DVD Review: Gianni Versace: His Final Hours

We’ve said it before, these “final 24” DVDs are ghoulish in their approach to giving biographies of deceased famous people, despite the merit each of them appears to have. The sensationalism – the exploitation – is truly over the top on the Versace story, which is quite obvious with just a glance – a figure on the back of the DVD pointing a gun at the back of the head of an alleged photo of Versace.

The dour narrator lavishes praise on Versace for allegedly “discovering the super model”, but the gloomy story combines voyeuristic indulgences into the seedy path of the serial killer and the lifestyle of the clothes designer who wasn’t a heterosexual. The gay aspect is so in-your-face to be embarrassing, there for shock value more than historical or narrative purposes.

A “walking contradiction” is what the narrator calls Versace who “came from the macho Italian” world but who was “gay”, but it’s this “bio” that is the real contradiction. There’s no doubt a need for the story of the killing of this brilliant and talented artist…this genius, but to descend so heavily into the bloodiness of his death, the crazed world of his killer and do it from such a sidelong glance, is ultra creepy.

A few psychologists and more praise for the artist’s work…and the tragedy that Versace had yet to peak, would have been more respectful…and acceptable.

Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane has just released a new album, Blue Highway, featuring a tribute entitled “Versace”, the first single. It tells the story in a more refined manner, one fine artist acknowledging the greatness of another.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.