There are many thrillers about serial killers, and some of them have even achieved cult status, such as David Fincher's Seven. To achieve this, however, the films have to keep trying to break new ground in terms of their narrative style and story, which doesn't always turn out to be easy.
A good three years before Fincher staged his cat-and-mouse game, director Carl Schenkel also dealt with this topic in Knight Moves, but chose the world of chess as a hook. Due to the good-humored actors and the mystery character of the film, the story is entertaining, but leaves some questions unanswered towards the end, which somewhat diminishes the overall impression.
In the US, the film was released in a shortened version that lacked more than 7 minutes of film material compared to other international markets such as Germany. The motive behind this is not censorship, however, but rather streamlining, because all the cuts, except the last one, only concern scenes that only indirectly affect the hunt for the serial killer and thus have nothing to contribute to it. To make the film more action-packed, these scene blocks have been removed. However, they offer the viewer a better insight into the characters, which is why they should not be considered pointless or superfluous.
Comparison between the international version (e.g. included on the German Blu-ray) and the shortened US version.
- Runtime difference 465.76sec (=7:45 min)
The logo of Tele München Gruppe can be seen in the extended version, while the short version features the logo of Republic Pictures.
Peter disappoints his daughter because he has promised to take her on a trip to Seattle but cannot keep that promise. This is followed by a brief argument between Peter and his mentor.
The mayor and Frank talk about the fact that the number of tourists is decreasing because of the murders and that she is worried about her re-election. Then she demands that Peter be arrested without any evidence and even starts to threaten him. Frank does not accept this, so he unceremoniously throws her out of his office.
Kathy meets Peter's daughter Erica and they have a short conversation in which Erica tries to find out Kathy's feelings for her father.
Peter pours his heart out to Kathy and reveals to her that his wife has taken her own life. She also left him a letter that he has not been able to read so far. He now makes up for this with Kathy and suffers a breakdown as a result.
Peter's head is banged against the metal pipe several more times.
The credits run longer.