Thursday, February 6, 2014

Night Of The Strangler

Night Of The Strangler Directed By Joy N. Houck (1972). Starring Some guy from a Beatles rip off band!
Sometime awhile back I accidentally fell in love with director Joy N. Houck, I mean can you blame me? The guy cranks out the most hideous looking melodrama's injected with bits of psychedelic rockandroll and gruesome murder! He's like Mike Nichols crossbred with H.G. Lewis, what's not to like, and here in tonight's feature we have Monkees drummer Mickey Dolenz! There's actually too much to dislike in this film, that if I handwrote this review I may have balled it up into a tight crumple and set it on fire! I leave it up to you, though but in my mind this one is worth leaving off the Joy Houck and Mickey Dolenz resume, there's not much to salvage and the film is inhumanly dull! But here I am going through the motions to bring you the very finest in refried, half baked mediocrity. Let's get this bullshit over with!
Where's my paycheck Houck, so I can snort some coke off this hooker's butt?

   This is one of the last of his films (he only made a few) and then fell into a vortex, never to return again. This is another one I was made aware of from Psychotronic video, these Houck posts are not usually that popular-- that's good, all the better people should be made more aware of rare exploitation auteurs that only TOG has the intestinal fortitude to tackle, right? (I'm eating my words now aren't I)? This one is worse than the Marcus Grapes vehicle and no Houck movies have been as impressive as Night Of Bloody Horror, the "Citizen Kane" of his catalog. If you were a fan of this director, then never, ever watch this wretched film because it's terrible and it may cause you to slit your wrists (especially if you can't reach the remote or computer)!

Can you tell these are invisaligns?

   Mickey Dolenz plays Vance, a dopey dropout, he lives with his brother Dan, the teeth nashing hillbilly goes all Southern style backwoods on his sister's ass for getting pregnant by a black man in college. All kinds of racial slurs are venomously spat at the sister character for bringing shame to her upper class honky family.  
   Then it gets more extreme as a hitman is sent to kill her black boyfriend and also drowns her in a bathtub! The killer whose face is obscured, slashes her wrists to makes it look like suicide. The film pins the blame on a hippie, because he wears a huge peace sign belt buckle (could it be Peter Tork)?
Rejected album cover for The Monkees tribute to Sticky Fingers

   Jessie, an African American preacher hears of the suicide and is familiar with the two racist brothers. He takes Vance (Dolenz) under his wing and they become fast pals. The hard-hitting social commentary evaporates quickly in a film like this and comes off like a bad soap opera! There's zero chemistry between any of the "actors" and Mickey should stay on the set of his own show or behind the drum-kit!
   Dan's new bride is attacked by a snake, he can't get through one sentence without saying the n-word, I wonder who he's going to blame for this incident? A former caretaker who was recently fired by Dan comes back for revenge, but sadly he is killed before he gets a chance to strike.
   This movie is duller than the worst Giallo (my most hated film subgenre besides Tyler Perry movies)! There's nothing for even die hard Monkees fans to like, just clumsy writing, hammy acting and dashes of racism.
Off Broadway production of SNL's Richard Pryor/ Exorcist sketch
The score is made up of library music and the room tone is excruciatingly loud! 
   If I were Joy the director, I would've not only taken this off my resume but left the film canister by a nuclear fallout shelter to spare all of humanity! But how else is he going to attract those kitschy Monkees dollars? The only reason people seek out this horrid film is to see Mickey Dolenz possibly strangle someone (this never occurs). Watch Head for the umpteenth time instead and I swear this will be the final nail in the Joy N. Houck coffin (he has no films left)!


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