The Night of the Strangler


Crime / Drama / Horror

IMDb Rating 4.8 10 293

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 23, 2022 at 02:39 PM


Micky Dolenz as Vance
831.23 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

Gutsy little thriller

Arrogant and intolerant racist Dan (well played to the hateful hilt by James Ralston) throws his sister Denise (an excellent portrayal by Susan McCullough) out on the street after Susan informs Dan that she's romantically involved with a black man. In the wake of Susan being murdered by a mysterious killer, her more sympathetic younger brother Vance (a fine and engaging performance by Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees fame) and black priest Father Jessie (a solid and likable turn by Chuck Patterson) decide to investigate.

Director Joy Houck Jr. relates the engrossing story at a steady pace and maintains a tough serious tone throughout. The bold and confrontational script by J.J. Milane, Robert A. Weaver, and Jeffrey Newton offers an intriguing, incisive, and provocative commentary on the severe damage wrought by both racism and familial dysfunction. The sound acting by the capable cast holds this picture together: Michael Anthony as the hard-nosed Lt. De Vivo, Warren Kenner as vengeful gardener Willie, Ann Barrett as Dan's sweet wife Carol, Katie Tilley as Vance's concerned girlfriend Ann, Ed Brown as pesky lawyer Jack Markam, and Harold Sylvester as De Vivo's hip wisecracking partner Jim Bunch. 70's exploitation cinema regular Patrick Wright pops up in a small role as a long-haired hippie hit-man. The killer's actual identity and motive are genuinely surprising. The groovy organ score by Jim Helms hits the right-on happening spot. Dennis J. Cipnic's rough cinematography provides an appropriately grainy look. Worth a watch.

Reviewed by Coventry 7 / 10

Strangling is about the only technique the killer doesn't use...

"Night of the Strangler" obviously isn't the type of movie to win prizes, but I would like to hand out one special kind of award, though, and that is the prize for the film with the most inaccurate and misleading title ever! Admittedly it sounds cool, as well as appealing to horror fanatics, but not a word of the title makes any sense. Night? The events in the film take place in a span of more than a year! Strangler? There's shooting, drowning, death by venomous snake bite, stabbing and a bizarre sort of arrow-shooting device, but not a strangulation in sight! If I had to give an apt title, it would probably be something like: "The random slaughter of a whole bunch of innocent people". Come to think of it, that actually sounds awesome!

Enough with the ranting already, because I honestly enjoyed this obscure and extremely low-budgeted horror/thriller quite a lot! The plot is very original, truly unseen, and - with a healthy dose of imagination - can even be considered as a Blaxploitation effort! Set in New Orleans, homestead of director Joy N. Houck Jr. And one of the most beautiful cities in the world (at least according to yours truly), the film starts with a rich white girl announcing her engagement with a black man to her two brothers. The oldest brother, Dan, is a filthy racist pig and threatens to kill both her and her boyfriend. The younger brother Vance tries to defend his sister, but without much success. Shortly after, the black fiancé is shot dead by a sniper in New York. A year later, and back in New Orleans, the girl - Denise - is drowned in her bath by a vicious killer dressed in black, but he makes it look like suicide. From then onwards, "Night of the Strangler" turns into a bizarrely compelling and unusual type of slasher/murder mystery. While the black town's priest attempts to make peace between the estranged brothers Dan and Vance, a number of vicious murders plagues the community.

What makes this movie so harsh, and simultaneously so intriguing, is that the murder victims are all innocent and very sympathetic people, while the loathsome ones remain alive! Vance (played by none other than Mickey Dolenz of the pop band "The Monkees") is a jealous and aggressive guy, and Dan is the most hateful and disgusting racist thug I've ever seen. But they remain standing, whereas all the friendly characters die painful and cruel deaths. The identity of the killer can be guessed, if you are an experienced slasher-fanatic, but the mystery around his/her persona and motivations are elaborated quite effectively, I must say. The pacing is occasionally sluggish, but the film never gets boring. Definitely recommended.

Reviewed by Hey_Sweden 8 / 10

An interesting, effective surprise.

The presence of ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz will initially be the main draw for people when they hear of this racism-oriented, obscure 70s crime thriller. Shot in New Orleans, it details what happens as a young woman (Susan McCullough) returns home to reveal to her brothers (Micky, as Vance, and James Ralston, as Dan) that not only is she dropping out of school because she's pregnant - the father is black, to boot. This does NOT sit well with the ultra-bigoted attorney Dan, who would rather she get an abortion. Soon, both the lover and the young woman are dead, and this leads to more murders as a pair of detectives (Michael Anthony, Harold Sylvester) work the baffling case.

Although on the surface a seemingly straightforward exploitation-thriller, the script does come up with some interesting comments on race relations in the Deep South. Although this script probably wouldn't hold up to a lot of scrutiny, it IS quite amusing the way that it *constantly* delivers twists and turns, some the audience may predict, and some they may not. It makes for very good entertainment, overall, as we watch this dysfunctional white family always at odds with each other, and as we eagerly await some sort of comeuppance for the despicable Dan. Right from the start, the filmmakers make sure that the audience will NOT like him. A fun & funky score (by Jim Helms) further helps to make the movie watchable for a decently paced 91 minutes.

The cast is variable. Some of the performers come off as amateurish, and some come off pretty well. Both Micky and singer / actor Chuck Patterson ("Hair"), who plays the helpful priest Father Jessie, are certainly likeable enough. Ralston is very good at making you hate his character. Anthony ("Mosquito Squadron") and Sylvester ("Uncommon Valor", "Innerspace", 'Married with Children') work nicely together, and have a fun scene where they discuss the intricacies of the case while shooting hoops. The ladies present (McCullough, Katie Tilley, and Ann Barrett, each making their only feature film appearance) are certainly attractive and appealing.

"The Night of the Strangler" does its job at presenting a couple of viable suspects, shifting suspicion between each of them, and even though the ultimate identity of the killer may not come as a shock, that person will still have some more twists in store for the viewer. The final moment is hilarious.

By the way, there is not ONE strangling performed in this movie.

Eight out of 10.

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