Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher|
Actors: Pierre Agostino, Carolyn Brandt, Chuck Alford, Jim Parker, John Leeman
Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Media Blasters Inc. Release Date: 06/29/2004 Run time: 71 minutes
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Great DVD, except for...
man_invisible | Dork, PA | 07/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I know I'm in the minority, but "The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher," is, to me, Ray Dennis Steckler's best movie, which is rather astounding, considering it's just 72 minutes of the same repetitious scenes. This DVD has a good deal of bonus gristle (probably more than the film deserves, but I'm not complaining), with two commentary tracks (one with Steckler, one with Joe Bob Briggs), a still gallery, and interviews with Steckler and Carolyn Brandt. The remastered sound and picture is superb for a Media Blasters release (though the image is a tad grainy). The one problem--and I don't know whether I should be more ticked off about this--is a bug within the DVD encoding (that has to be it, since I exchanged one copy for another copy that had the exact same problem) that occurs after scene selection 8, stops, and skips into scene 10, technically excising the whole scene at the modeling agency. Sheesh. Well, aside from that--and it'll probably be a minor complaint to anyone else--this is a good treatment of a highly disrespected film."
This is NOT your father's VHS movie
J. A. Schoenberger | Tacoma, WA USA | 12/09/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Caveat emptor ... The DVD does NOT contain all the scenes from the original movie (I have an original VHS as well). I made in inquiry to the publisher but never received a response. Transfer is as good as can be expected but for some reason is incomplete."
A genius filmmaker
Robert I. Hedges | 07/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps nothing in this world compares to the individual who lacks talent, even the basic movie making skills, and despitde his liabilities manages to actually create a legendary film. These rare indiviuals, through tenacity or insanity, effectively rises above that forgettable level of total mediocrity to rise to the highest ranks of thos who have earned a name in the film industry. Ed Wood personified this. But the cross dressing Ed Wood was brazen, actually attempting to insert plot, storyline, and even sound into the mix. No, the writer and director of this movie even circumvented these factors to rise to a level even lower than Ed Wood and he is still making money from this film. The formula is simple. Find scantily clad women, two potentially unknown leads, create a storyline on the back of a matchbook, and do some guerilla filmmaking in the seedy portions of LA. This film doesn't even include sex scene unless you consider strangulation some sexual fetish. No social message, no clear arc, nothing resembling a good movie. And you will probably love watching it because in your heart, your soul, you still secretly cheer for that nobody, who hasn't a shrewd of talent, who is blessed by the mighty God who rule Hollywood, and actually end up making money on a movie. Great movie if you keep that in mind."
"A Neglected Oddity Of Experimental Cinema."
Robert I. Hedges | 05/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite memories is sitting in Ray Dennis Steckler's Las Vegas video store and talking to him about filmmaking. Ray, who recently passed away, was a unique man, one who had an encyclopedic knowledge of film and film history, and who managed to create some of the most unusual movies in cinema history. Joe Bob Briggs (John Bloom, who provided the title of my review) contends that Ray was the most difficult of directors to pigeonhole, as every picture was both spontaneous and startlingly different.
This presentation of "The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher" was one of Ray's last movies, and was definitely darker than many of his earlier attempts. The film follows not one, but two serial killers who inadvertently meet up with predictably unfortunate results. The film is set in seedy 1970's Hollywood, and stars Pierre Agostino and Ray's ex-wife Carolyn Brandt. One of the distinguishing features of the film is that it is essentially a modern silent film. It was shot without sound, and has a background soundtrack, but just a bit of narration, and even less dialogue. The film, like all of Steckler's work, is heavily focused on the visual, which makes sense given Ray's experience as a cameraman.
The film is a grisly psychological thriller which was timely in the 1970's given the then-newsworthiness of the Hillside and Boston Stranglers. While it is more stylish than realistic (and of course low budget) it does contain some genuinely creepy moments, although much of the acting is third rate, with Brandt having the best performance.
The DVD has numerous great extras, including an interviews with Steckler and Brandt, production stills and poster art, and two great commentary tracks, one by Steckler, and the other by Joe Bob Briggs. I enjoy both the commentaries, but for different reasons. Steckler's is interesting for his experience as a filmmaker, while Briggs' commentary is hilarious and brings up relevant tangential information that Steckler couldn't see by virtue of being too close to the movie. I always appreciate that Briggs' commentary is both funny and respectful, and I would have loved to have been party to an actual conversation between Briggs and Steckler.
While this isn't one of Steckler's best or best known movies, it has an eerie charm all its own, and is certainly worth seeing for fans of B-movies. They don't make them like this anymore.
We miss you, Ray!"