Posts Tagged ‘The Wonderland Murders’

wonderlandFor today’s Based On A Truesday Story, we are looking at a film that I consider to be one of Val Kilmer’s best performances of the early 21ST century in the film Wonderland. In the 1970’s, John Holmes (played by Val Kilmer)was considered to be one of the first “Porn Stars” and he instantly became a legend having sex with over 14,000 women and having a legendary member whose size is still debated today. That was the 70’s and in the 80’s, John was a shell of his former self battling drug abuse problems that rattled his life. Due to the drug problems, John Holmes was in the center of a murder investigation for the Wonderland Murders along with famous club owner and suspect Eddie Nash (Eric Bogosian). Four people were killed and 1 survived a brutal attack and the story of what happened before the murders and during is told in two different perspectives with one being Holmes and the other being David Lind (Dylan McDermott). The film also stars Kate Bosworth (Still Alice) as Dawn Schiller, Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) as Sally Hansen, Josh Lucas (American Psycho) as Ron Launius, Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk) as Billy Deverell, Janeane Garofalo (Mystery Men) as Joy Miller, Natasha Gregson Wagner (Lost Highway) as Barbara Richardson, Christina Applegate (Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead) as Susan Launius, Lisa Kudrow (Friends) as Sharon Holmes, Faizon Love (Friday) as Greg Diles, and the film was directed by James Cox (Highway).

wonderland 2In the film, you see something from each character’s perspective whether it an event that happened or the actual event itself. For Kate Bosworth, this was a real gritty role for her to play the girlfriend of John Holmes during the worst years of his life. As I said before, this was one of my favorite roles that had Val Kilmer in it and he was coming out with unique films at the time like The Salton Sea and Spartan. He totally engulfs the role of a junkie and a man who can’t even tell if he believes what he spews out of his own mouth. The editing of the film is where it is at as they mix footage of real newspaper articles, real news broadcasts, and they mix it in with the film almost creating a music video style approach to the editing at times. The acting in the film is absolutely superb from all angles and everyone in the film and the story is amazing. They could have done a biopic on John’s entire life, but they picked an event that was gritty and shocking. The scene when they go in for the attack is absolutely brutal and it even features an unwanted appearance from Paris Hilton. It still amazes me that the case went unsolved, but we all know how it ends for Johnny Wadd. I am giving the film an A for a final grade.

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