I confess to some satisfaction with “Albert Fish”. After seeing so many movies about serial killers that come off like second-rate drama and exploitative mush, it’s good to see one that actually treats itself like a biographical piece. Waterfront Productions’ “Albert Fish” actually watches like something you’d see on PBS, if they were desperate for ratings.
Which is also the plot of “Albert Fish”–the story of his life and crimes in their brutal entirety. And they don’t skimp on the brutality, either. Sometimes, “Albert Fish” is downright painful to watch. How painful? Try to sit unwavering while you listen to Albert Fish’s letter-writing campaigns to the various women of New York. Or maybe you can sit through his recipe for roasted child a*s–yes, there’s a recipe! It involves carrots and onions!
THEN see if you don’t find “Albert Fish” painful to watch on occasions.
The last half hour will be one non-stop string of painfully repulsive images. But despite this pain, despite this horror, despite the sheer vileness of the man, the story of his life is presented in-depth, carefully set up, with support from all different fronts. It is hard to watch. It is painful to see. It is frequently over-the-top, and even downright insane.
But it does not flinch from its own reality. This happened. This guy existed. If you ever wanted to see true horror at its very worst, it’s not at the video store. It’s in men like Albert Fish, and in the movie of the same name.