Netflix’s most popular show is a portrayal of a damaged guy.
However, despite Netflix’s current woes, its top-rated programme today revealed just how solid its core following is: true crime lovers. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger, who has produced a slew of Netflix real crime films, is back with Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes.
Because it soared to the top of the Netflix rankings quicker than you can say “should I cancel Netflix?” we’re featuring Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes today. Yes, as of Wednesday (April 20), it has already become the most-watched programme or film on Netflix in the US.
So, although Russian Doll season 2 had us all thrilled and Anatomy of a Scandal was high on the list only a few days ago, real crime is still one of the most popular (if not the most popular) Netflix category. But should you join the crowds and watch it, or do you think it’s a waste of time?
Let’s take a look at what the programme is about, why it’s drawing attention, and what people are saying about it in the following sections.
What is Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes?
If you’ve never heard of him, John Wayne Gacy was a notorious serial murderer in the United States. Gacy’s notoriety is partly due to the fact that he evaded the attention of so many people. He was a Democratic precinct leader and also worked as a clown for birthday parties. In reality, though, he was an evil guy who carried out heinous acts and murdered 33 people, most of them young boys and men.
As a kind of prequel to Berlinger’s earlier Netflix blockbuster Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, The John Wayne Gacy Tapes serves as a companion piece. In contrast, this docuseries is just three episodes long, unlike the four-parter (each about an hour long, give or take).
The John Wayne Gacy Tapes include 60 hours of taped discussions between Gacy and his legal staff, precisely like the television series. In addition to the newly discovered archival film documenting the excavation of Gacy’s crawl area, this series has another huge “get.” It’s not for the faint of heart, though, since here is where he’d been storing carcasses to decay.
This collection of recordings by John Wayne Gacy isn’t solely focused on Gacy. That Gacy’s narrative is linked up with the common views about homosexual men and males not being recognised as possible assault victims is also a major emphasis of the film.
Is Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes worth your time and attention?
Right now, reviewers aren’t paying attention to this programme at all. There are just three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it must have escaped their notice.
Writing in her (paywall-protected) article for the Chicago Tribune, Nina Metz expresses scepticism about “but more of the same.” “Gacy is the subject of a plethora of television shows and movies. It’s simply another one.”
Some of the better ones were written by publications that aren’t as well-known. A “excellent binge watch, easily done in one evening,” says Romey Norton of Ready Steady Cut. In theory, that’s correct, but at three hours and three minutes long, that’s your whole evening. Fans of serial killer documentaries like The Ted Bundy Tapes will enjoy this “fascinating and heartbreaking film,” according to Norton.
A mixed review from Consequence’s Clint Worthington said that “decently well-structured, goes swiftly at a short three hours” and “you won’t learn anything from The John Wayne Gacy Tapes that a passing knowledge with the guy and his crimes won’t disclose.”
The two audience evaluations on Rotten Tomatoes have a lot in common. Ayanna L makes the following observation: “We’ve already heard it all before. It didn’t provide me any new information on John Gacy, but it was better than I expected it to be.” William T, on the other hand, found it to be “a hell of a lot better than I expected it to be.” This was done really well by the team.”