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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Haunted Strangler (1958) d. Robert Day

Monsters & Madmen boxed set from Criterion Collection

Movie Review
The Haunted Strangler (1958)
d. Robert Day
Criterion Collection #367

Part of Monsters & Madmen Boxed Set
Criterion Collection #364

    The Haunted Strangler was made by the same people who made Corridor of Blood: both were English "horror" movies starring Boris Karloff.  They are the only two Boris Karloff films in the Criterion Collection, and they are sold together with two American sci-fi/horror films.  One of those is also directed by Robert Day (First Man Into Space.)  All four films are "B-movies" and all four were shown as part of double bills at lower level theaters when released in the 1950s

   All four films make the most of a limited budget and compensate for a lack of budget with strong performances and intriguing scripts.  The Haunted Strangler is the intriguing tale of an Author who investigates a mysterious series of murders and traces them to a medical student who went insane and was sent to an asylum (though never caught.) As it turns out.... HE was that insane medical student, which he discovers only after murdering again.

  The denouement, which happens after Karloff escapes from an insane asylum while awaiting trial for the new batch of murders, is cliche, BUT what can you expect?  The Haunted Strangler is, at bottom a b-movie, but an excellent example of one.  Now that I've watched all four films I'm glad I did- but it's hard to imagine paying 70 bucks for these four films. 

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