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It’s not the crime; it’s the cover-up. That phrase conjures images of a perpetrator covering up his crimes. Yet what if the cover-up is done by the news media, which seem to be suppressing news of the deadliest serial killer in U.S. history? “Gosnell,” produced by Andrew Klavan, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer and directed by Nick Searcy, explores the crimes perpetrated by real-life killer Kermit Gosnell, but even more compellingly the film chronicles the way they have been ignored.
The movie tells the story of Assistant District Attorney Lexi McGuire (Jane Morris; most characters’ names in this review are fictionalized by the filmmakers and not the real names of the individuals portrayed) and detective James “Woody” Wood (Dean Cain), who, while investigating a drug crime, uncover the horrific facility run by abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell is eventually convicted of murdering children born alive during abortions, manslaughter of a healthy woman, and hundreds of grave health and safety violations. His place of operation—one cannot fairly describe it as a clinic—is a row house filled with unattended and overdosed women patients, bloody linens, reused instruments, cat litter, and hundreds of human specimens, especially babies’ feet, stored in jars.
Dean - Cain - Cop - Door - Protagonist
Dean Cain as the cop next door gives us a relatable everyman protagonist. In stark contrast is the creepy Gosnell (Earl Billings), utterly contemptuous of his patients but truly concerned for his rare pet turtles. Gosnell operates on women far beyond the legal limit for abortion in Pennsylvania, women whose children are viable outside the womb. He induces labor, abandons them for hours while he is at home playing the piano, and returns later to kill any surviving infants. Billings conveys the horrifying contradictions of the mild-mannered Gosnell, smiling as he unabashedly admits to “snipping” the necks of just-delivered, breathing children.
The film has heroes. The...
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