Drew Peterson: Untouchable January 30, 2012Posted by Rusty in Uncategorized.
Let’s start off with an admission: I did not know very much about Drew Peterson. I remember an Illinois housewife going missing and her significantly older husband being a suspect. I also remember that the husband’s previous wife died suspiciously. And that’s it. Seriously. I had no idea he had been arrested. When Lifetime announced that Rob Lowe would be playing Drew Peterson in a Lifetime movie, I got the Petersons mixed up. I thought he was playing Scott Peterson.
(Also, as an FYI, if you’re going to murder your wife, CHANGE YOUR NAME FROM PETERSON! If I was Rusty Bundy and I had a totally logical desire to kill sorority girls, I would change my fucking name first thing. That would be the first step in my nefarious plot. If your hometown has a homicidal clown problem and you’re named Gacy, people are going to look at you funny. Change that shit up.)
But then that trailer happened and suddenly this was all I could think about. I even wrote a practice post to get my head back in the game. So was the movie worth the hype?
Yes. Mostly. I daresay this is my favorite Lifetime movie based on a true story. Those are usually my least favorite, even worse than the ones about Christmas miracles. But this one rose above type and provided two hours of “OWNAGE.”
Drew Peterson: Untouchable follows the format perfected in one of the best Lifetime movies ever made: Widow on the Hill. The accused murderer is telling his/her side of the story to local media. In both movies, the format makes no sense. It’s filler. At least in Widow on the Hill the last scene of the movie is of the good guys’ turning the TV off. In Untouchable, it’s never clear when or if the interview ends. He is being interviewed and then he gets arrested? When was the interview? What?
Anyways, Drew Peterson is a psycho cop with a hilarious Chicago accent. He is very nasty to his third wife, Karen. Although, to be fair, Karen is kind of a bitch. I get that they need to make Drew Peterson somewhat likable so we can identify with Wife #4, but, uh, Karen was an abused murder victim? Has Lifetime ever portrayed an abused murder victim as such a pill?
Drew gets dispatched to a hotel where he meets a toothsome front desk lady named Stacy. There are sparks! When Stacy realizes that this humble cop is also a rich dude who owns a bar and a MOTHERFUCKING PLANE, she goes all-in and they start a sex affair. He buys her a fancy car and even sneaks her into his basement for sexxx while his wife sleeps upstairs. Smooooth.
Karen gets wind of the affair and a quickie divorce is in the works. She gets half and Drew gets to start over with a new, young, pregnant wife. A reasonable trade. But, ugh, Karen keeps being nasty! What is an ex-husband to do?
Lucky for Drew, Karen doesn’t show up to pick up their kids. Drew has a neighbor go into her house to look for her and lo and behold she is dead. Drowned in an…empty bathtub? That’s weird. Ruled an accident. Because who wants to take an extra look at community icon Drew Peterson? Other than Karen’s family. They think he did that shit.
The Petersons get a new next door neighbor and she takes a shining to Stacy. Stacy even shows her around the neighborhood, reminiscing about the times she snuck into Karen’s house while she was sleeping for quickies with Drew. Whoa. OVERSHARE. The neighbor points out that that is stone cold and Stacy is all, “oh yeah.” Now that she’s married she is starting to see the evil of Drew’s ways.
Drew gets more and more controlling as the years go by. He gives Stacy a cell phone and if she doesn’t answer by the third ring there is Hell to pay. When Stacy catches Drew going through her e-mails, she protests and tries taking the computer away from him. He shoves her into the television. The neighbor walks in on this and Stacy’s honesty is refreshing: “Drew just pushed me into the TV.” Succinct and accurate.
So Drew is totally crazy. Duh. The last straw is the death of Stacy’s sister (which really comes out of nowhere). After Stacy hugs her widowed brother-in-law, Drew accuses them of having an affair. Then he calls her a whore and a slut and tosses her around a little bit. Stacy claims the marriage is over. Drew doesn’t get the memo. He stalks her, breaks into their home, terrorizes her. And then she disappears. Drew claims she phoned* him after finding another man and ran off. Leaving four kids behind. Right.
*I have been watching way too much The Good Wife.
So obviously Drew did that shit. The media gets involved because the local newspaper reporter remembers Drew Peterson from Karen’s death. The neighbor and Stacy’s living sister circle the wagons and put up missing person posters in their yards and generally make Drew’s life hard. Drew, for his part, is acting like a crazy person. He gets engaged to another 23-year-old, starts a dating competition on a radio show, and talks nonsense to national media like Larry King.
The “Stacy took off” story starts to lose some steam when Drew’s drug-addict half-brother (Ethan from LOST!) comes forward and admits that he helped move a mystery barrel from Stacy’s bedroom to Drew’s car. Stacy’s pastor comes forward and claims that Stacy confessed that Drew went missing the night of Karen’s death. Drew gets arrested but doesn’t go sanely. He performs a slow-motion strip tease while changing into his prison oranges. The End. Thank God we at least got five seconds of topless Rob Lowe.
Oh god, I didn’t even mention “I’m untouchable, bitch.” I guess it was sort of anti-climatic? Drew Peterson was eminantly touchable. The police touched him and threw him in jail. Also, watching the trailer 45 times kind of takes some of the novelty away.
Still well worth anyone’s time.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY: 8
I dunno. I don’t want to give Lifetime too much credit for hiring a well-known actor who is actually working on a regular basis. If they throw a ton of money at someone, that’s not really as impressive as seeing someone before or past their prime. That being said, Rob Lowe was the bad guy in two of the funniest movies ever made: Wayne’s World and Tommy Boy. (I guess you could make a case that a post-NAFTA Midwestern economy was the bad guy in Tommy Boy, but whatever.) And the dude banged a 16-year-old on tape and got away with it. Living the dream!
Stacy was played by the lady from The Big Bang Theory. I was shocked to find out that she is younger than me. Either she looks old or I look young. Karen was in Season Four of Mad Men but her character was shitty so no extra points there.
And Ethan! From LOST! He knows a thing or two about making pretty blondes disappear.
As previously mentioned, the Karen character was pretty problematic. Demerits. Everything else was spot on. Women being terrorized and abused but nothing can be done because of an evil man and his evil police force buddies.
GRAND TOTAL: 28
This movie wasn’t great, but it flies by fast enough and Rob Lowe does a nice job. Twenty-eight is usually a slam dunk recommendation, but, I dunno, it could have been more.
I do think the best possible outcome is that Stacy Peterson shows up after spending the last year in Tahiti and Drew Peterson sues Lifetime for a jillion dollars. If he gets acquitted, Lifetime might be in some trouble.