Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s tumultuous high school years get a close-up in the first teaser for “My Friend Dahmer,” which was released over the weekend.
“I’m just like anybody else,” says Dahmer, played by Disney Channel alum Ross Lynch, in the teaser.
The biopic, which played at the Tribeca and Los Angeles film festivals earlier this year, chronicles Dahmer’s early days leading-up to his killing rampage of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
“This is the story before that story,” reads the trailer’s log line.
Lynch plays severely against type as the 17-year-old Dahmer during a time when the alienated teen dissolved roadkill in acid and talked of his fascination with bones. (Dahmer, whose later crimes included rape, necrophilia and dismemberment, was sentenced to 16 life terms in prison before he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1995 at age 34.)
“My Friend Dahmer” writer-director Marc Meyers based the film on John Derf Backderf’s graphic novel, an account of Backderf’s own high school experiences with the future serial killer.
Dahmer’s quirky antics in high school gave rise to the Jeffrey Dahmer Fan Club headed up by Backderf. The film focuses on the various internal and external factors that bred the serial killer when he was a disengaged, alcoholic teen struggling with his parents’ marital tension and understanding his sexual proclivities.
Dahmer’s odd behavior, including outbursts at school, creepy lab procedures and voyeurism, visits with his doctor, and his father’s plea for him to be more normal are emotional moments showcased in the trailer.
Dallas Roberts plays his father; Anne Heche plays Dahmer’s mother; and Vincent Kartheiser plays his doctor. Derf is played by “In Treatment” actor Alex Wolff.
FilmRise acquired the crime drama in May and will release the film in the fall.