“Disturbing and effective.” -- Michael Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide
The inaugural joint release from AGFA and exploitation film hall-of-famers Something Weird Video, in a 4K preservation transfer. 1971’s sanity-defying “tabloid horror” vortex THE ZODIAC KILLER balances the outrageous absurdity of early John Waters with the dark vérité of Barbara Loden's seminal WANDA. And, in a backstory just as crazed as the film, pizza baron(!)/amateur sleuth/first-time filmmaker Tom Hanson produced it with the intent to catch the Zodiac himself.
In the summer of '69, a string of bizarre NorCal murders came with an even stranger series of letters written from the perp, sent to both the police and the press. Independent of the official case, Hanson took their contents and quickly lensed THE ZODIAC KILLER with little cash and no limits to his rugged imagination. But this was no headline-chasing cash grab. At its S.F. premiere, Hanson constructed McGuyver-ish traps to lure the killer from hiding — including an ice cream freezer filled with rent-a-cops, and a raffle with entries scrutinized for the Zodiac’s penmanship!