The movie that started my infatuation with serial killers. Also the movie that keeps me from listening to Tom Petty on a two-lane highway at night. Oh, and probably the movie that prevents me from helping any strangers carry anything. Oh, you need help carrying your groceries, Gladys? Sorry, I want to live. The 1991 film stars Jodie Foster as a young, eager FBI trainee and Anthony Hopkins as a cannibalistic maniac who is called upon to catch Buffalo Bill, a serial killer. The case goes high profile when a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped and authorities suspect that Buffalo Bill is responsible. Dr. Lecter is a brilliant psychiatrist who plays nothing but mind games with Clarice and doesn’t really add anything helpful to the investigation. Turns out though that Bill was actually a patient of Lecter’s and he is able to develop a fairly spot on profile. Buffalo Bill turns out to be a man who hates himself and has been skinning his female victims so that he can sew a skin suit and become a woman. Lecter escapes in the end after eating a secuirty guard’s face and flees to an island location. Clarice, basking in the success of her first case, graduates the academy and is contacted by Lecter who asks that she stop looking for him which she says she cannot do.
A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
Oh, and Senator, just one more thing – love your suit.
I saw this movie for the first time when I was still convinced that I was going to be an FBI agent and Clarice Starling was my idol (after Special Agent Dana Scully). There is a scene in this movie where Clarice is about to inspect a corpse and the local authorities won’t leave the room and I never really understood this. I later read an analysis of the movie that elaborated on the bias of women investigating crimes against women because we are thought to unfairly fixate on a male suspect. This is one of those chicken or the egg arguments, statistically, men perpetrate the most crimes against women so one could assume that the suspect would be male. We don’t see this with men because there are fewer female serial killers who target males. Anyway, the movie was criticized as being sexist but I feel that they were just highlighting an issue that a female might experience in a male dominated field.
Excellent movie, the trilogy is based on books that are also quite good. Thanks for stopping by <3