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Hillside Strangler (Unrated Edition)


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Product Details

  • Actors: C. Thomas Howell, Nicholas Turturro, Allison Lange, Marisol Padilla Sánchez, Jennifer Tisdale
  • Directors: Chuck Parello
  • Writers: Chuck Parello, Stephen Johnston
  • Producers: Alexa Jago, Carol Siller, Hamish McAlpine, Jason Farmer, John Stienfield
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002YLD46
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,724 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hillside Strangler (Unrated Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Based on the true story of the Hillside Strangler who terrorized Los Angeles in 1978 and 1979. No one knew that the brutal serial sex killings were the work of not one man, but cousins! C. Thomas Howell and Nicholas Turturro star in this chilling, true story from the makers of Ed Gein and Ted Bundy. Available in a shocking, unrated version.

Customer Reviews

He started out bad, and there really wasn't anywhere else for him to go but down.
Jonathan Appleseed
I'm not sure how closely the events of the true story are adhered to cinematically in this version, but the tone of the film very rarely flirts with exploitation.
J. Koch
Angelo had a totally dysfunctional relationship with his mother, Kenneth's adopted mother's younger sister, whom Angelo may have even tried to kill at one time.
Lawyeraau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on February 1, 2007
Format: DVD
The sordid tale of Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, the killing cousins who strangled their way to infamy in 1970s Los Angeles, finally made its way to the big screen (or at least straight to DVD) with director Chuck Parello's 2004 film "The Hillside Strangler". The movie absolutely oozes evil out of every pore, which is just as well considering its grimy subject matter. Bianchi and Buono would pose as cops or modeling agents to lure in girls, and then would kill them and dump their bodies around town during a four-month period in 1977 and 1978. Actually, the two engaged in lots of sordid activities. Bianchi was a chronic thief who posed as a psychologist when he moved out to California in the late 1970s. Buono was a car thief, sadist, and child abuser who ran a car upholstery business in L.A. When Bianchi hooked up with Buono, bad things were sure to follow. And they did. Ten murders, with two more attributed to Ken Bianchi in Washington after he left Los Angeles. Once the authorities apprehended them their trials drug on for years, well into the 1980s, largely because of the scheming machinations of Kenneth Bianchi. He was an accomplished liar as well as a heartless killer.

Parello's film covers most of Buono's and Bianchi's antics, starting with a look at Ken's unsuccessful career as a security guard in Rochester, New York. When his hopes of becoming a police officer end in frustration, Kenny (played by a gaunt C. Thomas Howell) heads to L.A. to stay with his loudmouthed cousin Angelo (Nick Turturro in the performance of his career). The two have an unusual relationship, to say the least. Angelo is an abusive, misogynistic cretin who quickly asserts emotional control over the weaker Bianchi.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jesse David Black on February 5, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The mark this movie hits is the fear that these two degenerates caused to a community. Believe me when I say that Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard were filled with the walking scared, the hiding, and the I don't know how to feel people during the late seventies. I was twenty years old, living and working on the Boulevard during the "Hillside Strangler" days and I'm serious; fear was rampant and the movie captures it fairly well. The scenery is perfect; the old establishments, "Deep Throat" on the marquee, the Gold Cup cafe, and a glimpse of the old Hollywood Barber College; perfect. I had to do a composite drawing on the younger bastard. When I talked to the other witnesses that were involved with the eighth killing, all I experienced from them was distrust, fear, screams, and an overall sick feeling. Catching the bastards was a landmark in my life. I recommend this movie for its attempt to lead us into the sick, demented minds of the deranged, as well as providing us with a moment in time when Hollywood was on the edge of panic.
Remember, the community thought the killer[s] was a cop. Who were we to trust? Watching your backside was the norm every night on the Boulevard and this movie brought back some real scary memories. If this movie can disturb me, I'd say it will disturb you. So, if you like to watch disturbing realism, plug this DVD into your player, turn down the light, pour a cognac, and hold onto your baby because the scare is creeping just around the corner. BOO!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dymon Enlow on February 2, 2005
Format: DVD
Filmed with what actually appears to be a budget and a little bit of style THE HILLSIDE STRANGLER stands head and shoulders above the influx of cheap serial killer biopics that have infested the video store shelves the last few years. Unfortunately it's still not all that good.

There's plenty of mean spirited violence and nudity, but what I would like to know is why these two vile, deranged, worthless individuals acted the way they did. What ignited their immense hatred for women?

When the movie opens Bianchi is already an evil security guard who moves in with his womanizing, abusive cousin in California. They start forcing women to be hookers. That falls through so they start killing...and that's it. Kill, kill, kill until they're arrested and the movie abruptly ends leaving me with more questions than when the movie began.

If you're a sadist looking for nothing but the "highlights" of these two sickos crime spree then this is the movie for you. If you're looking for something with depth and maybe a little insight then read a book. I hear "The Hillside Strangler" by Ted Schwarz is good. Also "Two of a Kind: The Hillside Strangler" by Darcy O'Brien got some good reviews.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jackson on March 7, 2005
Format: DVD
Don't listen to the reviewers who are giving this movie bad reviews. These two men were terrible people, and the uses realism to illustrate this fact. At times I think a little more depth could help with understanding the characters, hence the four star rating. But overall it is a good film, which really captures story well.

Thoses who rate this poorly are doing so only because the have trouble with "shocking" cinema. But for those of you who can handle unsettling scenes, I would recommend this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracey Higgins on October 16, 2005
Format: DVD
The acting in this film was amazing. I was really impressed with C.Thomas Howell. HOwever, I was so uncomfortable watching this movie because it is brutally realisitc. I guess that was the point, to how how cruel those two men (if you can call them men), were. Although it was good, I would have liked to see more of the actual trial and incarceration. The film focused directly on their acts the entire time, which is hard to watch.
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