Judge David M. Gutierrez still sleeps with the lights on after watching this collection of prime time crime.
Our reviews of Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts (published October 27th, 2004), Unsolved Mysteries: Miracles (published December 22nd, 2004), Unsolved Mysteries: Psychics (published May 4th, 2005), and Unsolved Mysteries: UFOs (published October 13th, 2004) are also available.
The only show that makes me yearn for my Darth Vader Nite-Lite.
People love crime stories. People love to hear tales about the worst humanity has to offer, just as long as there's a nice and tidy bow to wrap things up pretty. It's when the bad guys get away with it that makes us wince, sleep with one eye open, and confirm our darkest, most realistic fears. That is what is so terrifying about Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders: we get to see the ones that got away nasty—most of them anyway.
Unsolved Mysteries picks a topic and presents it through re-enactments and first-hand accounts. Throw in host Robert Stack (The Untouchables) for his coolness and street cred, and you have an instant classic that ran for years on NBC. Over the years, the series compiled a list of some of the worst and strangest murders in the United States. Ranging from the Boston Strangler to the 101st Airborne Unit plane crash to domestic violence, Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders is a fascinating compilation of over thirty stories of death on four discs. Robert Stack presents the cases with an eerie cool that immediately lures in viewers and then asks for their assistance in nabbing the bad guys. It's fascinating interactive television that resulted in a handful of captures.
The best segments include:
• "The Boston Strangler 2": Spotlighting one of the
most notorious serial killers in America, this episode presents the frightening
possibility of a second strangler.
Robert Stack is the glue for this series. I know he wasn't a lawman but an actor who probably read the cue cards and went home. Yet he exuded an authoritative charisma. It's the mark of a great host when his series can't be pictured without him. This series could easily go on indefinitely—it just wouldn't be any good without Stack.
Special features include director/producer commentaries on two episodes per disc. Each commentary details the production of episode. While not essential listening, they are informative and worth giving an ear. Since the show is over ten years old, the segments vary in quality. The older the segment, the worse the video transfer. The picture quality is most obvious when compared to the sharp new menu footage. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound helps lift the quality of the segments.
One thing I've always wondered is how many segment actors have been nabbed in cases of mistaken identity.
Always entertaining, Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders makes great viewing. Frightening and fascinating, this collection never loses steam.
Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders is free to go. Case dismissed.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: First Look Pictures
• Commentary on Select Episodes
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