Last year I was forced to sit through the cinematic atrocity that was Ulli Lommel’s Night Stalker, a painfully craptastic horror biopic of Richard Ramirez, the Mexican-American serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles in the mid-80’s, earning himself the ominous moniker “the Night Stalker.” (and Kolchak wept)
Part of my annoyance with that “film” was the knowledge that there is a story here to be told, full of rock music and Satanism (Ramirez famously yelled “Hail Satan!” in open court, during his trial). Well, not that this deranged piece of shit deserves to have his story told, but it looks like his legend will get a second chance. The New York Post is reporting that none other than James Franco is going to be starring as Ramirez (fitting, considering that Ramirez was a monster pot head; pun intended). On top of this, Franco the Renaissance Man is apparently going to be directing the film as well, with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell producing.
The film will be an adaptation of the recently late Philip Carlo’s true crime best-seller, The Night Stalker. Carlo now has two demented killer biopics in the works, along with the Mickey Rourke starring Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski film.
Screenwriter Nicolas Constantine had this to say about shizzle:
“Phil Carlo painted such an amazing portrait of Richard Ramirez, the human being, and it’s that which drew us all to the project. Sure, Ramirez was a monster — but Phil investigated how he became that monster, and that’s what this film is about. This isn’t a horror film, nor does it glorify Ramirez in any way. James Franco shares that vision, and we all agree that he is absolutely the one actor, and now director, who can truly do this very intense role and story justice. I had no idea if he would do it, though, since it’s pretty dark subject matter. They told me he was studying to be a director and this was perfect for him. We watched three short films he made, two of which were dark and one of which was about a serial killer. That confirmed James definitely had this dark side, and it definitely sealed the deal for us. Sure enough, James read the material and responded to it immediately.”
Franco does bear a strong resemblance to Ramirez, who is currently awaiting state administered comeuppance at San Quentin State Prison.