Lifetime Movie The Eleventh Victim Shows Us That Artists Are Weird

This week’s Lifetime movie, The Eleventh Victim, quenched my constant hunger for more Nancy Grace. Every time she says “tot mom,” an angel gets its wings. The movie was based on Grace’s novel. She even had a cameo in which she flirted with Metta World Peace (the athlete formerly known as Ron Artest, currently known as an actor, I guess?). If you missed that, I bet you’re regretting whatever lame thing you did last night instead of watching. Some of us actually care about art!

Speaking of art, there was a lot of it in this movie. A killer lurks in an Art History class. He sketches the Hermione Granger of the class and later kills her, then poses her like the painting her class was discussing. That’ll teach her to know stuff!

Turns out this guy, Cruise (Colin Cunningham), likes to pose his victims (seven, so far) as paintings, and he’s put on death row for it by prosecutor Hailey Reid (Jennie Garth). Two years later, Hailey’s a therapist in Manhattan (cue obligatory establishing shots a la Gossip Girl), and Cruise is set free and conveniently no one is told. Time for revenge!

Lifetime pulls out all the stops showing how weird artists are. Not all artists are criminals, but they’re often incredibly weird. Van Gogh cut off his ear, Da Vinci left all those clues in his paintings for Tom Hanks to find, Warhol stuck his finger in an electrical socket and called it a hairstyle. They’re weird. Let’s go over the various ways Cruise displays his weirdness:

  • He tells strange women how beautiful they are. If a creepy guy at a rest stop told me I look like Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” I wouldn’t say “Keep going,” I’d say, “Get the hell away from me!” That’s just me, though.
  • He rolls around naked in red paint and stretches his arms out more dramatically than Emma Watson in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  • He breaks into Hailey’s apartment and drinks her orange juice, then spits it back into the container. Lifetime knows us too well, because Hailey’s boyfriend drinks it later. Yes!
  • He rolls around pantsless on Hailey’s bed while whispering her name. Ah, art!

After killing two of Hailey’s patients, framing her, drawing her secretary like one of his French girls, then killing her too, it’s time for him to kill Hailey. (Like Spinal Tap’s amps, his victims go to eleven.) He plans to pose her as “The Death of Cleopatra.” If you’re gonna be the dead model for a creepy  killer’s art recreation, you want to be Cleopatra, am I right?

Hailey doesn’t think so. She aims for the crotch (Cruise says she’s a “ball buster” — oh, Lifetime!) to get away, stabs Cruise with a screwdriver and shoots him. Plus, she provides Lifetime‘s newest slogan: “I don’t plan on dying any time soon!”

Yay for a Lifetime woman saving herself from a crazed killer! Obviously it’s because she was based on Nancy Grace, who wouldn’t even need a screwdriver or gun. She’d just scold Cruise so hard, he’d turn himself in.

It’s not over! The ending has to draw from Grace’s dislike of defense attorneys by making Cruise’s lawyer his accomplice. Add a cliffhanger in which Cruise escapes from an obviously poorly guarded hospital and creeps around Manhattan with literal blood on his hands, and we’re done.

But what’s that I hear at the beginning of the next movie, The Pastor’s Wife? Is that the dulcet, Southern tone of one Nancy Grace? I love you, Lifetime.

(Image: TV Equals)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Isana Leshchinskaya

      which death of cleopatra? there are several… *pushes glasses up bridge of nose*

    • Catherine Kovach

      I have so many feelings about how it was possible for the defense attorney to even manage to get a clearly deranged serial killer out of jail.

      • Mary Deane

        because nancy is a legend in her own mind, and whatever she says is true. she only writes in a prosecutorial view and winning point so that is why he was let out of jail so easily, because she wrote the ending and she knew the prosecutor would win.

    • Mary Deane

      oh god. nancy grace. I think you had a best seller because you have a very popular crime show. It did not transition too well into film. Weird plot with the guy getting out immediately if not sooner. like the dead fiancée reference. stick to the show.

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