A writer suffering from agoraphobia rents an isolated house so she can concentrate on her writing. She doesn't know that the house is a former brothel, and is inhabited by the ghosts of dead prostitutes.
Michael David Lally
A deeply disturbed photographer and Vietnam veteran, named Kirk Smith, terrorizes Los Angeles by going around strangling lingerie-clad young women in their homes while taunting Lindsay Gale, a young psychologist, by calling her on a radio call-in show to describe his sexual hang-ups and misogynistic ways, while a local police detective, Lt. McCable, is always two steps behind in trying to catch the psycho.Written by
This film was inspired by a series of brutal murders that were committed in the 1970's in California by Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who were known collectively as the Hillside Strangler. See more »
The first blonde victim can clearly be seen to breathe after being strangled. See more »
Mom, Dad, the drugs are more important than you!
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The original UK cinema version was cut by around a minute by the BBFC with edits made to 3 scenes:
The murder of the woman in the bedroom lost all footage of her being bound and her nightdress ripped open (shots of her breasts being scorched with candle wax were not present in the original submitted cinema print).
The strangling of the model was heavily reduced and the shot of the killer placing a coin in her stocking was removed.
The killing of the prostitute lost a shot of a coin being placed in her stocking and tied. The UK Anchor Bay DVD reinstated the shot of the coin in the prostitute's stocking though the print itself had been pre-edited by around 4 minutes and the other original BBFC cuts were not available to restore.
This was obviously meant to be a standard late-70s total-waste-of-time movie, an excuse to show topless women squirming and thrashing while being strangled, but Nicholas Worth turns it into a must-see. Actors-in-training and stage-vocalists, especially, can learn from his vocal prowess and from the way he uses his size. He is a huge, hulking basso with the ability to near-totally relax his inhibitions, and he uses his entire range, from resonant, snarling low tones, through a thundering midrange up to a piercing, blubbering whimper at the very top which has to be heard to be believed. He should have been an opera-singer. He could have sung Wagner.
The women dress beautifully in late 1970s casual summer-wear, and they get undressed equally beautifully by Worth's character, after (sometimes before) he strangles them to death. (One of them is future PLAYBOY-centerfold Pamela Jean Bryant.) As the other reviewer said, James Westmoreland (Detective McCabe) and Flo Gerrish (Doctor Lindsay Gale) act extremely badly; however, Ben Frank (Detective Hatcher) delivers some very funny lines with excellent cheesy deadpan. Like when McCabe tells him that the strangler has stolen some of the victim's clothes, and he replies: "That's great! Now we got him on petty theft, as well as murder!" Also, Chuck Mitchell, one of the few actors even bulkier than Nicholas Worth, plays a small part as a porno publisher. (If Mitchell looks familiar, it's because he played the Warden in PENITENTIARY and the title character in PORKY'S.)
These folks have created a masterpiece in spite of all their best efforts to the contrary.
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