The Gilgo Beach Murders, a horror movie based on the unsolved Long Island Serial Killer case, is scheduled to make its local debut at a movie theater in Suffolk County this weekend.
None of the names are the same, but the film depicts a man killing several women who work as prostitutes, dumping one of their bodies at the beach and police eventually recovering 10 sets of human remains—details that loosely mirror the real-life case.
“It’s a work of fiction, it’s not a documentary,” Joseph DiPietro, a Connecticut native making his directorial debut with the low-budget true-crime thriller that he also wrote and produced. “I thought the case was really fascinating and terrifying and really lends itself to a movie.”
The movie premiered in New York City last fall and will be shown for the first time on LI at an 8:40 p.m. Friday screening at Island Cinemas in Mastic. A representative for the theater said the movie will show at the same time all week through Valentine’s Day. DiPietro said it may be screened elsewhere on LI later.
Scenes that directly parallel some of the few details released in the case include the victims’ families complaining about a lack of police interest in their missing relatives, one of the victims’ sisters receiving a call from the killer on the slain sister’s phone and the search for a missing New Jersey woman leading to the discovery of the other remains.
The case previously inspired an episode of Law & Order SVU, two books—one self-published, another authored by a writer for New York Magazine—and an off-Broadway play that reportedly sparked outrage among the victims’ families.
DiPietro expects his film to draw criticism—there is some blood, strong language and nudity—but he maintains that his goal was not to exploit murder victims for profit.
“It was handled in a really sensitive matter,” he said. “It’s just kind of a Hollywood thriller that we did. We did it in a way that we didn’t want to victimize anyone.”