Director – Slobodan Sijan (Poor Little Hamsters, How I Was Systematically Destroyed by an Idiot)
Starring – Tasko Nacic (Tight Skin 4, Backbone), Nikola Simic (Hitler from Our Street, Obituary for Escobar), and Srdjan Saper (The Promising Boy, Rock and Revolution)
Release Date – 1984
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3/5
I love what Mondo Macabro is doing. They are bringing rather obscure titles to cult cinema collectors. What makes them stand out from others and that they seem to focus on international films that often go overlooked in American markets. I don’t always like the movies they release but they get some serious respect from myself and most of the horror and cult collectors. A few months back MM announced the release of the 1984 horror comedy Strangler vs Strangler on blu. This one looked very interesting to me and I knew this would be the release that started my next Mondo Macabro marathon. I want to thank Mondo Macabro and CAV for sending this one over for review.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows an overweight rose seller who finds his life turned upside down when he becomes overstimulated and strangles his first victim. From then on he discovers he has a knack for it. While he strangles those that are mean to him a punk band in town uses the murders to grow their fan base which draws suspicion from the lead detective. **Spoiler Alert**
Stranger vs Strangler is not as the title leads you to believe but it’s still a fantastic international horror comedy. I enjoyed it and could see myself watching it again with some friends. A little bit of booze would make it even more enjoyable but it’s not required.
The acting in this one is great. There is always a bit of the acting that is missed when the viewer has to read the dialogue. However, there is just as much missed when the viewer watches a film that is dubbed. Not all the words being said are translated in the dubbing. With that being said, I chose to watch the dubbed version and I really enjoyed the cast. The characters were well written and they did a fantastic job at bringing them to life for us on screen.
The story for this one is not what I was expecting but I appreciated it. I loved the character development, the set up for the film, and how the movie unfolded. Honestly, I felt that the film was very clever in how it was written but a lot of the humor misses it’s mark. I don’t know if it’s from the year it was written or the fact that the film is from Yugoslavia. With that being said, it still works as a horror film.
Finally, don’t expect a bloody flick. Most, if not all, of the deaths are from strangulation. No need for effects here and if you are looking for a bloody flick then you will be disappointed. Overall, Strangler vs. Strangler is a fantastic release and Mondo Macabro does the film justice. I highly recommend snagging this one especially if you are in the mood for something from outside of the U.S. Check it out.
Brand new 2k restoration from original negative.
New interview with director Slobodan Šijan.
Audio commentary from Dejan Ognjanović and Igor Stanojević.
Rare English language version.
Mondo Macabro previews.