My Friend Dahmer Finally Revealed at SDCC 2017

(By Gene Yraola)

One of the most anticipated indie film panels took place at this year’s San Diego Comic offsite schedule. Based on the popular graphic novel “My Friend Dahmer,” by Derf Backderf, the film portrays the real-life events that shaped Jeffrey Dahmer from a shy, introverted teen into what would eventually become one of the 20th century’s most notorious serial killers. Unlike most film panels that tend to only focus on fan-worthy moments of its cast (which this panel would have been very susceptible to, due to its main star Ross Lynch having been formerly a Disney star and part of the popular pop band R5), the My Friend Dahmer panels surprisingly was able to focus heavily on the film’s premise and divulge heavily into details that were as close to spoilers without being too revealing.

Obviously, most will know how this story will play out based on what happened in reality. However, Director Marc Meyers revealed details that provided incredible insight into not only how amazingly detailed this movie comes to writer’s Derf Backderf’s true-life experience with Dahmer, but also why this film should even exist.

Some incredibly difficult questions were brought up during the panel that helped this enticing indie film stand out from the mainstream, megastar hollywood-infused panels that SDCC is known for. Amongst them included an uneasy exchange between Lynch and Meyers on their thoughts of the movie heroizing the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, and a testy, yet insightful response by Backderf as to whether the book, and subsequently this film was a cash-in on a series of unfortunate events.

What was incredibly surprising was how little this panel relied on the use of trailers or never-before-seen footage of the film. The panel was carried mightily by the strength of the cast and Meyers/Backderf in detailing showing how much sacrifice and painstaking details were necessary to bring this film to screen.

Ross Lynch and cast unveiled the final trailer to an eager audience at The Horton Grand Theatre.

Lynch, for his part in the film, shed many of his Disney-stereotypes in taking on such a serious, more sinister role. His discussion in the panel expressed much of his desire to break away from his teen image and considering a deeper, serious effort into acting. Quite admirable of a process of going from Disney through the indie route as opposed to much of his predecessors (such as Zac Effron) in pursuing more A-typical roles meant for former teen heartthrobs. Nonetheless, Lynch effectively impressed many in attendance with his poise and candor into what many will consider his first true “breakthrough” role as a legitimate actor.

Meyers also finally revealed the film’s anticipated release date – which will hit theaters this coming November.

Backderf would later reveal that the graphic would receive a re-release later this year with additional strips that were cut from the original release.


(All pictures and footage taken by Gene Yraola)

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