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zodiacInformation:

Justin As: Inspector Matt Parish
Other Cast:Robin Tunney and Rory Culkin
Director: Alexander Bulkley
Written By: Alexander Bulkley, Kelly Bulkley
Release: 2005/2006
Rating:
Running Time: 92 mins
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror

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Plot

When two teenagers are gunned down on Lake Herman Road on December 20, 1968, the small town is thrown into a state of terror. Assigned to the case is Police Detective Matt Parish (Justin Chambers) of the Vallejo Police Department. With few leads, the case goes unsolved and the emotional attachment causes heartache for Parish’s family; wife Laura (Robin Tunney) and 12-year-old son (Rory Culkin).

Six months later on July 4 – as Parish begins to lose hope – the Zodiac strikes again. This time he guns down a couple in a deserted parking lot. He’s inches away as he pulls the trigger, but he never reveals his true identity. Just an hour after the shooting, the Vallejo Police Department receives an anonymous call, confessing to the murders that have just taken place. Days after the second murder, a letter is sent to Bay Area newspapers the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, threatening that 12 more people will die unless the three papers print the encoded letter they’ve just received. The killer reveals that if they can decipher the note, his true identity will be revealed.

It becomes an obsession for Det. Parish to solve the case. He spends all his time with the coded sheet, sketches composed of the killer and various psychological reports, putting a greater strain on his family. The ever increasing publicity pushes him to the edge. When Parish receives more anonymous calls and ciphered letters (some suggesting the threatening chance that his next victim could be one of Parish’s family), he thinks he’s got his suspect. Disobeying orders by Chief Frank Perkins (Philip Baker Hall) he goes in search for the killer. When he storms into the suspect’s house, his allegations are shattered because the man has no relation to the murders.

The police later hear of more killings, but the case doesn’t get anywhere close to being resolved. On April 24, 1978, ten years after the first reported murder, the Chronicle receives another letter:

I’m waiting for a good movie about me. Who will play me…? This is the Zodiac. I am now in control of all things.

The film ends with the statement that the killer has not been captured.

Gallery

Stills

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Captures

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Trivia and Facts

  • Bulkley and Bulkeley (who are brothers but use different spellings of their last name) developed their script from media accounts and police reports.
  • Some of the music used in this version of The Zodiac is used in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • The script calls the location of the first murders Lake Helena Road. It was actually Lake Herman Road which crosses from Vallejo to Benica next to Lake Herman.
  • Many of the neighborhood scenes were filmed on location in the St. Basil neighborhood of Vallejo.
  • Mare Island refers to an island which is part of Vallejo. It is said to be names after a prized white mare owned by Gen. Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. On an occasion when a number of the General’s horses were being ferried across the Strait from the Contra Costa shore to Benicia, the crude barge capsized. Some of the horses swam ashore, others drowned, and the white mare disappeared. It is recorded that many weeks afterward, the white mare was discovered grazing on the hillside of the island across the channel from Vallejo. From that day, the island was known as “Mare’s Island,” shortened to Mare Island.
  • Mare Island was a naval base from 1853 to 1996 primarily focused on naval ship construction. The first prototype aircraft carrier was built there as well as the first nuclear powered submarine built on the west coast.
  • The wall maps which appear in the police station are actually maps of Vallejo.
  • The burning of Kathleen Johns’ car can be seen in the music video intro played before the attack at the lake.

Quotes