Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#367: The Haunted Strangler

(Robert Day, 1958)

 The Haunted Strangler has basically the exact same plot structure as Corridors of Blood. Boris Karloff plays a well-intentioned, well-respected man in the 1800s who is searching for a solution to a common problem and unwittingly becomes the villain. He has a younger protégé who is romantically involved with his younger relative in both, and both end in tragic finales.

On the other hand, The Haunted Strangler has a much more appealing concept behind it. Karloff is searching for a man who may have been the real killer in a serial spree twenty years earlier... though of course there's more to it than that. Karloff, for his part, gets to do some really great over the top physical work here, and the movie is a memorable one (and not just because the final victim in the initial spree was Martha Stewart!). Ultimately, though, these are the kind of movies that are more pleasurable than anything else, worthy distractions from more serious weighty topics (see the last month of Bergman viewings). I enjoyed it more than Corridors of Blood, but the genre itself fails to grab me beyond basic entertainment.

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