Blu-ray Review: THE BOSTON STRANGLER

THE BOSTON STRANGLER was directed by Richard Fleischer, based on Gerold Frank’s book about the real-life case. The film stars Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, George Kennedy, Mike Kellin, Hurd Hatfield, Murray Hamilton, and Sally Kellerman. The score is by Lionel Newman.

This 1968 neo-noir psycho-thriller follows a serial killer who is terrorizing the city of Boston. The maniac is going around murdering women and with each kill, the police get close to catching the person responsible for these unspeakable crimes. The special police division is headed by John S. Bottomly (Henry Fonda) who becomes obbsessed with the killer and how he operates and the more he studies how the killer moves, he gets closer to catching him. This ultimately brings him face to face with Albert DeSalvo (Tony Curtis), a normal family man on the outside but there’s defintiely something else going on with him on the inside. Once the police bring DeSalvo in, Bottomly discovers their suspect is suffering from a split personality which explains why he doesn’t really remember the horrible acts that he’s committed with his very own hands.

Okay, I really enjoyed this psycho-thriller that was based on these tragic events that actually took place in Boston. The story was an interesting one and the movie itself was this slow burn character study that reveals just how disturbed the suspect really was. The impressive cast featured three Hollywood icons that included Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, and George Kennedy, but it was Tony Curtis who really showed off his acting skills with this two-layered character he portrayed. This is a man who was going around committing these unspeakable murders but it’s slowly revealed that he had another side to him that didn’t even know this was going on. He was a family man, too. It’s pretty creepy, aint it! All of the murders in the movie are pretty much implied so there’s no blood bath or gore to it. I really liked the way Richard Fleischer directed the movie and the many split screen shots that it offered. Each split screen shot shows something different going, but they’re all connected, and sometimes there were as many as four or five shots in one screen.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork. The Blu-ray disc also features artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about The Boston Strangler by Julie Kirgo and the original artwork on the back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Boston Strangler was another first time watch for me and an impressive one. The Boston Strangler is one of those real life stories that most of us have heard of at some point in our lives. It fits right in with other famous serial killer character studies like Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy and more. The story was really good but it was Tony Curtis’ performance as this killer that steals the show. He delivers a powerful performance as this family man who’s suffering from a split personality and isn’t aware of it. This undiagnosed disorder is what allows him to go out and commit these horrible murders without his family knowing about it, until he’s finally captured. Once he is taken in for questioning, everything slowly reveals itself. One of the creepiest things about this story is the fact that he may or may not have actually been the killer, or that he could have had an accomplice. He died in prison so we’ll never truly know. This Blu-ray has a limited edition of 3,000 units and is definitely worth adding to your Twlight Time collection.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 116 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1) Color / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 3.0 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include Twilight Time’s trademark isolated score track, some audio commentary, four featurettes and two trailers.

  • Isolated Music & Effects Track
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Steven Peros
  • Split-Screen Personality – William Friedkin on Richard Fleischer’s The Boston Strangler (22.21)
  • Real Killer, Fake Nose (31:15)
  • AMC Backstory: The Boston Strangler (21:31)
  • Fox Movietone Newsreel (03:25)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:55)
  • Teaser (00:45)

 

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