SLASHER MONTH: Las Vegas Serial Killer (1986)

Becca grew up in Vegas and when I went there to meet her parents, she made it a point to take me to Fremont Street and old Vegas and the places where the ad budget doesn’t extend, the places I’d really want to see, the places that were new and gleaming when Ray Dennis Steckler made this movie in some year that IMDB tells me is 1986 but I’d buy 1973, 1978 or 1984 just as well.

Somehow part of the same Steckler Cinematic Universe as The Thrill Killers — a movie that Steckler took on the road and would send three maniacs in masks during the movie to attack the audience — and The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher, this time serial killer Johnathan Glick gets out of jail on a technicality and does what you’d expect: he kills lots of people.

This movie is also about two purse snatchers and instead of watching them at work, we follow them to a parade, a rodeo — where someone shouts the name of Steckler’s other self Cash Flagg for no reason — and World War II bomber graveyard. Home movies nearly, only rivaled by endless moments of people walking through Vegas, real people, captured on film in a permit-less time capsule by the man who made Sex Rink and The Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters, but done even better — or worse — because the characters ridicule their appearance and discuss the bodies of the women they see.

Somehow, the story comes back and the killer gets a job at a place called Pizza-n-Pizza and the signs outside advertise that they have a chicken sandwich, so that entire place is a liar. They also employ a serial killer who uses their service to kill any woman who orders their pizza, like the Grim Reaper by way of Randy Bodek.

You know, I’ve never seen a movie where a man stranglers a woman while a stuff Papa Smurf stares on, unmoving, unfeeling. That’s the kind of madness that someone like Claudio Fragrasso looks at and cries and says, “Art.”

You can watch this on Tubi.

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