killer was the epitome of a Lifetime true crime film and, as a result, it all worked.

“Oh my God!  Just like Us!” Moments

Evelyn and I both found ourselves relating to the women in this film, all of whom were charmed by Chris Porco.  Because seriously, Matt Barr made for one seriously hot sociopath…

Lessons Learned

Some bad boys really are bad.

Artist Profile: Boris Vallejo (1941– )


BarbarellaBorn in Peru, Boris Vallejo started painting when he was 13 and got his first professional illustration job at the age of 16.  He emigrated to the United States in 1964.  Vallejo is best known for his fantasy-themed artwork, which often features characters based on both himself and his wife, artist Julie Bell.

A few examples of his work can be found below.

DeathstalkerDeathstalker 2Deathstalker 3dracula.lives-01Hammer and CoopKnightridersMonsters UnleashedQRubberThe White BuffaloVacationWarrior Queen

Trailer: World War Z (2nd Official)


WorldWarZ

We see the release of a new trailer for this summer’s epic zombie film based on the equally epic novel of the same name by Max Brooks.

World War Z is already the most expensive zombie film ever made with a budget rumored to be between 125-200 million dollars. Some of this has been due to the delays in filming and most of it seems to stem from a massive rewrite of the third act. Damon Lindelof was first hired to rewrite but due to prior commitments the job went to Drew Goddard. Such a rewrite also meant reshoots had to be done which took another seven weeks of shooting.

All in all, World War Z is one troubled film before it even gets to the general public.

Yet, it is also one of the more anticipated films for this summer. Some from fans of the genre who just can’t get enough of zombie films. Some from people wanting to see just what sort of zombie film ends up with a budget around 200 million dollars. From the trailer we’ve seen some of that money seem to have gone on some massive special effects sequences which includes swarming zombies of the Rage-infected kind. Then again we don’t really see the zombies close-up which tend to make them look like swarming ants from afar. Maybe the look of the zombies themselves have been saved for the release of the film.

This latest trailer actually gives a bit more of the plot of the film which puts Brad Pitt’s UN employee character to travel the world in search for the cause of the worldwide zombie pandemic. The speed by which things happen seems to have compressed all the events in the novel into a film of two hours. This, I’m sure will be a major contention with fans of the novel, but it looks like a decision by filmmaker to try and create a single narrative from a novel that was mostly single-hand accounts of the zombie war from survivors who have no connection with each other whatsoever.

We’ll find out in just under 3 months if this film will be a major flop or succeed despite all the stumbling blocks and problems throughout its production.

World War Z is set for a June 21, 2013 release date.