Night of the Strangler
E! Online describes "Night of the Strangler" with the following summary: "Beautiful women are strangled after sleeping with ex-Monkee drummer Dolenz." I'm here to tell you that where they got that from, I don't know but it's WRONG! Completely, utterly, and could not be more WRONG with several reasons to support this.
WRONG reason number 1: The Title. This movie was originally called both "Dirty Dan" and "Vengeance Is Mine". Either title would have been more apropos since "Night of the Strangler" says absolutely NOTHING about this movie. There's a shooting, a drowning, slitting of wrists, snakebite, stabbing, another shooting, another shooting, an arrow through the back, another stabbing and another shooting and then the finally real stabbing to finish the job. There is no, I repeat, NO strangling in the movie. Believe me, NO strangulations.
WRONG reason number 2: The Cast. Now Micky, why in the whole wide world were you cast for this? Allow me to set the scene: walking with a girl with a slight accent-almost English but I'm not sure-in an airport. Nice boyish high-pitched innocent voice Micky's character, Vance, says the following in this nice, boyish, high-pitched, innocent voice: "Well, Dan's kinda pissed that you wouldn't tell us this on the phone." Yes, my jaw dropped too. Darling, all I can say is NO. WRONG! But don't worry, you weren't the worst. Try the coroner. Now he had the bad acting: "Wait slow down…Asia? Yeah I got it…" or something to that affect. And Mr. Dolenz gets top billing, right? He was only in it for the one little extra piece. He was just the only person in the movie people could actually point to and say, "Hey, I know that guy from the Monkees! What's he doing saying 'sh*t'? No Micky! Put down that knife! Is that girl you're in bed with naked?" and so on.
WRONG reason number 3: The Story. But what's the movie really about? Good question. The movie changed POVs so much I lost track of that too. Was it about Dan or was it Vance or was it that black priest or was it about the Detective and his partner? But let me see if I can't explain some of it to clear it all up. First Vance (Micky) picks up his sister Di from the airport and she says she has something to tell him and Dan, their other brother. At their old New Orland house, Di admits to her understanding brother Vance and her racist brother Dan that she's quitting school and she's getting married because she's pregnant and the father's black. Then, after exchanging a few choice "s" words and some beating, Di leaves with some protest from Vance. Then you see Di and some black guy who must be the father but you only see him from the back. They're sitting on a blanket by the water. Some guy with a beard across the water pulls out a gun from a guitar case and shoots the guy in the back-though it looks more like someone poured red paint over him or something. After that, the scene changes and you see Di writing in a journal but the words were kinda blurry in my copy but it looked something like she blamed Dan for the murder. Then she looks at a picture of Vance in Vietnam smiling with his gun. Then you see some guy's feet walking into her room and surprise her. This guy drags Di into the bathroom and drowns her in the tub then takes off her cloths and slits her wrists to make it look like suicide. Sounds short enough but that whole killing of Di scene took a good 10 minutes in itself 'cause all you see was this guy walking!
After that, the movie gets confusing even more! Now, Vance and Dan are not on good terms because Dan is marrying Vance's long-time girlfriend, Carole. The wedding was delayed because Vance was late and when he showed up he was drunk so Dan beat him up a little. The black priest friend, Jesse, takes Vance out for some coffee and Vance admits that he thinks Dan "might's well've slit Di's wrists himself." So now we have a hate-hate relationship with the sister and the girlfriend. It doesn't end there! But there's so much more too it, it'll only get more confusing and then you'd wonder what the point is anyway! So just watch the movie for the rest.
WRONG reason number 4: The Music. Oh, this is funny. The music selection was a riot. It starts out with this groovy funky sounding tune and then you end up in this old New Orland house with the floral wallpaper and silver dishes and the English accents and Micky in that white sweater thing. I lost the transition. And then there were just these parts where there was NO music at all! Have you ever seen the movie "Jaws" and there's no music playing when you see "the shark" coming and it was really a boy with a shark fin? John William's philosophy of music is not to play music to signify a Red Herring. There was NO Red Herring in this movie where music was not meant to be! Music was meant! I'm a musician here, 'k? I love music. Use it when it's needed! And use it well!
However, one thing I feel I shouldn't do is to reveal the end. The whole explanation to the movie was actually pretty good. I mean, it actually made sense! The concept of the idea made sense! But they had to screw with the movie to reach it! If you do want to know the end, send me an e-mail and I'll tell you but maybe you want to be surprised.
I was asked by a friend of mine, "Would you recommend this movie to anyone?" As a currant employee of Hollywood Video, I would have to say, "What are you? Nuts?" However, this friend that asked me is a Monkees fan so all I could say was, "If you want; it's really up to you." I waited 2 years to see it and I found all sorts of humor in it. I can do that with bad movies (though Mike J. Nelson and the bots would do a much much better job at it than I do), so I personally liked this movie for that. But if you want to rent this horror movie for any other reason than to see Micky Dolenz's post-Monkee dealings, you're better off making your own horror movie! And it looks like from this movie, all you need is red paint, a rubber snake, a gun, a knife, a bathtub, and an arrow but whatever you do, don't have anyone strangled! No one was strangled in this; it couldn't possibly be needed in a movie called, "Night of the Strangler". (Don't you love sarcasm?)
And if you've seen "HEAD" then you know that the movie was not meant for a plot. This movie needed one plot! This movie should be turned into some X-files episode. Like I said, the concept of racism and brotherly hate and death and all was pretty good but the execution (no pun intended) of the movie was completely wrong.
But nothing I get comes un-rewarded, I must say. With the coming of my new computer, I now have the technology, not to build the $6 Million Dollar Man, but to take snapshots off the TV and put them on my computer. Well, after the disappointment of the VH1 movie, I had to find a cure, which I found in the form of a movie called "Perfect Assassins". This movie began my collection of pictures of dead people in movies for in this movie, a certain character portrayed by the actor we all know and…well…know, Aaron Lohr, is killed. Now I have this desire to gather as many dead characters I can. (I am currently looking for Jeff Geddis from "Friday the 13th" and L.B. Fisher from "E.R." though I'm not sure if he actually dies. Any help is appreciated.) "Night of the Strangler" has added one more picture to this collection. Wanna take a wild guess who [insert evil Grinch grin here]?
WARNING: Yes, these may be a tad violent for younger eyes. Viewers beware!!!
He should've worked on his James Cagney impression
"Perfect Assasins" (c) 1998 York Entertainment
This is what you get for dissin' Herbie The Love Bug
"Night Of The Strangler" (c)1972 Paragon Productions
For mor snap shots of Night Of The Strangler, Visit FuzzyDuc's Site
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