JOEL (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘New York’s most notorious serial killer’

Joel is a 2018 American true-crime horror thriller feature film written, edited and directed by John R. Hand (Forest of the Vampire; The Synthetic Man; Frankenstein’s Bloody Nightmare). The micro-budget JRH Films production stars Arnold Odo, Fernando Cano and Bri Bynon McGregor.


The film is the story of Joel Rifkin, New York’s most notorious serial killer, who murdered at least seventeen female sex workers in the late eighties and early nineties…


“The story is told in a narrative style, with icy voice-overs accompanying most of the tragic action. Despite this approach (or maybe because of it) the movie has the aura of a crime documentary. The original music by The Grey creates a foreboding atmosphere that will leave you feeling on edge. A stylized opening scene, period footage, and great POV shots, all help to make events seem more real.” Indie Horror Online

“There’s no real gore to speak of, and serial killer junkies may find this a bit too tame and restrained for their tastes. In fact, Joel feels more like a documentary than a feature film. Personally, I enjoyed the stripped-down storytelling and appreciated the thoughtful way Hand approached the material. This film is well researched, thought-provoking and brilliantly acted.” Morbidly Beautiful

Cast and characters:

Arnold Odo … Joel Rifkin
Fernando Cano … Detective Moretti
Bri Bynon McGregor … Star
Ella Stryker … Jamie
Julia Golden … Lola
Alyssa Klein … Bibi
Caitlyn Moore … Amber
Billionna Olivia Reyes … Kerri
Carrie Harden … Randi
Laurel Thomas … Candy

Film Facts:

Joel features clips from Carnival of Souls (1962).


Joel is available to rent or buy via Vimeo or on DVD direct from JRH Films

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