What if you tracked down a serial killer and had him on film in the act of murder? Would you turn the evidence into the authorities? Or, would you, track him down, blackmail him into starring in your documentary and make him detail what made him into a serial killer? In this low-budget, not-bad movie, recovering addict Mickey Gravatski (Wes Bentley--of American Beauty fame) does the later. Living with his mother, he thinks this documentary could be the break he's been awaiting. He tells the killer, James Lemac (Mark Borkowski), that in exchange for his cooperation on the documentary, Mickey won't turn him in to the cops--not yet anyway. He'll give it to the cops only after Lemac's death. Thus, begins a peculiarly manipulative co-dependent relationship. Lemac turns out more 3-D than Mickey expects but he still has his thirst for blood and violence and just because Mickey is filming him doesn't mean he's going to stop doing what he's compelled to do.
This is a perplexing film. While the plot is outlandish, it straps you in and takes you on a what-if journey. As Mickey is dragged deeper into Lemac's world, he begins to unravel how Lemac ended up a killer. He doesn't like or respect him and even becomes disturbed from his reluctant collusion, but even at the end, as you witness Mickey's demise, you realize how badly his dreams have backfired and how poorly he's fared in his deal with Lemac. Overriding themes include mother-son relationships, co-dependency, addiction and the other side of a killer. While far-fetched, The Perfect Witness does a decent job with its particular plot.
Director: Thomas Dunn (co-wrote with Mark Borkowski, the actor who plays the serial killer)
Run time: 99 minutes