Office Killer

While looking for books on Cindy Sherman, I ended up finding one about a movie she made – I had no idea that she’d actually done a movie, so I was intrigued. It was in colour, however, the photos in the book are black and white. The movie is Office Killer, shown in theatres in 1997, made by Cindy Sherman. The book I looked at was Cindy Sherman : Another Kind of Monster by Dahlia Schweitzer; published in 2014.

After reading the plot summary, I have to say – this is a movie I’d love to see. It’s such an odd mix of dark and grotesque but also almost funny due to the juxtapositions made and the framing of events. Essentially, our “protagonist”, Dorine – a rather unpopular copyeditor at Constant Consumer – finds out about budget and staffing cuts, and about her own demotion to at-home work. She accidentally kills one of her coworkers, but after some distress she begins picking off the rest. Only one is suspicious, however, by the time she has enough proof, Dorine has lit her house with all the evidence on fire, and driven away with a help wanted ad in hand, on her way to her new life. The premise itself is dark and grotesque, but the film’s tone definitely has humour about it.


Here’s the first shot we see of our main character – Sherman uses interesting shot angles throughout the film, and makes use of the characteristic cropping and framing seen in her photography.


The first show of death in the film – one of Dorine’s cats kills a mouse, which she disposes of by putting it down the garbage disposal. An unconventional way of disposing of a body I’d say – foreshadowing for what’s to come.


The first human death in the film – the accidental electrocution of Mr.Micheals. It’s clear that Dorine is distressed by this…


…However, she slowly becomes a cold and relentless predator, as seen here as she approaches a cornered and terrified Norah in her basement.

All in all, I definitely want to see this movie at some point – it seems to have poor ratings online, however, I have a feeling that’s because this is clearly an unconventional film. People watching it were likely looking for an art film (this is a bit graphic for them) or a fun slasher movie (this is a bit artsy for them). It falls into a strange category content and presentation wise, however, this just makes me want to watch it more.

There’s much I didn’t touch on here, as there’s a lot of content and it would be too long for a blog post – I’d recommend checking out this book if you’re curious about the movie, or even finding out if you can watch it somewhere. The book contains a very in-depth plot summary.