A Mediocre Stalker Review 


Elias Scott DeMartinville, Staff Writer

In this brand new Netflix documentary series, we explore the series of rapes, murders, home invasions, and kidnappings by Richard Ramirez from 1984 to 1985. In the 189 minute watch, you get to understand a full image of Ramirez with firsthand testimonies from victims, victims’ families, detectives who worked on the case, and even some of Ramirez’s family members. In the beginning of the series, Ramirez’s face is not revealed but rather left for the audience to discover in the third episode. 

This series was an overall 7/10 for me. In other words, it is a good show, but nothing I would actively encourage people to watch. The editing is unorthodox and at times even feels like a music video (like the blurred and heavily edited sequences of images) .  The story itself is well executed and is able to place you in the middle of the action, almost as if it were live, but where they lose me is with the cringeworthy and lackluster testimonies of people who worked on the case. I have issues when they try to make claims that Ramirez was literally the devil (yes, biblically) and try to make his death a one big collective party where everyone got together to celebrate. This image seems perverted to me in many ways, almost using Ramirez as a symbol for everything that was wrong in the 80s: dangerous, unknown, attractive, fringe, violent, panicky, weak, and so on. The series does a good job at unifying all those fears and putting Ramirez as its face. 

In retrospect, the documentary is good. It does well at many things like immersing the watcher in the environment, the people, and the story line, but fails at trying to bring about a conclusion with a much deeper note to it. Dropping off the final episode in the tune of “The witch is dead let’s celebrate!” for me is not the best move the production team could have done. I may be overreaching here but I think it is important for people to see this as something more than just a serial killer getting killed and everything being fine again.