5.3/10
1,684
34 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:

Chuck Parello

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
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 Chris Fisher (Nightstalker (2002)).

Kenneth ... See full synopsis »

Director: Chris Fisher
Stars: Joleigh Fiore, Bret Roberts, Brittany Daniel
To Catch a Killer (TV Movie 1992)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

"To Catch a Killer" tells the true gruesome story of John Wayne Gacy - a good friend and helpful neighbour, a great child entertainer, a respectful businessman, and a violent serial killer ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Till
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Michael Riley, Margot Kidder
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
Karla (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Based on real events, Paul Bernardo and his wife, Karla Homolka, kidnap, sexually abuse, and murder three young girls.

Director: Joel Bender
Stars: Laura Prepon, Misha Collins, Patrick Bauchau
Peter (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

This drama takes you into the mind of one of the UK's most notorious serial killers, while using archive news footage. We are shown his formative years, the biggest manhunt in police ... See full summary »

Director: Skip Kite
Stars: Walt Kissack, Gary Sharkey, Adam Lewis
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.

Director: Gregory Wilson
Stars: William Atherton, Blythe Auffarth, Blanche Baker
Citizen X (TV Movie 1995)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the 1980s, Soviet authorities hunt for a serial killer who picks his victims in railway stations and commuter trains and lures them into the woods.

Director: Chris Gerolmo
Stars: Stephen Rea, Donald Sutherland, Max von Sydow
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A team from the United States is going to compete against Korea in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. The team consists of fighters from all over the country--can they overcome their rivalry and work together to win?

Director: Robert Radler
Stars: Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Sally Kirkland
The Farm I (2018)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A young couple gets kidnapped and treated like farm animals after stopping at a roadside diner to eat meat.

Director: Hans Stjernswärd
Stars: Nora Yessayan, Alec Gaylord, Ken Volok
Cop (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on true events, 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother's new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder.

Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
C. Thomas Howell ... Kenneth A. Bianchi
Nicholas Turturro ... Angelo Buono
Allison Lange ... Claire Shelton
Marisol Padilla Sánchez ... Christina Chavez
Jennifer Tisdale ... Erin (as Jennifer Kelly Tisdale)
Kent King ... Gabrielle (as Kent Masters-King)
Aimee Brooks ... Felicia Waller
Natasha Melnick ... Karyn
Damon Whitaker ... Ronnie
Brandin Rackley ... Janice Cooley
Jessica Allegra Jessica Allegra ... April
Roz Witt ... Frances Bianchi
Lin Shaye ... Jenny Buono
Samantha Tabak Samantha Tabak ... Heather Brewer (as Tricia Dickson)
Kylie Rachel 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:

They lived to watch you die. 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hillside Stranglings See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,852, 10 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,565, 17 October 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tartan Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References Deep Throat (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A movie from the belly of the beast!
22 December 2009 | by harperken80See all my reviews

Hillside Strangler stands out as hands down one of the all time great true crime films. Chuck Parello plunges the viewer headfirst into the acid guts of sexual sadism, familial dysfunction, and spree killings.

The basic plot follows the rampage of Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, two cousins who committed some of the most perverted acts of torture and homicide recorded in the annals of American crime. What makes this film stand out so well is how mundane the circumstances provoking their spree happen to be. The murders are presented as a simple, reflexive response to a single act of humiliation.

Parello perfectly captures the tacky, sexually saturated milieu of the mid-1970's. The world in which these crimes occur is one of female objectification, sexual dysfunction, and brazen immorality. By spending some time charting the vapid nature of the cousin's lives - petty existences comprised of orgies, drugs, and non- stop cruising - the eventual segue into murder feels almost natural.

There are some extremely disturbing scenes of rape, humiliation, and murder. However, the story emphasizes psychological and environmental factors just enough that Hillside Strangler approaches the precipice of exploitation without teetering over. It's a delicate balancing act that pushes the film to a level of repulsion it would not have reached if treated as a garden-variety serial killer flick (see Mike Feifer's EXORABLE shot on HD garbage cheapies for an example of the worst case scenario of the latter).

For those who feel that this type of movie trivializes the real pain experienced by real victims, I'll point out that this film only scrapes the surface of Bianchi and Buono's evil. Parello re-stages the crimes to avoid some horrifying details (like, for example, the fact that close to half of their victims were teens - some as young as 12), and allow the audience to empathize with the killers enough to maintain interest.

Hillside is a gem of indie true crime.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed