2019 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 28: The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989)

DAY 28. A LORELESS YARN: One based on a true story.

Based on Two of a Kind: The Hillside Stranglers by Darcy O’Brien, this was the first Hillside Strangler movie to ever be made. It stars Dennis Fraina, acting against type as Angelo Buono and Billy Zane in an ill-looking hairstyle that one suspects is a wig as Kenneth Bianchi.

It was written and directed by Steve Gethers, who pretty much made message movies throughout the 70’s and 80’s, like Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid and A Circle of Children.

Opposing the duo are the heroic men and women of the LAPD, foremost amongst the Sgt. Bob Grogan, played by Richard Crenna. I must confess that every time Grogan did something smooth within this movie or, well, really anything, I’d yell, “Crenna!” Watching movies with me would probably drive you insane.

It originally aired April 2, 1989 on NBC and probably upset a fair share of people. The principals are pretty wonderful, plus seeing James Tolkan from Masters of the Universe and Back to the Future is always a welcome thing.

Matthew Faison, one of the rare actors that was in both of the major slasher franchises of the 1980’s (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare) shows up as a judge.

This isn’t the best made for TV movie ever, but man. I miss the days when these things just randomly aired.

You can watch this for free on Amazon Prime.

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