Reviewing Zodiac (2007)

Film Poster for Zodiac (2007)

The Zodiac killer film brings forth a murderous mystery in film form. Switching styles is bringing you everything you wanted or needed to know about the film’s soundtrack in this article Reviewing Zodiac (2007).

“I like killing people because it is so much fun. [from segmented cipher, or coded message, sent to three local newspapers following the 1969 murders of Mike Mageau and Darlene Ferrin.]”

—Zodiac Killer

Introducing The Film as A Film

Zodiac killer is a film about, well, the serial killer. Directed by David Fincher and based upon a screenplay by James Vanderbilt, Zodiac brings a horrifying cold case file to light. Based on the novel by Robert Graysmith, The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr.

Fun Fact: Jake Gyllenhaal was David Fincher’s very first choice for the starring role. If he had declined the role, the second choice was Orlando Bloom.

The film follows the Zodiac killer, a case that’s been described as the most famous unsolved murder case in American history. Hunting in the San Francisco Bay Area between December 1968 and October 1969, the Zodiac killer murdered five victims that we know of. The name Zodiac killer came from the murderer himself. This is what he called himself in a series of letters and cards that he sends to regional newspapers. This was his way of taunting both the public and the police. These letters stopped in 1974. However, in his letters and ciphers, he claimed to have murdered 37 people.

“The Zodiac usually targeted young couples in secluded areas. He used both guns and knives as weapons. On at least one occasion he wore an unusual costume. On two occasions he telephoned the police afterward to report his murders” Tom Voigt, the curator of Zodiackiller.com explains the killer’s M.O. or the modus operandi.

For a film about a serial killer, this was a great film. This specific murder case inspired this critically acclaimed dramatic film Zodiac (2007), and the influential 1971 action film Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood. Despite this film being a fantastic crime drama, it doesn’t bring much authenticity from the case. Voigt explains that “Zodiac” is an entertaining film. However, it’s only about 35% accurate.” For example, Robert Graysmith and Paul Avery were not friends. their amicable relationship was fictionalized for the film.

Reviewing Zodiac (2007) Soundtrack

This Is a film that you’d expect drama, intensity, and horror. One thing you may not expect is a soundtrack that is on fucking point.

Originally, the director wanted the soundtrack to have more of a vintage feel by using popular movies during the nearly three decades of the investigation. Fincher and the music supervisor George Drakoulias explored songs of the era such as Three Dog Night‘s cover of “Easy to Be Hard“.

The starting introduction song, “Easy to Be Hard” by Three Dog Night sets the mood for the film. It’s certainly a poignant first song with the lyrics, how can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel? Easy to be hard Easy to be cold”.

Adding in music that’s upbeat is chilling. That’s what the soundtrack adds to the film because this isn’t a horror movie. This film isn’t a story about a fictional serial killer like Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees. This is the Zodiac Killer that has killed 7 people within our lifetime. It’s real-life horror.

Final Thoughts: Who Is the Zodiac Killer?

In the end, we’re still left with eh question “Who is the Zodiac Killer?” If you’re like me, then having a story as scary and real as the Zodiac killer, you need closure. That’s what adds to the horror of these killings. There’s no one to hold accountable.

Although they had a suspect in mind, authorities were never able to directly connect him to the crime. That’s what adds to the horror. It’s unsolved. There are many theories and many more questions to this case. It remains an unsolved murder. As of the April of 2004 was closed and remained inactive until March 2007. Though Napa County, Solano County, and the California Department of Justice have maintained an open file on this crime spree.

The Zodiac killer is responsible for the deaths of David Arthur Faraday, Betty Lou Jensen, Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, Cecelia Ann Shepard, Paul Lee Stine that we know of. There are over 30 potential victims of which we aren’t aware. May they rest in peace.

Police Caution Tape wraps around a concrete block
Photo by Aviz from Pexels

Want to know where I got my facts for Reviewing Zodiac (2007)? Check out my citations list below to learn more about the Zodiac Killer.

51 Years Later, Coded Message Attributed to Zodiac Killer Has Been Solved, F.B.I. Says (2021). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/11/us/Zodiac-killer-code-broken.html

Fagan, K (2021). Zodiac ‘340 Cipher’ cracked by code experts 51 years after it was sent to the S.F. Chronicle. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Zodiac-340-cypher-cracked-by-code-expert-51-years-15794943.php

Graysmith, R (1976). Zodiac (1st ed.).

Leah Asmelash and Cheri Mossburg, C (2021). After 51 years, the Zodiac Killer’s cipher has been solved by amateur code breakers. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/11/us/Zodiac-killer-cypher-340-code-trnd/index.html

Sarah Moon and Cheri Mossburg, C (2021). Group claims it has solved the identity of the Zodiac Killer as law enforcement investigates. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/06/us/Zodiac-killer-identity-law-enforcement-investigation/index.html

Voigt, T (2021). Homepage – ZODIACKILLER.COM. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://Zodiackiller.com/

Wang, H (2021). Half a century later, the Zodiac Killer’s identity is still a mystery. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://thevarsity.ca/2021/10/24/Zodiac-killer-discovery-unsolved/

Watchmojo.com (2021). Top 10 Things Zodiac Got Factually Right and Wrong. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn9Jdc8fEQ4

Zodiac Killer (2021). Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/Zodiac-killer

Zodiac killer | History, Murders, Movie, Letters, Suspects, & Facts (2021). Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Zodiac-killer



Let me introduce myself. I'm Dylanna fisher, a writer, creator, and visionary. Currently, I'm a journalism student at Grant MacEwan University based in Edmonton, Alberta. I've recently graduated with a journalism major while growing a freelancing writing company on the side, Dylanna Fisher Communications. Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated with sharing ideas with people. And that's exactly what I want to do. Check out my work on Switchingstyles.ca and on dylannafisher.com.

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