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Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders (2006)

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The notorious case of the Hillside Strangler is the basis for this startling thriller directed primarily with an over-used hand-held camera by Chris Fisher (Nightstalker (2002)). Kenneth ... See full synopsis »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tanya (as Joleigh Pulsonetti)
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Jack
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Samantha Stone
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Joe
Vanessa Nigro ...
Sally
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Dave
Valerie Stodghill ...
Melanie
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Angelo Buono
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Kenneth Bianchi
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Watch Commander
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Jillian Dunne
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Detective Bryant
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Detective Smith
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Kantor
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Swat Captain
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Storyline

The notorious case of the Hillside Strangler is the basis for this startling thriller directed primarily with an over-used hand-held camera by Chris Fisher (Nightstalker (2002)).

Kenneth Bianchi (Clifton Collins Jr., Capote (2005)), one (along with his cousin Angelo Buono) of the two serial rapists and killers who terrorized the Los Angeles area in the late 1970s, is giving police station interviews to psychiatrist Samantha Stone (Brittany Daniel, White Chicks (2004)) who has disquieting lifestyle issues of her own. It falls to her to delve into the details of the case to determine the veracity of Bianchi's claims of multiple personality disorder, but in so doing, she is forced to relive the horrific crimes, one of which occurs at her very doorstep.

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Los Angeles, 1978. Sex, Drugs, Serial Killers. See more »

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence/grisly images, sexuality/nudity, drug use and language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hillside Strangler  »

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Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Trivia

The role of Jack was specifically written for Bret Roberts. See more »

Connections

Version of The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exercise in total incompetence
2 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

Do you have any idea how wretched a film has to be for me to consider it the worst "true" serial killer-themed movie ever? Well, this one gets that honor. How it was humanly possible to make a movie worse than SPECK boggles my mind. But this crew did. Oh wait, I know why: 1. Here's a movie whose title suggests it will only appeal to true crime buffs. So let's alienate the only possible fan base this movie could have by changing EVERYTHING factual about the case. Nevermind the fact that the real Ken Bianchi was a slick BS artist. Nope, this movie turns him into Kevin Spacey from THE USUAL SUSPECTS. And what's with that title, you ask? Weren't there two Hillside Stranglers? Yes. Yes, there were. But Angelo Buono is a minor character in this piece. Forget the fact that he was the actual brains behind the crimes and was in effect Ken's mentor in murder. Angelo gets one brief scene and then falls off the face of the earth. Interestingly, Angelo's criminal trial was the longest in United States history up to that point. Do they even see fit to give us little slices of information like that in the closing credits? Nah. Because research is hard.

2. There's this wonderful new invention out there called a tripod. It allows a camera to be placed in a fixed position for a steady, undistracting shot. Our cinematographer hasn't heard of this invention. Therefore, he shoots every scene in a circular dolly shot. No, seriously. EVERY scene. Sometimes to break the monotony of the circular dolly shots, we get a circular dolly shot superimposed onto ANOTHER circular dolly shot. Yay.

3. Our psychiatrist Samantha is such a model of professionalism that she keeps candid nude pictures of herself hanging on the wall in her study. I guess this is to provide a conversation piece to visiting patients and law enforcement personnel. She's also apparently so absorbed in her casework that she can never seem to fasten the top 6 or 7 buttons on her blouse. It's impossible to give a tinker's squat about Samantha because her only character development consists of her having increasingly half-hearted sex with a parade of drugged-out strangers.

4. When the story lags, cut to another drug-fueled orgy! Not that you'll be able to see much, because for these sequences they seem to have strapped a camera onto a hummingbird. A hummingbird with a penchant for annoyingly long dissolves. And because recutting a film to meet an R-rating costs money, let's just digitally fog certain props and naked characters that the MPAA finds offensive. Ah, digital fogging. It's not just for Japanese pornos anymore! Classy.

In conclusion, this movie fails as a serial killer biopic. It fails as a character study. It fails as a procedural. It fails as a horror film. It fails as a suspense film. But if you look at it as an Impassioned Plea for Tolerance and Acceptance of the Circular Dolly Shot, you'll find no better example.


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