5.3/10
1,584
33 user 38 critic

The Hillside Strangler (2004)

In the end of the 70's, the dysfunctional Kenneth Bianchi lives with his mother and is obsessed with joining the police force. When his application is refused, his mother sends him to Los ... See full summary »

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

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

Director: Chris Fisher
Stars: Joleigh Fioravanti, Bret Roberts, Brittany Daniel
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The true chilling story of the "two of a kind", killin' cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, better known as the Hillside Stranglers, is told in this TV drama. The movie concentrates ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Gethers
Stars: Richard Crenna, Dennis Farina, Billy Zane
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Adventurers return to the overturned ship, seeking a fortune.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Michael Caine, Sally Field, Telly Savalas
Ted Bundy (2002)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The story of serial killer Ted Bundy.

Director: Matthew Bright
Stars: Michael Reilly Burke, Boti Bliss, Julianna McCarthy
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The thirty and something years old psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Goodman has an incurable brain tumor that has just started to grow. Felling totally stressed, she decides to spend the weekend ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Fox
Stars: Kate Greenhouse, Bruce McFee, Jeff Seymour
2001 Maniacs (2005)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Eight college students traveling to Florida for Spring Break stumble into a remote town in Georgia where they are set upon by the residents who are out to avenge their deaths by Union troops over 100 years earlier during the Civil War.

Director: Tim Sullivan
Stars: Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Giuseppe Andrews
Juggernaut (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A blackmailer demands a huge ransom in exchange for information on how to disarm the seven bombs he placed aboard the transatlantic liner Britannic.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, David Hemmings
Wonderland (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

Director: James Cox
Stars: Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth
Ed Gein (2000)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of Ed Gein, who dug up the corpses of over a dozen women and made things out of their remains before finally shooting two people to death and butchering their bodies like beef sides.

Director: Chuck Parello
Stars: Steve Railsback, Carrie Snodgress, Carol Mansell
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong
Severance (2006)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During a team-building retreat in the mountains a group of sales representatives are hunted down one by one.

Director: Christopher Smith
Stars: Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny
The Hillside Stranglers (TV Movie 2001)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Track down the sadistic duo responsible for the rape, torture and murder of 10 women in the Hollywood Hills above LA. The case that drove homicide detective Bob Grogan to drink and divorce ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Piddington
Stars: Dennis Garber, Jeff Marchelletta, Barry Sigismondi
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Claire Shelton
...
Christina Chavez
...
Erin (as Jennifer Kelly Tisdale)
...
Gabrielle (as Kent Masters-King)
...
Felicia Waller
...
Karyn
...
Ronnie
Brandin Rackley ...
Janice Cooley
Jessica Allegra ...
April
...
Frances Bianchi
...
Jenny Buono
Samantha Tabak ...
Heather Brewer (as Tricia Dickson)
Kylie Rachel ...
Peaches (as Kylie Rachelle)
Edit

Storyline

In the end of the 70's, the dysfunctional Kenneth Bianchi lives with his mother and is obsessed with joining the police force. When his application is refused, his mother sends him to Los Angeles to live with his sadistic cousin Angelo Buono. Kenneth unsuccessfully tries to join LAPD, and Angelo convinces him to start a prostitution business with him. They force two girls from Tucson to work for them, but their competitors destroy their business and steals their money. The frustrated Kenneth and Angelo decide on revenge against a prostitute, and Kenneth strangles her, feeling a great pleasure with her death. The two cousins become addicted to death, initially killing prostitutes and then attacking single women, dumping their bodies on the hill. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based On A True Story See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for psychopathic violence, strong sexuality, nudity, pervasive language, sexual dialogue and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Hillside Stranglings  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(unrated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References Devil in Miss Jones (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Disturbingly Realistic
16 December 2007 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Except for victim names, this true-life story of the infamous serial killings in Los Angeles in the late 1970s is mostly factual, and is told from the POV of the two killers: Kenneth Bianchi (C. Thomas Howell) and Angelo Buono (Nicholas Turturro). As such, the film functions largely as a character study of these two criminals. The script is structured as a series of events, in chronological order, beginning with Bianchi's life in upstate New York, where he started out as a petty thief.

Although he apparently tried to live a reasonably normal life, Bianchi felt constantly rejected, especially in his repeated, unsuccessful efforts to join the police force. He tells his mom: "Whatever I do, nothing ever turns out right; sometimes I just want to find some tall building and take a big fall".

His hook-up with Angelo Buono in Los Angeles proves fatal. Buono, a domineering, unctuous brute who haunts the tawdry, seedy areas of LA, persuades Bianchi to go into the hooker business. But that effort backfires as a result of one particular prostitute and as a result, the two men lose their "business". Seeking "payback", they lure into their presence, and then kill, a whole series of women, mostly street hookers, as a way to "settle the score".

Their murder partnership calls to mind the symbiotic relationship between Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, in the film "In Cold Blood" (1967). It was the liaison, the merger of mindsets that ultimately led to the killings.

Some of the scenes in "The Hillside Strangler" are quite graphic. They are hard to watch because the victims are portrayed as real people who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I think the Director could have spent less time showing us the nude bodies of the victims, which strikes me as gratuitous and unnecessary.

Both C. Thomas Howell and Nicholas Turturro give performances that are credible. Allison Lange, as Bianchi's girlfriend in LA, provides about the only semblance of humanity in this dark story. Toward the film's end, an effort to enact a copycat killing renders an interestingly strange plot twist that presumably really happened.

The entire story is very depressing and disturbing. However, visual shock value notwithstanding, the film's presentation of that story is realistic and credible. It's not for the faint of heart. And the film's story has greater breadth than depth. But as a general overview of events and of the mindset of the two criminals, "The Hillside Strangler" is certainly worth watching.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?