The Devil’s Cinema: The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell’s Kill Room

McClelland & Stewart. Jan. 2023. 10:58 hrs. ISBN 9780771006494. $27.95. CRIME
Canadian crime reporter Lillebuen channels detective Joe Friday as he unpacks the grisly case of Mark Twitchell, an aspiring filmmaker from Edmonton, Canada, who blurs fact with fiction so frequently that he falls into a rabbit hole of his own making. A fan of the TV series about forensic technician and serial killer Dexter Morgan, Twitchell writes a script titled House of Cards, for a short horror film he is directing. Twitchell makes life follow art when he carries out a horrendous murder using the same process as in the film—destroying his marriage, career, and future in the process. Lillebuen emphasizes the true irony of Twitchell’s being guilty of the adulterous behavior he purports to seek in his victims. Lillebuen’s level voice conveys the detailed, gory descriptions of Twitchell’s outrageous actions with skin-crawling precision. He is clinical and objective throughout his performance, with peeks of empathy for victims, frustration and outrage at Twitchell, and sympathy for Twitchell’s wife and ex-girlfriend.
VERDICT Lovers of true crime will be unable to stop listening. A horrendous tale from its beginning straight through to its convoluted finish.
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