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I Was a Teenage Strangler

USA 1997
produced by
Factory 2000
directed by William Hellfire
starring Josh Miller, David Alan Interior, Daisy DeWright (= Chelsea Mundae), Lil' Erin DeWright (= Erin Brown = Misty Mundae), Michi Malangus, Katie Saltysandwitch, Shannon Dunwitch, Dallas Scarlett, Freak Nasty, Amanda Applecore (= Lilly Tiger), Damon Favorwright, Joey Smack, Tim Tomorrows, Roser, Christie Makeit, Tiffany Tickles, Dr. Buggedy, William Hellfire, Mikey Ovum, Jordon Gigallo
written by William Hellfire, music by Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, The Starlets, King Ghidorah!, Dynomite Cat, Spit Dog

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Winston (Josh Miller) the rich kid in town, invites pretty much all the teenage population of his hometown over to his place to have a big party. Thing is, the kids in town couldn't care less about Winston, and has so far shown little interest in them ... but hey, it promises to be a big party, so everybody's coming. There is something weird about Winston though, for the party he has all doors but one locked, as if he was luring everybody into a death trap. And oh, there is a strangler in town, who has made it his habit to sneak into teen girls' houses to kill them. Among his victims is Winston's girlfriend even. The strangler is permanently masked, and all we, the audience, know is it cannot be Winston ...

We should probably dig a bit into Winston's past right now: You know, Winston has a brother, Miles, a brother known for his violent fits, who at one point even almost strangled Winston's girlfriend. But Winston didn't treat Miles too well, either, among other things he cut off his finger and burned his face with boiling water. Eventually, Miles was sent to a mental institution.

Winston's party turns out to be a rather dire affair, but as paties go, someone always sneaks off into some bedroom or other for some sex ... but with the strangler around, this only ends in death by strangulation. the other partyguests are oblivious to the dead bodies piling up for the longest time. Eventually, everybody's dead, everybody but Winston and the strangler. In the showdown Winston reveals the strangler to be Miles on the loose, and admits that he had thrown the party as bait for Miles to have him kill all the slackers in town. Now that that's accomplished, Winston kills Miles.

Enter lil' Erin (Misty Mundae), a partyguest who has just been out for a bit, and now she returns to Winston's place, she finds all these dead bodies. She then runs into Winston, who calms her down ... and then strangles her with his own hands, because it would have been a shame to go through all of these troubles to rid the town of all slackers, then miss one ...

 

With the films of his company Factory 2000, filmmaker William Hellfire wanted to recreate the spirit of Andy Warhol's Factory by throwing together a bunch of freaks to have them perform in some very raw, uninhibited ultra-low budget movies. The outcome varied considerably concerning quality, though. In the film at hand, Hellfire tries just a bit too hard to shock, there is a rape scene, a makeshift abortion scene, masturbation, detailed pussy shots, a short onscreen fellatio, tits aplenty and so on and so forth. None of this is a bad thing in a movie, but Hellfire clearly uses all of this to shock his audiences rather than tell his actual story, in other words he tries too hard to be outrageous to give the film an opportunity to come into its own. Plus the rawness of the film doesn't exactly help it to tell its story, which becomes especially apparent when the flashbacks are not recognizable as such and just confuse instead of enlighten.

All that said, there is still something about this film many other no budget and dare I say amateur films lack, probably the enthusiasm that everybody put into making the movie, that's somehow infectuous and makes this somehow enjoyable after all. Not a great movie by a longshot of course, but there are way worse out there.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD