Buffalo Bill – The Silence Of The Lambs

Twisted Imaginings – A Horror And Gore Themed Blog.

Buffalo Bill, aka Jame Gumb or John Grant, is the skin suit wearing serial killer superbly played by Ted Levine in the film “Silence Of The Lambs”.

Not much is known about Bill, but there is a little info. For example, he was the son of an alcoholic sex worker, who misspelled his name as “Jame”, who abandoned him at the age of two.
Buffalo Bill lived in foster care until the age of ten, before being adopted by his grandparents, who are also his first victims.
As the film starts, Bill is a wanted serial killer, having earned the Buffalo Bill nickname because “he likes to skin his humps”. We learn that Bill believes himself to be transgender, despite having been refused gender reassignment because of his unstable past. In a now infamous scene, Bill records himself to the song “Goodbye Horses”, wearing his ‘suit’.

When the film was first released new methods of identifying serial killers had begun in America. Bill is organized and smart, weighing down one of his victims, thereby changing the order in which his victims are discovered. His house has many rooms too, meaning he has privacy to follow his depraved fantasies.

Of course, everyone remembers Hannibal Lector, the liver eating cannibalistic psychiatrist, but Ted Levine turns in an amazing performance as the equally gruesome Buffalo Bill. It also leaves the audience wondering as Bill is seemingly an ordinary guy, on the surface at least. The dance sequence, with Bill awkwardly tucking his genitals between his legs, has become one of the best known scenes in modern cinematic history.

Personally I love the character of Bill as his depraved fantasies are completely at odds with an intelligent, orderly man. That is what makes him all the more menacing though as, along with the Chianti quaffing doctor, nothing is quite as it appears.


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