IFC Originals Presents Murder By Numbers Premiering Friday, February 22 at 10:00PM (ET/PT)

A New Film Investigating the Unseemly Appeal of Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates, among other Cinematic Serial Killers

Serial Killer Cinema Weekend featuring “the HoneyMoon Killers,” “The vanishing,”and “mute witness” Begins Friday, February 22

From the late 60s to the 90s, the number of serial killer movies multiplied nearly 3500% (from 3 in the 1960s to 107 in the 1990s) and has emerged as a significant genre in mass entertainment attracting blockbuster crowds. The Independent Film Channel (IFC) Original documentary Murder by Numbers, premiering Friday, February 22 at 10:00PM(ET/PT) , traces the over 30 year evolution of the genre and analyzes the many shapes and sizes of the sinister figures behind the films. Though complex and often disturbing, serial killer movies tap into the public’s deepest fears and at the same time entertain raking in box office success. Murder by Numbers sheds new light on this movie phenomenon, and more than that, it shows the way that movies may
mirror society.

Alison Bourke, Executive Producer for IFC Original Productions, comments, ” Murder by Numbers carefully examines the ‘serial killer’ movie genre and looks at the theories behind what draws in its audience. As the genre continues to develop and evolve, independent films have provided the forum for this darker theme.”

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mike Hodges (Get Carter and Croupier), Murder by Numbers reveals the motivating factors behind a filmmaker’s decision to create a serial killer movie, defines society’s attraction to these threatening individuals and explores the menacing characters responsible for these gruesome crimes. Directors John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Richard Fleischer (Boston Strangler) David Fincher (Seven), Ridley Scott (Hannibal), recent Independent Spirit Award nominee actor Brian Cox (Manhunter and L.I.E. ) and production designer Kristi Zea (Silence of the Lambs), provide profound analysis in this complex documentary. In addition, novelist of the upcoming “Depraved Indifference,” Gary Indiana; Village Voice film critic Amy Taubin; and Mark Seltzer, professor and author of “Serial Killers: Death and Life in America’s Wound Culture,” discuss the lure of serial killer films.

Murder by Numbers looks back in time to explore the films that inspired the “serial killer” explosion and details the elements that make up the genre: the killer, the detective/psychological profiler, the victims, the grim city where violence can go unnoticed, and the dehumanizing systems that feed the anxiety of the modern world. The film identifies recurring themes: the technologies that make media spectacles of modern life and death; connections between serial killing and seeing; the lines between fact and fiction; and the social commentary serial killer films make.

Murder by Numbers follows the development and glamorization of serial killer cinema beginning with the omnipotent Hannibal Lecter’s first appearance on film in Michael Mann’s Manhunter (1986) and ends with his most recent incarnation in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal (2001). In between, Hodges traces the silhouette of this disturbed figure back to its early appearances in Fritz Lang’s M (1931) and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). In addition, Hodges scrutinizes how the filmmakers portray the possible serial killer motives in cutting-edge films such as Michael Powell’s voyeuristic Peeping Tom (1959), John McNaughton’s narcissists in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), the appeal of serial murderers in Richard Fleischer’s The Boston Strangler (1968) and Spike Lee’s socially-charged The Summer of Sam (1999).

Murder by Numbers is the cornerstone of IFC’s Serial Killer Cinema airing at 8PM/ET every night beginning Friday, February 22 and continues to Sunday, February 24. A startling and murderous pattern of films that lurks somewhere in the shadows and delves deep into the darkest recesses of the mind.

The Serial Killers Cinema line-up features:

The Honeymoon Killers

Friday, February 22 at 8:00PM/ET

Funny Games

Friday, February 22 at 11:00PM/ET

The Vanishing (1988)

Saturday, February 23 at 8:00PM/ET

Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)

Saturday, February 23 at 9:45PM/ET

Man Bites Dog

Saturday, February 23 at 11:30PM/ET

Mute Witness

Sunday, February 24 at 8:00PM/ET


Sunday, February 24 at 10:45PM/ET

For more information, viewers can log on to www.ifctv.com.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) , managed and operated by Bravo Networks is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. IFC Entertainment, a division of IFC, consists of IFC Productions, a feature film production company; IFC Films, a theatrical film distribution company; Next Wave Films, established to provide finishing funds and other vital support to emerging filmmakers; and IFC Originals, which produces cutting-edge original programming for the network. In addition, IFC Productions launched InDigEnt, an initiative that helps established filmmakers shoot productions on digital video.

A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. manages Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, American Movie Classics, WE: Women’s Entertainment, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. ((NYSE:MGM) owns a 20 percent stake in four of Rainbow’s national networks – AMC, Bravo, IFC and WE: Women’s Entertainment. A new series of Cablevision common stock — Rainbow Media Group tracking stock (NYSE:RMG) — began trading on the NYSE on March 30th. The assets that comprise Rainbow Media Group tracking stock include: Rainbow’s five national networks, the company’s interest in the national service FOX Sports Net, and Rainbow’s 5 regional sports channels outside of the New York market, and Rainbow Network Communications.

Press Contacts

  • Ellen Paz

  • Elektra Gray