The Hillside Strangler

Overview

A dark and genuinely disturbing recount of the brutal murders that terrified the citizens of Los Angeles in the late '70s, director Chuck Parello's The Hillside Strangler arrives on DVD in top form thanks to Tartan Video. This unrated version of the film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, perfectly preserving director of photography John Pirozzi's moody lighting and stylish lensing. Tartan has obviously taken great care to present one of their first stateside DVD releases as cleanly as possible, and ...
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Overview

A dark and genuinely disturbing recount of the brutal murders that terrified the citizens of Los Angeles in the late '70s, director Chuck Parello's The Hillside Strangler arrives on DVD in top form thanks to Tartan Video. This unrated version of the film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, perfectly preserving director of photography John Pirozzi's moody lighting and stylish lensing. Tartan has obviously taken great care to present one of their first stateside DVD releases as cleanly as possible, and their hard work has paid off with a great visual presentation. Likewise, the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio scheme offers an impressive and evenly balanced mix of dialogue and music. A listen to the director's commentary track reveals that the well-versed Parello is indeed extremely knowledgeable in regards to the facts in the case of the Hillside Strangler, and though the occasional questionable comment such as one stating that The Hillside Strangler is really "a funny film in a lot of ways" may raise something of a red flag among sensitive viewers, his comments about the solid rapport between leads C. Thomas Howell and Nicholas Turturro are dead on. An extended interview with Howell finds the thoughtful actor weighing the responsibilities of such a heavy role in addition to addressing the appeal of serial killer-themed films in the public eye. Three incidental deleted scenes add little to the overall story, with a theatrical trailer, Spanish subtitles, and closed-captioning rounding out the special features on the commendable Tartan Release.
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Special Features

Chapter selections; Theatrical trailer; Director's commentary; Deleted scenes; Spanish subtitles; Closed captioned; Interview with C. Thomas Howell
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
While it may not be as disturbingly potent as director John McNaughton's masterful Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, director Chuck Parello's grim recounting of the real-life murder spree that terrified the citizens of Los Angeles during the late '70s does surpass the majority of recent of serial killer-themed releases (Gacy and Ed Gein, just to name a few) in terms of both artistic quality and vision -- not to mention quality of acting, thanks to a truly unnerving performance by underrated actor Nicholas Turturro. As the sociopathic catalyst for the merciless killing spree, Turturro's cold and unflinching cruelty propels the film forward as C. Thomas Howell's menacing milquetoast grows increasingly comfortable with his newfound celebrity status. Though The Hillside Strangler does not shy away from the horrific torture of the duo's ill-fated victims, it also doesn't dwell on them. The issue of how much to actually show and how much to leave to an audience's imagination has long been a point of controversy within the realm of fact-based crime and horror films, and even in the unrated version of The Hillside Strangler we see Parello exercising some restraint. This doesn't make the nightmarish acts committed by the pair any easier to watch though -- and when all is said and done, the fact that these heinous acts were actually committed and that real people did suffer may still be too unnerving for many folks to handle.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2004
  • UPC: 842498020036
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Tartan Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hillside Strangler
1. Opening [5:25]
2. Going to California [5:41]
3. Carrie & Matilda [8:37]
4. "Meet My Cousin" [6:13]
5. "Landed You a Gig" [7:41]
6. Shake Down [3:23]
7. Pay Back [7:13]
8. "You're Under Arrest" [8:45]
9. Trick or Treat [6:35]
10. Body in La Crescenta [7:24]
11. Call Girl [6:40]
12. Mother's Funeral [7:02]
13. Cops at the Door [2:42]
14. New Life [3:12]
15. "Come On In" [7:26]
16. Credits [3:50]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Hillside Strangler
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Audio Setup
      5.1 Surround
      2.0 Stereo
   Subtitles
      Spanish: On
      Spanish: Off
   Extras
      Movie Trailer
      Director's Commentary: On
      Director's Commentary: Off
      Interview W/ C. Thomas Howell
      Deleted Scenes
      Tartan New Releases
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