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When it comes to crime, Belgrade is same as any other modern metropolis, except for having its own serial killers. That blank is filled when a flower salesman begins strangling women. A popular, but very disturbed rock star soon becomes telepathically connected with the killer. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While being introduced in the radio show Spiridon Kopicl corrects Sofija for wrongly accenting his last name, then in a later scene he screams his name in the street, accenting it the same way Sofija did before he corrected her. See more »
Strangler's handling of deadpan, grotesque cruelty and black humour is somewhat similar to the mixture Alex de la Iglesia would perfect in his movies a decade later. The tonal shifts from horror to humour and back again are done well, with only an occasional unevenness, but the film's artificiality (voiceover narration, intertitles, grotesque exaggeration, etc.) may alienate some viewers. Sijan is to be commended for his courage in parodying a genre that has never been too popular with Serbian moviegoers in the first place. Strangler's thematic and stylistic subversiveness was part of the fresh air in Serbian cinema at the time, inspired by the New Wave movement: a wide front of artists and critics based around Belgrade's Student Cultural Center, involved in alternative rock'n'roll, literature, arts and the movies.
The picture was shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival in the mid-'80s, and I was surprised to meet an American poet there who could recite memorable lines from Strangler a full twenty years later (some of them in Serbian!). It is a testament to this film's lasting power which, unfortunately, remains limited only to Serbian filmgoers since an English-dubbed DVD is still nowhere in sight.
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