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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:

A Criminally Insane Murderer Escapes From The Institution -- By Becoming Invisible! 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

Candy Barrett: [jumping on Lt. Barret] Candy wanted to surprise you.
Lt. Charles Barrett: Candy did.
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

 
Crazy and inept, but somewhat fun.
20 February 2007 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Forget about the nonsensical other title "The Astral Factor"… In just two words, "Invisible Strangler" perfectly summarizes what this low-keyed 70's Sci-Fi horror movie is all about! There's a strangler on the loose and he happens to be invisible, which makes it all the more easier to practice his macabre hobby of killing beauty queens. The lamentable screenplay doesn't really bother to enlighten us about how exactly mommy-obsessed psychopath Roger Sands renders himself invisible or why he goes after five women specifically. All we know is that he spent more than enough time in prison to gain supernatural powers and, after his escape, he uses them against everyone who testified in his court trial. There's absolutely no mystery surrounding the serial killer's persona. For example, macho police lieutenant Barrett (Robert Foxworth) doesn't discover the connection between the strangled victims himself; he just hears that Roger Sands peculiarly escaped from his cell and automatically assumes he's the culprit. And since we're never informed about the crimes that put Roger in prison the first place, it remains unclear exactly how obsessive his quest for vengeance is. Most of all, nobody seems to be really astonished about the fact they're dealing with an invisible maniac! Like it's the most common thing in the world to witness a woman, surrounded by an army of police officers, getting strangled by invisible hands! The lack of background info and character drawings makes "Invisible Strangler" a suspenseless and often tedious film, and it's really no surprise it took another five years after finishing the film before it got released. However, it's a not a complete waste of time, since the murders – albeit gore-free – are sometimes imaginatively staged. The film is also (unintentionally) comical because the characters often say the craziest things at the most inappropriate times. Especially Candy, the luscious girlfriend of lieutenant Barett, appear to live in another universe, as she wishes her lover to have fun catching his maniac. She's also the world's absolute worst cook and doesn't like to wear pants. Candy hasn't got anything to do with the murder investigation, so it's rather awkward Stefanie Powers received top billing for her role. Then again, it certainly isn't the only awkward aspect about "Invisible Stranger". Why is Roger the killer so obsessed with his mother? How come becoming invisible is reminiscent to a bad-quality TV broadcasting? Why on earth does Roger not abuse his power to spy on them naked ladies before killing them? Why am I asking so much questions about a bottom-of-the-barrel 70's horror production?


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