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The Boston Strangler
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The Boston Strangler (V) More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An interesting film in the Strangler.

Author: charlene_boyle from Canada
21 June 2006

This is a movie that works around a detective taking the confession of "the strangler." 90% of the movie is between the detective and the strangler talking. We are taken briefly through each of the murders, perhaps too briefly. There are a couple sections in the movie towards the end where it jumps ahead in time way to quick. It feels like the director decided to just finish the movie and wanted the quickest way there without resolving much of anything. So while you may have been into the story you feel cheated by the abrupt ending.

It is apparent that it is a low budget film but thats not all that important since there are few scenes that are not the confession scenes. I would assume that is why the director failed to go into detail with the murders individually (to cut costs). As a suspense it is OK... an interesting watch. If you don't expect a lot from the movie you won't be disappointed.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Hairy detail undermines fair effort

Author: cteditor from United States
4 May 2006

The 2006 movie Boston Strangler is not a remake of the 1968 movie with that same name, since they have completely different perspectives on the historic basis of the respective stories, although both versions attempt to blend fact and fiction about events in the early to mid 1960s. The 1968 version accepted as fact that Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to the murders of 13 women, was the Boston Strangler. The 2006 movie (which this review will exclusively refer to from now on) raised doubts on whether DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. The movie is a low-budget, independent film and you can tell it. If a person makes allowances for this, which I am personally willing to do, then the movie has some strong points. The movie is directed by Keith Walley. The character of Albert DeSalvo is played by Mauro Lannini and the character of Detective Riley is played by Jason David. DeSalvo was a real person who confessed to 13 murders and was subsequently murdered in prison. Riley is a fictional creation, used in the movie to raise doubts about the validity of DeSalvo's confession. Lannini gave a chillingly believable performance as DeSalvo and David gave a strong performance as a skeptical police detective. For the most part, the less important characters were portrayed in an adequate manner, although there were some lines that were delivered in a stiff manner and a few lines were overdone. Close to the end, the back story about Riley jerks ahead twice, giving insufficient information about what is going on. If we're given this fictional subplot, then it needed to be developed better. There are two anachronisms in this period piece that jumped out at me. In one scene, a character said, "They're all looking for their 15 minutes," an apparent reference to a statement by Andy Warhol made in 1968, three years after the time of the statement in the movie. I confess that I had to look up the time of Warhol's statement and it is a trivial point. To some people, the other anachronism might also be trivial but I found it highly annoying. The time of Detective Riley's first appearance in the movie was identified as March 1965, slightly more than a year after the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, shocking most adults with their not-quite-shoulder-length hair. Not only did Detective Riley have longer hair than the Beatles wore on Ed Sullivan, it was highly styled. This would be roughly the equivalent today of a police officer showing up for duty wearing purple spiked hair and a red rubber clown nose. This bothered me so much through the movie that it lowered my estimation of the movie from fair to mediocre.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

If you don't have anything else to do...

Author: Rebel Philos from Uruguay
9 June 2006 won't hurt you to see this movie.

It follows the conventional pattern of the persistent detective against the clever quasi-genius murderer, but in this case the detective is not willing to prove the guilt of a murderer trying to evade it, but rather the contrary.

Nothing spectacular in this film, but nothing so dreadful either. You won't remember this movie after you see it... ...but you won't feel you completely waste your idle time either.

The story is supposed to develop along many years, with the core in the sixties, a soft twist by the seventies, and a short epilogue by the beginning of the new millennium. But I have to confess that it looks to me as at least the eighties all the time, no way at any point the viewer will even consider that any of the action takes place in the sixties. Even more, if they tell you that it's contemporary it won't be hard to believe so. So there you have one weakness of this movie: lack of temporal credibility.

It's based on the true case that gives its name to the film, and the murdered represented here is actually the one accused, sentenced and killed in prison. The movie respects this but adds doubt about his culpability. This is the core of the plot and the reason-tyo-be of this movie.

Surpraisingly the third credited character (the beautiful and supportive detective's wife) the delicious Camille Lannan was not included in the profile. I've sent the update to make justice to this subtle beauty!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Get a copy of the original movie, this one is rubbish

Author: del hart from Tenerife
7 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I guess when you see the title "The Boston Strangler", you expect to see a remake of the 1968 classic, brought up to date, with modern film making, but no such luck with this title. This is just a Q&A with DeSalvo in prison, with flashbacks to his crimes, and it seems to try and say that DeSalvo may not have been the mass murderer, The actors and acting are dire, the direction is awful, i have no idea what he was seeing through the lens, how could you get a bunch of actors like these to make a film believable, in the original movie Tony Curtis played DeSalvo,with a career best performance, really an Oscar performance, and it shows what a great actor he was back then, Henry Fonda as a law professor, brought in to find the killer, and George Kennedy as the detective, these were Stella performances. In a film about a serial killer you expect, suspense, danger,twists and turns, a psychological thriller, in this remake i am afraid to say the only twists and turns, is when you switch it off.

