Teen-Age Strangler (1964)

Article 2669 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-13-2008
Posting Date: 12-3-2008
Directed by Ben Parker
Featuring Bill Bloom, John Ensign, Rick Harris
Country: USA

A strangler is on the loose, and the police believe he may be a member of a hot rod gang known as the Fastbacks.

The last time I saw a movie in which a strangler kills his victims and then leaves a letter marked on their foreheads was… yesterday, I believe, in THE STRANGLER OF BLACKMOOR CASTLE. I love coincidences like this, and since the movies were released within the same year or so, they could have made a double feature. Of course, this one would have been the second feature; though the movie has a certain likable sincerity to it, it’s amateurish awkwardness screams out from every frame. The acting isn’t as bad as in some other movies I’ve seen, but one senses that even the better ones here still had a lot more to learn about their craft. And in some cases, you’re not sure you’re seeing a performance or not; I found myself wondering just how much the actor who played the guilt-ridden, twitchy and awkward bespectacled younger brother of the prime suspect was playing a role instead of being himself, and I actually found myself feeling actively uncomfortable whenever he was on the screen. Overall, the movie does give us an interesting example of regional film-making; this one was shot in West Virginia.


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