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"The best movie ever made in the genre."

Laura James
Clews The Historic True Crime Blog

 

"...magic...a dark treat...I can't give a stronger recommendation..."

Steve Huff
CrimeBlog.US

 

BUY the DVD!

 

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Imdb.com Reviews

Amazon.com Reviews

Rotten Tomatoes

Clews Historic True Crime Blog Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Reviews

Linda Cook - Quad City Times - 4 Stars
"If ever a documentary was worth waiting 10 years to see, then "Villisca: Living with a Mystery," is it...Now, you have a chance to see it - and you should, because it's a fascinating tale well-told...Politics, infidelity, small-town strife, suspicion and fear all play a part of the events lead up to the tragedy and continue to haunt the town decades later."
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Jeff Bruner - Des Moines Register - 3 1/2 Stars
"A respectful approach to Iowa’s most notorious crime, Villisca: Living with a Mystery discusses what many have refused to speak about for many years."
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Douglas Burns - Daily Times Herald - 3 1/2 Stars
"Years in the making, “Villisca” is full of old photos, fascinating interviews, re-enactments and even a “C.S.I”-like computer-generated model of the crime scene, the latter of which is used to offer a new theory in the long-running debates about the identity of the culprit."
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Mike Schulz - River Cities Reader
"Just over a year ago, I was sent a DVD screener from area filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle (of the Moline-based Fourth Wall Films) for their feature-length documentary Villisca: Living with a Mystery.  I found it to be a beautifully researched and effectively unsettling true-crime thriller..."
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Online Reviews

Evan Jacobs - MovieWeb.com - Buy it!
"...a strongly crafted documentary...there is an eery quality that builds throughout this movie that, like most cases involving killers, never goes away..."
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Laura James - Clews True Crime Blog - A+
"...The greatest unsolved murder in the history of America took place in 1912, and the film Villisca: Living With a Mystery is an excellent introduction to a case that will leave all students of true crime saying, 'Lizzie who?'...Villisca: Living With a Mystery is the single best true crime documentary I have ever seen...The comparison to legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is certainly appropriate, for this film is in his league...Grade A+...The best movie ever made in the true crime genre."
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Steve Huff - HuffCrimeBlog.com - Recommended!
"The style of Villisca: Living with a Mystery is familiar to anyone who has ever seen one of Ken Burns's well-made and often intellectually satisfying productions on PBS, but the Rundles have placed their own unique stamp...they weave a story that combines the feel of family talks taking place at twilight on the front porch with a slowly intensifying true crime story...underpinning all of it is a pitch-perfect soundtrack, incorporating original music as well as traditional American music...for the true crime afficionado as well as anyone with an interest in that particular period of American history, Villisca: Living with a Mystery is a dark treat...I can't give a stronger recommendation to a true crime documentary than the one I give Villisca: Living with a Mystery. Held together by the sure-footed storytelling on the parts of Kelly and Tammy Rundle as well as the affable and informed voice of historian Dr. Edgar V. Epperly, this movie sets a high bar for full-length documentary treatments of crime stories. I'm a little spoiled now."
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User Reviews

T. Brysen - Amazon.com - Five Stars
"What a wonderful piece of work! A documentary that is at once informative, intriguing and terrifying - a "horror flick" not due to gruesome special effects and jolting surprises, but rather to the grisly reality that demented acts do occur, and they shape us profoundly from our personal psychologies to our communal attitudes."
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Steven Cox - Amazon.com - Five Stars
"Keep the lights on while watching this one...What a great story! Told with just the right amount of Midwestern flavor of the era and with intriguing images and interviews, this will leave you on the edge of your seat. Bravo!"
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Mary Beth - Amazon.com - Five Stars
"After viewing the film again on DVD exactly one year after seeing it in the theatre, my opinion of it hasn't changed. If anything, I think it's better the second time around. Anyone who has the slightest interest in unresolved cases such as this should purchase the DVD. I promise you will not be disappointed. A very well done documentary and I highly recommend it!"
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Beth H. Klingensmith - Amazon.com - Five Stars
"An enjoyable movie for crime buffs and historians - very well presented...The DVD is chock full of goodies, including two sets of commentaries, one by Dr. Ed Epperly, Villisca crime expert, who has been researching the case for 50 years, and another by the filmmakers themselves. Great stuff!"
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InTheWest - Imdb.com - 10/10
"Absolutely engaging! I wanted to know more and more as the filmmakers went through the story. The pacing of the movie...interviews of residents who remember the murders...footage of the town as it is today were blended to tell the unfolding story in just the right amounts...Like Ken Burns, the Rundle's use of old photos and extensive interviews gave me more access to the people who lived in the town at the time. The attention to detail, accuracy, use of animation to take the viewer into the home and town all make this film credible and engaging."
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MaddeysField - Imdb.com - 10/10
"I just saw this film for the first time and was captivated from beginning to end. I had never heard about the Villisca ax murders, and this documentary hooked me on the subject. If you like true crime stories or mysteries, this story will knock your socks off...I am a huge fan of Robert Ressler, and was pleasantly surprised to hear his comments about the case. If you haven't seen it, see it!"
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DEllingson - IMDB.com - 8/10
"True-life ax slaughter makes for seemingly horrifying film fare, but Villisca: Living With a Mystery chronicles the aftermath of the murders in a small western Iowa farming town rather than the gore and ghost stories that might have tempted more lurid producers than the Rundles...A riveting film. Historians Ed Epperly and Bruce Stillian provide commentary as engaging as Shelby Foote's in the PBS Civil War magnum opus...Two hours well spent."
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