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The Astral Factor (1978)

A convicted strangler, studying the paranormal in his jail cell, learns to make himself invisible. As an invisible man, he escapes from prison to stalk and strangle the five women who ... See full summary »

Directors:

John Florea (uncredited), Gene Fowler Jr. (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Arthur C. Pierce (screenplay), Earle Lyon (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Foxworth ... Lt. Charles Barrett
Stefanie Powers ... Candy Barrett
Sue Lyon ... Darlene DeLong
Mark Slade ... Detective Holt
Leslie Parrish ... Colleen Hudson
Marianna Hill ... Bambi Greer (as Mariana Hill)
Elke Sommer ... Chris Hartman
Percy Rodrigues ... Captain Wells
Alex Dreier ... Dr. Ulmer
Rayford Barnes Rayford Barnes ... Sgt. Archer
Frederick Tully Frederick Tully ... Detective Sloan
Frank Ashmore ... Roger Sands
Larry Golden Larry Golden ... Detective Rouseau
Renata Vaselle Renata Vaselle ... Roxane Raymond (as Renata Vasèlle)
Cesare Danova ... Mario
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Storyline

A convicted strangler, studying the paranormal in his jail cell, learns to make himself invisible. As an invisible man, he escapes from prison to stalk and strangle the five women who testified against him at his trial. Robert Foxworth plays the police lieutenant assigned to protect them, and to catch the invisible strangler. Written by Brian C. Madsen <bcmmovies@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What You Can't See...Can Kill You! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Astral Fiend See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Harry Lewis. See more »

Quotes

Roger Sands: You're my mother.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD version released as "Astral Factor" is a rather different movie from the DVD released as "The Invisible Strangler." The killer is not only seen throughout in "Astral," but talks frequently (as opposed to never in "Invisible Strangler," where he is also invisible after the first scene up until the end) Most of the scenes he is in, including the opening where he first becomes invisible, is completely reshot with a different cast, features different music (as does much else of the movie), has different action, and often strikes a different tone. "Astral Factor" also fills in many missing plot points from "Invisible Strangler" with the inclusion of material edited out from the other version, which are usually easy to spot by grease pencil marks on what is obviously a work print. The running time is about ten minutes longer for "Astral," despite the fact that the opening scene, in its completely different version, runs about that much shorter than the one in "Invisible." See more »

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User Reviews

 
Invisible Narrative
31 January 2010 | by Chase_WitherspoonSee all my reviews

Incarcerated killer learns to transcend existential boundaries and temporarily abscond from his gaol cell, preying on a vast array of glamorous former Hollywood starlets. Detective Foxworth is baffled by the apparent lack of physical evidence, and begins to speculate on a supernatural cause. Aside from an original premise and a great cast of former 60's sexpots (Powers, Lyon, Hill, Sommer and Parrish), with names like 'Bambi' and 'Candy', there's not much right with this tepid mystery.

Mother fixated killer Ashmore does little other than look constipated, perspire and affect intense mind grips, while Foxworth's perplexed expression suggests he's struggling with the concept of the killer's meta-physical abilities. As an audience, it was also a struggle to remain engaged, as the movie laboured from one murder to the next seemingly without selection or purpose. Powers is entirely irrelevant to the plot, a vexatious waste of talent simply for the status her name brings to the dull production. Whatever value the original idea had, it quickly evaporates, the all too brief cameos being the only partially redeeming qualities.

Wasting an attractive cast, "Invisible Strangler" has invisible special effects, paltry production values and incoherent dialogue to match its laborious narrative approach. Female viewers will be less concerned with the bevy of babes on show, and more appalled by the blatant misogyny of the storyline. A disappointing revision of "The Invisible Man" borrows heavily from "Psychic Killer" released a year earlier in 1975, and should have been so much more entertaining.


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