WARNING: Mindhunter and the other shows and films talked about in this piece center around subject matter that might be disturbing to some readers. Please continue at your own discretion.
The new Netflix series Mindhunter is hooking audiences in and not letting go. People are loving the historical drama about the FBI agent who pioneered the concept of serial killers and criminal profiling. But, what do you do once you’re done binging the first season?
Here are a few options you can seek out after you’ve finished Mindhunter.
Zodiac (2007) and This Is the Zodiac Speaking (2008)
David Fincher produced Mindhunter and even directed four of the episodes. His interest in historical serial killer fiction can be traced back to his film, Zodiac. The movie follows a number of characters as they try to unravel the mystery of the Zodiac Killer. Fincher’s attention to detail and the era highlight this tense and compelling story. This is essential viewing for anyone who likes Mindhunter.
And if you want more on the Zodiac Killer, the extensive documentary This Is the Zodiac Speaking is absolutely necessary. It covers every murder that was part of the official investigation and interviews a number of involved persons, including some of the victims who managed to survive their brutal attacks.
Interview with a Serial Killer (2008)
Mindhunter focuses on getting to understand serial killers and how they think in order to detect future criminals. This is carried out by actually interviewing known murderers. If that’s something you’re intrigued by, then Interview with a Serial Killer is your best bet. It’s a candid and chilling discussion with the Genesee River Killer, Arthur Shawcross. It’s nothing more than that, but to be face-to-face with such a terrifying individual is more than enough for most viewers.
Manhunter (1986) and Hannibal (2013-2015)
Before The Silence of the Lambs, there was Manhunter. Adapted from Thomas Harris’s book Red Dragon, Michael Mann’s methodical thriller gave birth to the criminal profiler genre in cinema. It’s an effective and grounded take on the world of hunting serial killers and it still holds up to this day.
If you want something more modern, the television show Hannibal is also inspired by the same novel. Though, Hannibal is a much more flamboyant take on the material. Still, it’s as entertaining as Mann’s film in a very different way. Both are solid recommendations.
The specter of Charles Manson hangs over the beginning of Mindhunter. If Manson interests you, Aquarius might be something you want to check out. This TV series chronicles the start of Manson’s cult appeal and the police investigation into him. The series looks at other cases from the era and charts the dark changes that took place during the late ’60s. The show was canceled after two seasons, but it’s still worth a look.
Summer of Sam (1999)
Another disturbing figure that looms on the periphery of Mindhunter is David Berkowitz a.k.a. the Son of Sam. Spike Lee’s film on the summer of Berkowitz’s killings doesn’t focus on the murderer. Instead, it examines the culture and community that existed while the murders were happening. It’s another great era piece with strong performances from its talented cast.
Hey, that title looks familiar! Mindhunters is a gonzo joy that tells the ridiculous story of several FBI profilers who are taking an extreme test in order to graduate. Naturally, the test is hijacked by an actual serial killer. What could be worse? Oh, the killer is one of the profilers?!?
Mindhunters deserves a cult following. It’s a delightfully wacky, surprisingly violent, and utterly insane piece of popcorn thriller goodness. If you need a little cheese after the hearty meal that is Mindhunter, this is a great palette cleanser.