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Vigilantes in books and film

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It is surprising to see how many novels there are that focus on vigilantes. What’s even more surprising is how many book series there are about this topic, including The Vigilante Series by T. Jackson King and The Sarah Roberts Books by Jonas Saul.

Some of these books take a sympathetic or heroic view of vigilante justice, while some books vilify people who take law into there own hands. Another big difference between many of the books in this genre is the perspective from which these stories are told. In some cases they are told from the police’s point of view, such as Stephen J. Cannell’s book Vigilante (Shane Scully); in other novels the vigilante is the protagonist or someone not directly involved.

The popularity of these books is not difficult to understand. They appeal to the frustration that so many people have toward an imperfect justice system and a primitive desire for revenge and power. It’s not surprising that there have also been a number of films and TV series about vigilantes including the recently released John Doe: Vigilante which hit theaters March 21, 2014.

John Doe: Vigilante tells the fascinating and complex story of a man accused of being a vigilante serial killer who is awaiting the verdict of his trial. The Australian thriller centers on the impassioned debate John has provoked in a divided community with one side seeing him as a villain and the other side praising him as a hero.

Starring as John Doe is film and TV actor Jamie Bamber who is best known for playing Lee “Apollo” Adama in Battlestar Galactica. The cast also includes Lachy Hulme (The Matrix Revolutions); Bryce Hardy (I, Frankenstein); Louise Crawford (The Mystery of Natalie Wood).

Directing this emotionally compelling crime drama is Kelly Dolen, best known for The Gates of Hell. Dolen penned the original screenplay fifteen years ago before teaming up with screenwriter Stephen M. Coats, who co-wrote the movie.


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