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Very Irritating.

Author: me-2392 from United States
9 August 2008

Some extra-dark version of Samuel L. Jackson spends over an hour berating an investigator with severe cystic acne scarring. Annoying full-length shots of women being overpowered and strangled without any real sexual violation, even though the killer(s?) are supposed to be sexually driven. At some random point, some Tim Gunn-type man takes over investigation, advised by his distracting bowties. Flashbacks to the most lame murders of the movie. Boston has an ugly skyline and contributes nothing to the film. Accents change as drama escalates. Random clichés such as "innocent until proved guilty" randomly uttered by cast. Acting on par with that of my first play in elementary school.

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Author: coffeepro from United States
2 July 2006

Right off the bat I noticed the same thing another reader mentions... the longish, styled 70's haircut the lead detective is sporting. NO police force allowed hair like that in 1965! Also annoying is the fact it is set in Boston, yet I hear ZERO Boston dialect! If you listen carefully there are a lot of phrases that didn't come into vogue until at least the 90's. I realize this is being nitpicky.. but c'mon these were obvious and very easy fixes. Who writes this junk anyway? The frequent night shots of the Boston skyline (same shot repeated over and over) were also annoying. If the set pieces matched the actual time frame I might have boosted this up a notch.

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uninspired and awful

Author: shadylanes from england
8 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a good example of a interesting idea horribly executed.

The only positive thing i can say about this film is that Mauro Lannini gives a credible performance as the unbalanced DeSalvo. This, however, can not save this low-budget effort.

The sparse sets are mostly dreadful - there is no period detail whatsoever and therefore very little atmosphere. Apart from Lannini, the quality of acting is mediocre and the script itself is uninspired and instantly forgettable.

The director relies too heavily on "flashback" sequences giving the film a disjointed feel and the numerous overhead shots of Boston in-between scenes soon got on my nerves.

On a lighter note, the film concludes with one of the most amusingly awful "aging" effects i've ever seen as Jason David wears a tonne of make-up to portray an old detective Riley.

Overall - definitely one to miss.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: abu-britt from United States
30 March 2007

This is perhaps the worst movie I have ever tried watching. I only did about 25 minutes before I turned it off. It reminded me of a high school play. The actors seemed as if they were reading off of a teleprompter, the music was way overdone, they kept using the same crime scene photo over and over and over.... Everything was so cliché'. Don't waste your time watching this. You would do better to just read the story on the internet. I wish I had looked at the IMDb rating before I chose this movie. The cover looked very interesting, plus what a story line. But it failed miserably. I have never heard of any of the actors, I now know why. And I can't recall ever hearing of the director before.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Bad

Author: G8R 8U2 from United States
26 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This one was pretty bad. As others have said, virtually no part of the setting was realistic for the time. Additionally, and contrary to some other opinions, Mauro Lannini's portrayal of Albert DeSalvo is absolutely terrible... not chilling or the least bit believable. The only thing going for Lannini is that he does look a lot like DeSalvo. However, DeSalvo was born and raised in Massachusetts, so he wouldn't have had the decidedly Italian accent that Lannini had and couldn't disguise in the movie. This one is certainly worth missing, and I actually wish I hadn't wasted my time. There seem to be a lot of lame efforts at making a good serial killer movie lately from true stories that have a lot of potential without any added "artistic" or "creative" contributions; yet filmmakers continue to ruin them. This is another.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Terrible, boring

Author: pinkyjones from United States
10 May 2006

I'm from Boston and know people who were questioned about the murders. It was a little disappointing to see how this was put together. And I don't remember De Salvo having a foreign accent, the real De Salvo grew up in Massachusetts. Sure the actor looked a little like the real De Salvo, but his accent made the story seem fake. The overall feel of the movie was worse than a made for TV movie. The photography for the movie was very jumpy. The costumes for the time period didn't match very well.

If you are looking for something scary or gory, this is not it. It's more of a history movie you'd see in high school on the reel to reel during class. I didn't even watch the whole thing. Terrible.

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