Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


NOT OUR SON (1995 telefilm). Director: Michael Ray Rhodes.

The story of Paul Kenneth Keller [Neil Patrick Harris, pictured] of Seattle, the worst arsonist in U.S. history, as seen from the eyes of his family [unfortunately sort of giving his victims short shrift]. Keller's actions resulted in millions of dollars of property damage, widespread unemployment, loss of homes, displacement of the elderly, and the deaths of three senior women at a retirement home. Although the movie suggests he had neurological problems due to an incident when he was an infant, this didn't prevent Keller from getting one of the stiffest sentences handed down, probably because everyone else rightly saw him as a sociopath. Gerald McRaney and Cindy Pickett play Keller's parents, and Ari Meyers is his sister. Although absorbing, and not badly acted -- and meant primarily to show the affects of Keller's actions and arrest on his family -- it is a bit on the superficial side.

Verdict: Arson Lite. **1/2.

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