It's time for Saturday's Steckler Strangler Slasher Splatter Special, and what could be more appropriate than the 1979 flick, "The Hollywood Strangler Meets The Skid Row Slasher!" It was written by Christopher Edwards (Ray Dennis Steckler), and directed by Wolfgang Schmidt (Ray Dennis Steckler)!
What we have here is a failure to communicate!
This is Pierre Agostino as he-man stud Johnathan Click, the strangler himself! Pierre didn't make many movies, but he did reprise this strangler role 7 years later in Ray Dennis Steckler's "The Las Vegas Serial Killer!" I don't know why, but you will find both of these films streaming free in their entirety on youtube! Whatever happened to only 10 minutes and no nudity? I guess those rules are now ancient history!
"The Hollywood Stranglers Meets The Skid Row Slasher" (This is not a great copy, but you get the idea; to see it in all it's glory, go to Netflix or buy a copy!)
"The Las Vegas Serial Killer" (This looks great, but there are commercials!)
On the left is Ray Dennis Steckler's Wife from 1963 to 1973, Carolyn Brandt, as The Slasher! You know right out of the box who The Strangler is, but Ray keeps the identity of The Slasher hidden for 15 or 20 minutes to build suspense, although suspense is never actually a factor in this film!
Pierre is a photographer without a studio, so he always goes to the girl's homes to photograph and strangle them! This gal had a roommate, so this outing turned into a double homicide half price sale! The names of the various victims are Lori Morris, Snowy Sinclair, Bonnie Smith, Joanne Hiatt, Jean Roberts, and Denise Alford! For most of them, this would be their only film ever!!
Carolyn Slasher runs a used book store. Here's a good example of why Ray Dennis is one of our heroes and how efficient he could be with his money. The checkout area of the store is nothing more than a folding table, they didn't even bother with a cash register! Carolyn was in almost all of Ray's films in some capacity, and also had the role of Fishman's girl in "Eegah!!"
The Slasher's victims number four, and ranged from Chuck Alford and Jim Parker, to Forrest Duke and John Leeman!
"The Hollywood Strangler Meets The Skid Row Slasher" is not a very good movie at all, and makes some of Ray's other films look like real masterpieces, but there is a lot of footage of topless girls, if that's what you're looking for in a movie!
90% of the time there is not even any dialogue! Imagine how much easier it is to put sound back in during post production than setting up all those microphones out on the streets. The only problem is that it makes the movie even that much more boring, so when he's not strangling, he's thinking to himself a lot!!!
I love this shot, and it makes great wallpaper!
Ray Dennis liked this shot so much that he used it again in "The Las Vegas Serial Killer!" If I'm not mistaken, Pierre never changes clothes once in the whole movie!!
This shot right here is the epitome of what this film is all about, stark and sparse! Stark and Sparse sounds like the name of a vaudeville comedy team!
The Strangler's pad is a wonder to behold from the cheapass 70's paneling to the Marilyn Monroe serving trays hanging on the wall! What a guy!!
For the major portion of the movie, the two killers work independent of each other, but they have chance run-ins at the bookstore, and both know that there is something special about the other one!
The cinematography was done by Sven Christian, AKA Ray Dennis Steckler! Give Sven some credit for having a good eye, and making a great shot like this happen from nothing!
In retrospect, It's not too difficult to imagine how great this film could have been if they were actually a married couple like in some 70's TV sitcom named something like "Choking With The Cleavers!"
Carolyn looks pretty good when she gets all gussied up, but she's got a real mean streak!
The two killers finally meet on their own terms, and it's true love! As he strangles her, she is ripping a knife into his gut!!
Ray Dennis Steckler was one of the only guys who ever was able to kill off his ex-wife legally! What a freakin' genius, he even did it more than once, and got her to pay for it, because on top of all that, Carolyn Brandt produced this film as well!
The amazing soundtrack was created by Dungeon Hall of Famer André Brummer, working once again as Henri Price! André's credits include films on our all-time favourites list, "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?" and "Eegah!!" This was his last film! I have no idea who is singing that crazy song!