Film #67: THE STRANGLER OF BLACKMOOR CASTLE
The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle (aka Die Wurger Von Schloss Blackmoor)
2 out of 5 stars
This film directed by – of all people – Harald Reinl (CHARIOTS OF THE GODS) and based on a story by Bryan Wallace (son of the great writer, Edgar Wallace). In STRANGLER, we have a masked murderer roaming Blackmoor Castle killing people in association with the theft of some diamonds. The look of the film reminded me a lot of those old television stage plays (like, say DARK SHADOWS or early TWILIGHT ZONE/OUTER LIMITS episodes) and the dialog has the ring of old-time radio plays. While the plot is intricate and offers the usual roster of shadowy suspects, this one just never seems to coalesce into something the viewer cares about. The acting is again more suited to the stage or radio than film. Another odd thing… some of the scenes take place in a bar and when they do, the music playing in the background, has a weird sound to it… like a Tomita LP played at 45rpm. Anyway, the film rumbles along with more deaths (including a fun little “wire stretched across the roadway” decapitation) and a few more red herrings until we arrive at its inevitable conclusion. Crime thriller fans may dig this as may radio drama or television stage play aficionados, but if you’re looking for something to rock your world, THE STRANGLER AT BLACKMOOR CASTLE chokes.