So I finally watched The Iceman (2012), and I have some thoughts.
It's no accident that I waited so long to check this one out, which may surprise you since I'm such a true crime maven. The reason I've been avoiding this movie is because my first introduction to Richard Kuklinski (The Iceman) fucked me up.
Many years ago, while flipping channels, something piqued my curiosity. A documentary about who was described as possibly the most coldhearted killer to ever exist. So, naturally, I popped some popcorn, grabbed a blanket and settled in for what ended up being a pretty disturbing ride that didn't end when the film did.
As I've said before, I'm no stranger to disturbing content and had at that point watched many true crime documentaries and things of that nature, but some things came up during this particular show that proved to be harder to shake than most things I'd come across at the time.
It was an interview-style documentary where Kuklinski divulged many details of his crimes and discussed his upbringing and early experiences with cruelty. The latter being the part that messed me up the most. Yes, it involved animals. No, I wasn't surprised that it would, and no, I am not going to discuss the details. You can look it up if you want, though I don't recommend it. The acts themselves were horrific, but I think it was the callous nature in which he described them that bothered me the most. I remember thinking that I hated this man so much and didn't like existing in a world with people like him.
What he said haunted me for weeks. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Back then I was much more dysregulated than I am now and found it difficult to ground myself or even know how to manage my emotions or self-soothe, so looking back it kind of makes sense why this particular documentary rattled me so much. I'm not saying that it shouldn't have messed me up a bit, but I was quite consumed by it and didn't allow myself to watch anything scary for a long time afterwards.
Now cut to last night.
This goes without saying, but I'm going to say it. Michael Shannon is incredibly hot and WAY too hot in this movie. His dashing good looks and impeccable fashion sense was very distracting and I just felt enamored by his screen presence. Of course hot people can be horrible, but let's not get it twisted. The Iceman was not hot.
Having said that, I really enjoyed this movie. It's incredibly entertaining and well-acted with an all star cast and a captivating atmosphere. It's hard not to love this film, but I didn't love how I found myself rooting for Kuklinski. Not because of Michael Shannon's good looks, though I'll admit that didn't help, but because he portrayed a man with feeling. Someone who seemed to care deeply for his family. In a way, despite the savagery, he seemed like a good man. And this film didn't even dive into his background of abuse, which could potentially sway the viewer into having empathy for this psychopath. So what happened? I wonder why I didn't feel rattled or disturbed by the story this time around. I wonder why this film took such a different angle. I wonder if others feel the same way I do about this one. I mean, I don't care that much, but I'm a little curious. Am I just desensitized or did this film actually manage to lighten things up a bit? Did the filmmakers really believe that Richard Kuklinski cared about his family? It's possible. It's possible that they believed it, but it's also possible that it's true. At least that's what this film has me pondering.
I guess job well done, The Iceman! You got me thinking.
Now I think I'll leave you with a tune (not Vanilla Ice) from the movie that actually makes me think of Boogie Nights. I kind of wish they picked another song because I hate when movies repeat songs that are associated with other films, but it's a good song so it's all good.
Thanks for stopping by for a quick read, and if you haven't watched The Iceman, I recommend you check it out. Super entertaining. Skip the documentary and watch Michael Shannon instead.
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!