Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Hollywood Strangler Meets The Skid Row Slasher...

Long before, over a decade before, there was anything called DVD's, we had VHS tapes.  VHS tapes were expensive.  Priced to rent movies sometimes cost as much as $80 for one copy!  Eventually, companies figured out that they could make much more money if titles were priced to sell.  Then, you could always find titles from $14.99 to $39.99, sometimes a little more even.  Of course there would always be "cut out bins" at any places that sold or rented VHS.  These were often titles that no one rented and the stores would sell them for recoup some of their losses.  Over the years, I got stacks of good movies in those bins.  Stores that only sold titles, often had a section of very low priced titles, stuff they wanted to get rid of in a hurry or titles that came "thrown in" with distributors bigger titles.  There was a K-Mart that was near my house.  It is still there today, run down and sad looking compared to the other mega store companies that flourish today.  That K-Mart always had a great low priced VHS section.  I found many great video oddities there, Rana: The Legend Of Shadow Lake, Barbarian Queen, Ironmaster and more.  Some days I would go up there was a bit of money and get three or four movies and waste away a day watching them.  One of the titles that always stuck out was The Hollywood Strangler Meets The Skid Row Slasher.  It was in the bin foreeeeeeever.  Years passed and it was still there.  No one wanted that poor movie.  The fact that pallets of movies had come and gone and that movie was still there always interested me.  The box had a pretty average design and the pictures on the back were nothing to make you want to rent it, much less buy it.  Any information I could find on it, this was long before you could look up anything and everything on the internet, said that it was a terrible movie.  Fuck it, that was a recommendation to me!  So the next time I was at that store, I got it...
There is a photographer in Hollywood.  He takes pictures of girls and ends up strangling them.  Then, he meets a girl, who happens to be spending her free time knifing people in Hollywood.  The two spend the rest of the movies going about their business until they meet.  They seemingly fall in love but that doesn't work out too well. 
This movie was filmed without dialogue.  The director (Ray Dennis Steckler- hiding under the name Wolfgang Schmidt) was notorious for filming on the cheap.  Distributors insisted that it would be impossible to sell a silent movie so he added music and narration, in place of dialogue.  I don't think dialogue would have helped much though.  The pace is very slow and there are scenes that drag on forever.  Occasional action and nudity pick up the pace, only briefly, quick to return to boredom.  Some of the narration is poorly recorded and it frequently sounds like the person talking is mumbling.  Probably not the best idea, since there is no dialogue. 
I thought it was odd how there are no sub plots.  Usually in movies like this, there are bumbling police trying to figure out what is going on.  Not here though.  The one thing that this movie has going for it is that it dwells on two sleazy people and don't concern itself with anything else.  I think doing so gives the movie a gross feeling that movies can't convey anymore.  That's not to say that it's good, or even worth watching, because 99% of people won't make it through this. 
This has been relased on DVD with an optional commentary by Joe Bob Briggs that is really funny.  I say watch it with the commentary on.  Borrow or rent, be wary of buying. 

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