Wednesday, May 2, 2012

THE NIGHT OF THE STRANGLER - Jim Helms - "Holy Nightmare" (1972)

I waited and waited, and struggled and strived to find this movie, and then, through the miracle of the The Trash Palace, Brian Horrorwitz made it happen, but......... Now I know why "The Night Of The Strangler" was so freakin' hard to find, because nobody wants you to see this movie, and it can be a hard movie to watch!!

The fact that Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees is in it, makes it even that much more difficult, because if you want to talk about being devoid of humor, I've got your number right here! I was going to try and tie it in with the recent death of Davey Jones, but that just didn't make any sense!! With only seven composing titles to his name, the man responsible for the groovy music was Mr. Jim Helms, whose credits define quality not quantity, and the titles are, "The Psycho Lover," "Women And Bloody Terror," the whole "Kung-Fu" TV series, "Death Among Friends, "The Brain Machine," and "Night Creature!"

Here's the basic plot, sick racists have the tables turned on them! A revenge ploy turns into a bloodbath, and  an onslaught of depravity! More like big time wrasslin' than championship boxing, it's twelve rounds of eye-poking, cheapshot kicks to the gonads, and in the end, it's a draw!! You're kidding yourself if you think I'm joking!

Susan McCullough has the role of Denise, who has just came back from college to her home town of New Orleans to let her brothers know that she is pregnant out of wedlock, and if that isn't enough to make this the happiest moment on earth, the Father is a black man!!! This was the only film that Susan McCullough was ever in!

From all accounts, Big Brother Bigot Dan, as played by James Ralston was also the lead guitarist in Tina Turner's band through the 80's and the 90's, and is also a master craftsman at guitar restoration! He also plays a great bastard!

A Hippie on a bicycle with a high-powered rifle and a scope in his guitar case is a pretty scary thought, even more so after he shoots the Father of Denise's child in the back, and then innocuously rides off on his bike!

Then it gets really ugly when someone murders Denise by drowning her in the tub, then slits her wrists to make it look like a suicide! The peace sign belt buckle and the gloves are supposed to be obvious clues!

So, what's next? Dan is getting married to Vance's ex-girlfriend Carol, who was played by Ann Barrett. This was also the only film that Ann was ever in! So Vietnam Vet Vance is all liquored up, and he's pissed, so there's another scuffle between the two brothers, and.........

......When Father Jessie tries to calm the boys down, Dan calls him a nigger! Father Jessie was played by Chuck Patterson, and I'm pretty sure IMDB is totally screwed up on this one, as they show him to be in a surfing movie coming out this year! I'm not seeing him as one of the world's best surfers when he would be in his 60's! This is not the first time I've noticed you can't believe everything you read on the internet, even on reputable sites like IMDB, I found out the same thing about my pal Whitey Thomas!

I have never liked the N word, and back when I was 18, a girl I liked a lot told me how much she disliked people that used the C word, so I don't use that one either, although Lenny Bruce could do it and get away with it! I have been known to throw around the F word on occasion, but for the most part, I hate the whole alphabet, it does nothing but cause problems! All that aside, I'll bet you that the fried chicken and french fries for a dollar and a quarter was all good at this restaurant!!

Here's your next clue, this guy is delivering a poisonous Asian snake to somebody who would have to be a Vietnam vet, to be able to handle it!

Even though he's a veteran, to show what a pansy he is, Vance works in a flower shop! Hey, wait a minute, I used to work in a flower shop when I was going to college, and delivering flowers to dead people and prom dates you didn't get, isn't exactly a Swiss Picnic!

Gee, Imagine that, Carol gets flowers delivered that have a poisonous snake in them!!! Great Krengs Alive!!

Warren J. Kenner as Willie asks for his job back, but is turned down by Dan!

Vance's wedding plans to his new girlfriend Ann, get disrupted to the ninth degree! Katie Tilley is Ann, and if you guessed that this was Katie's only role ever, then you would be right!

It all gets kinda fuzzy from here to the end, and I can't remember much else! I think I blacked out!!

Dispersed amongst all this frivolity are the two detectives Michael (Mosquito Squadron) Anthony as Lieutenant De Vivo, and none other than Harold Sylvester as Jim Bunch in his first film ever! Harold had major parts in TV shows like "Walking Tall," "Shaky Ground," and in one of my all-time favourites, "Married With Children," he had the role of Griff!

The funniest thing about this whole movie is that they tried to sell it two ways, but neither of these posters have anything to do with the movie at all! Nothing! Nichts!! Nada!!!


Prof. Grewbeard said...

good grief!

Armando H. said...

I like this movie!

Douglas McEwan said...

Ah, Mickey Dolenz. I haven't been a room with Mickey in - what? - Oh yes, a week and a half. The man must have a Dorian Gray portrait of himself in his attic, because when I saw him last week, he looked like he might be ten years older than in these photos, maximum.

Oddly enough, neither he nor I mentioned this movie when we chatted.

I did tell him that, after seeing a number of old Circus Boy episodes recently, I had been left wondering if that circus ever played anywhere but Chatsworth, as that seemed to be where every episode was shot.

Great guy.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx Douglas, Great story! Next time you see Mickey, tell him we said Hi!

TABONGA! said...

I worked in 2 different art stores in Reseda and Tarzana that Mickey frequented in the late eighties, early nineties.

DCash51 said...

You're right when you say IMdB is clueless on this one. They claim the police detective is Lysette Anthony's father. I don't know who he is but he's not that Michael Anthony. The only reason I watched this is because I'm from New Orleans. Very shoddy film.

Jett said...

I didn't quite get the epilogue Jake, having destroyed the whole family was leaving a town as the cops watched, but he jumped back because the snake was in the seat of his car and the movie ended. Was that a trap set by the cops to expose him?

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