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Amber Sealey
Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby, Robert Patrick
Kit Lesser

A view of the complicated relationship that formed between the FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier and serial killer Ted Bundy.
Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $28.96
Release Date: 10/19/2021

• “The Making of No Man of God” Featurette
• Previews


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No Man of God [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 12, 2021)

With 2013’s Maniac, Elijah Wood played against type to portray a serial killer. Wood returns to the right side of the law for 2021’s No Man of God, a drama based on the story of Ted Bundy.

Into 1980, Bundy (Luke Kirby) finds himself convicted of murder and sentenced to death. As he awaits execution in 1985, he agrees to discuss the specifics of his actions with the FBI.

Part of a team that works to “profile” criminals, analyst Bill Hagmaier (Wood). As Hagmaier probes Bundy’s warped mind, a messy relationship between the two evolves.

Jame Gumb from Silence Of the Lambs used Bundy as a partial inspiration. In particular, think of the scene where Gumb uses a supposed broken arm to lure Catherine Martin into his van.

However, God seems to base its narrative more on another Lambs character; Hannibal Lecter. While not as dramatic and flamboyant as the cannibalistic psychiatrist, the film clearly uses Bundy in a similar manner.

To a degree, that is, for God doesn’t come with the same kind of plot. Whereas Lambs followed the FBI’s pursuit of Gumb, God doesn’t go down that path.

Oh, God does tease us that Bundy/Hagmaier will replicate the Lecter/Starling dynamic in that way. In the first act, Bundy seems preoccupied with the Green River killer, so the film hints that Hagmaier will pump Ted for insights and catch that murderer.

This doesn’t become an actual plot line, though, and I appreciate that. Rather than pursue a thriller orientation, God goes for character insights, and it does well in that regard.

Essentially God feels like a feature based around the kinds of conversations Starling and Lecter conducted in Lambs. This means Hagmaier needs to offer his own personal notes, so there’s a lot of Lecter’s beloved quid pro quo.

Whereas director Amber Sealey easily could play all this for melodrama, she usually resists these temptations. God occasionally goes a little over the top, but it usually musters an intriguing view of the two personalities on display.

Both Wood and Kirby handle their roles nicely. In particular, Kirby really channels the actual Bundy, but he avoids the temptation to just offer a cardboard imitation. He delivers a Bundy with many dimensions.

Because it comes as a direct to video affair, I didn’t expect a whole lot from No Man of God. However, it provides a very pleasant surprise, as it delivers a rich, engaging character drama.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

No Man of God appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, this was a positive image.

On a smidgen of softness ever cropped up here, mainly in some wider shots. Otherwise, the movie showed nice clarity and delineation.

Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.

In terms of palette, God went with an emphasis on light teal and amber. Overall, the hues were fine for their visual choices.

Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity. This was a solid “B+“ presentation.

In terms of the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it gave us competent sonics most of the time as well as a little pep on occasion. A drama like this didn’t need to boast a rock-em, sock-em mix, so the audio seemed acceptable.

Usually, the soundfield didn’t have a lot to do, so it concentrated on good stereo music and general ambience. Every once in a while, though, the mix came to life – in a moderate manner, at least.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared full, with reasonable definition.

Effects remained clear and accurate, with some pretty solid low-end response. This became an acceptable track for a character drama.

The Making of No Man of God runs seven minutes, 41 seconds and includes comments from actors Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby and Aleksa Paladino.

They talk about story/characters, performances, and the work of director Amber Sealey. Though a few minor insights result, we don’t learn much from this short reel.

The disc opens with ads for The Devil’s Knot, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot and Mandy. No trailer for God appears here.

With No Man of God, we get an inside perspective of serial killer Ted Bundy from the view of an FBI profiler. Though it occasionally veers toward melodrama, it usually brings us an effective and gripping drama. The Blu-ray brings good picture along with adequate audio and insubstantial bonus materials. This turns into a quality exploration of the subject matter.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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