The Craigslist Killer

Lifetime specializes in movie posters that
don't require the hiring of a graphic designer
I knew Lifetime's latest original movie, "The Craigslist Killer," was going to be even worse than the channel's previous abomination, "Sundays at Tiffany's." (Sidenote: Lucy Liu's "Marry Me" was way better than any rom-com Sandra Bullock has ever been in, and a little too good for me to have anything too snarky to say about it. But back to the bashing.) However, I was unprepared for just how boring, uninspired, and bad--in a bad way--this movie was.

"The Craigslist Killer" (or the//craiglist.killer), as you've probably figured, is based on Philip Markoff's 2009 murder of Julissa Brisman, a provider of "erotic services" on Craiglist. You also won't be surprised to hear that in the movie, Julissa is a licensed massage therapist who is innocently setting up her massage table in her hotel room when Markoff shows up and shoots her.

Markoff quietly experiencing
vertigo/murderous rage
Sam "oh, THAT guy!" McMurray
in better-looking days
To anyone not on Craigslist, Markoff is the perfect guy: charming, well-dressed, and respected by his doctor-boss at the hospital, played by Sam McMurray (who's looking bad enough these days that I was glad I don't get Lifetime in HD). His girlfriend, a B-level Katherine Heigel, couldn't help but be swept off her feet, even though he's kind of possessive and secretive. So, like any modern Lifetime woman with a jerkwad boyfriend, she agrees to marry him, even though she just met him.

Even her friends wish
she was Katherine Heigel
At around this point I began to wish Lifetime would show us one movie about a woman with a serial killer husband who's bored with her marriage and simply doesn't care what her husband does at night. Instead, Lifetime gives us idiots who rush into things while avoiding all warning signs that their boyfriend is at worst, a psycho, and at best, really rude. Instead of feeling sorry for WannabeHeigel every time her fiancé dons his Red Sox hat to go out whorin' and murderin', I found myself screaming at the TV, "Your boyfriend is an asshole! YOU SHOULD JUST DUMP HIS ASS!" It was so annoying I'm sorry to say I couldn't even enjoy the movie's montage, which featured WannabeHeigel picking out a wedding dress with her token black friend interspersed with Markoff holding up the scantily clad providers of "erotic services."

Speaking of the Erotic Services, Lifetime is (of course) prudely vague about what these women or Markoff are doing on Craiglist--except for a 2-second shot of a fuzzy image of a woman in her bra. Markoff is on Craiglist clandestinely throughout the entire movie, whether he's on his laptop while hanging out the couch with the gf or hunched over his desktop late at night, rebelliously drinking wine while he scours craigslist for suitable marks. Best of all, the sound editors helpfully added typing noises while we watch Markoff stare at the Craiglist home page, not typing anything.

This is the 37th movie in which
a Baldwin has played a Boston cop
When Det. Billy Baldwin shows up to boredly tell WannabeHeigel her fiancé is THE CRAIGSLIST KILLER, she denies it could be him over and over (as Chelsea Handler hilariously points out in this clip), then later goes into full-on How Could This Happen!!?? mode. "The Craigslist Killer" ends with a flashback as she remembers laying in the grass with him, fantasying about how delightfully preppy their children will be.

Which is strange, because when I find out my boyfriend is a STD-ridden murderer I usually go curl up in the shower for several days...not reminisce about how I wanted to have his babies.

But hey, at least I got to see a guy who's way too Christian-looking for me to ever be attracted to him propose to his girlfriend in a horse-drawn carriage via dialogue so bad my ears lit on fire and I had to fast-forward. And isn't that what every woman wants in a Lifetime movie?

3 comments:

  1. I am also a bit concerned that his former fiance is apparently (according to Wikipedia) still pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor by attending a med school in the Caribbean. Doesn't being a doctor require some sort of obeservational skill? Something that her character seemed to completely be lacking. None of the bills are paid and he's out all the time. And owns a Red Sox hat but she's still telling Baldwin "No! You guys are making this up, you're the worst police department in the WORLD."

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  2. Yeah, I loved the random diss on the Boston PD. If I was Markoff's ex-finacee I'd totally become a wikipedia editor just so I could write all sorts of stuff about how my life was awesome now.

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  3. this movie actually really disappointed me... i thought Lifetime would make it into a murdering rape-fest, but it turned out to be so PG! Obviously he was a murderer, but it was not premeditated... he wasnt so much the Craigslist Killer as the Craigslist Robber Who Never Raped And Accidentally Killed Someone. The worst was when he went to steal the first woman's panties with the knife, I was convinced he was going to take a chunk of her thigh because he was deranged that would have been sweet WHAT A COP OUT
    you can do SO much better, lifetime.

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