I Was A Teenage Strangler (1998)

DVD Cover (Factory 2000)
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Overall Rating 38%
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Ranked #9,033
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The Strange brothers, Winston and Myles, are having a party and they've invited all of the local slackers and freaks. But a masked man shows up and starts strangling people to death at every available opportunity. --IMDb
Erin Brown
Erin Brown
Chelsea Mundae
Chelsea Mundae
Josh Miller
Josh Miller
Lilly Tiger
Lilly Tiger
Austin Scarlett
Austin Scarlett
Review by Chad
Added: April 19, 2008
I reviewed Vampire Strangler a couple of months ago, a film which gained a good deal of notoriety on the underground circuit due to it containing Misty Mundae's first (and to date, only) hardcore sex scene. I wasn't terribly impressed with the film, truth be told, but it was a film that any Mundae fan should have on their shelves regardless; after all, you can't very well call yourself a fan if you don't have this infamous slice of schlock on your shelf, now can you? Tonight's film may not feature any hardcore action from our favorite b-movie starlet (in fact, it doesn't contain any softcore action from her either), but it does mark another "first" in her career: this was the first movie that she ever appeared in. For what it's worth, this is also one of the few movies that she's appeared in alongside her sister Chelsea Mundae (credited as Daisy DeWright here).

The short version of the synopsis goes a little something like this: brothers Winston (Josh Miller) and Myles (Dave Uzi) are having themselves a little party, and they've sent out invitations to all of the local slackers and freaks regardless of whether or not they actually know them. When everyone arrives and decides to get down with a little seventies-inspired dancing, a masked man shows up and starts strangling people to death at every available opportunity.

That's really about it for the storyline, and at this point in the review, you're probably thinking that it's going to be a long ninety minutes in front of the tube. It's true that there probably wasn't a good deal of time spent on the storyline and it's also true that there was no script in hand (yes, every spoken line was improvised by the actors), so again, you're probably thinking that this is a waste of time. That's not the case, as there's a whole lot of shit going on here that isn't particularly relevant in the grand scheme of the storyline, but it does keep things interesting for the vast majority of the running time.

Let's see... we've got a young girl scout (Michi) who tries to sell cookies to the wrong guy (Freak Nasty) and winds up getting raped after giving her sales pitch. She takes up residence in Chelsea's basement, a move which prompts Chelsea to hypnotize one of her friends and force him to eat a pile of shit out of her thong-covered ass. By this point, Michi has grown pregnant from her earlier rape scene, but fear not: Chelsea arrives just in the knick of time with a clothes hanger in hand to abort the baby. Oh, and did I mention that Chelsea is Michi's mother and that she "warms up" her little girl in a very unorthodox (and very hardcore) method? Where do these scenes fit into the bigger picture of the film as a whole? They don't, but they sure as hell keep the movie interesting. Viewers are assaulted by scene after scene like this, and while it's far from a conventional film with a perfectly linear storyline, it does have a certain charm that fans of grimy exploitation fare will probably get a kick out of.

It should be noted that Teenage Strangler was a Factory 2000 release, and as such, the production values were extremely low to say the very least. This was a low budget movie even by indie standards, and it makes films from the likes of Shock-O-Rama and Troma Entertainment look like Hollywood blockbusters in comparison. Some of the special effects were surprisingly good for a film of this nature, but when it comes to things like video quality and audio mixing, well... viewers will certainly realize that this wasn't a high-dollar production. I'm sure that this comes as no surprise to anyone has seen any of Factory 2000's other releases, but I thought that I should point it out for the "virgins" in the reading audience.

Speaking of the reading audience, you faithful readers are probably in one of three camps after getting this far into my review: you're either sold on the idea of seeing those revolting scenes that I mentioned up above, completely disgusted by the thought of witnessing such "trash", or you're just in it for the debut appearance of Misty Mundae. I'm not going to be able to sway you on the first two choices as your opinion of such will be directly proportional to how you felt while reading that paragraph, but what I can do is tell you a little more about Misty's appearance here.

Misty is not featured in any of the sex scenes here, and contrary to what the DVD cover would have you believe, she doesn't get naked or even strip down to a pair of jeans and a bra. I know that this is a stark contrast to the films that put her on the map, but I'm just calling it like I'm seeing it. What you do get is an eighteen-year-old Misty (credited here as Lil' Erin DeWright) who looks a whole lot different than we've grown accustomed to over the years, as in this particular film, she's sporting extremely short hair and a very boyish look. Unfortunately, we don't get a peek at her tattoo (the one that she would later have removed), but it's there on the DVD cover for those of you who are curious.

Sadly, Misty was not the star of this show. She doesn't even show up until an hour into the film, and at that point, she's given very little to work with: she dances around for a couple of minutes alongside all of the other partygoers, has a minor part in a conversation ("so then what happened?", "oh, nice!", "good story!", etc.), and then runs around screaming for a few minutes before... well, I'm not going to spoil it for you, but it's nothing particularly amazing or exciting.

To be fair, this was Misty's first movie, and I'm sure that nobody involved with the production had any idea as to how big she would become just a few years after this was made. With that said, I have to give her credit for making an impression here even with her limited screen time; while everyone else was chewing scenery and generally being as campy as possible, Misty plays it straight and shows that yes, she does have genuine acting ability.

Overall, Teenage Strangler was an enjoyable film by my standards, but it's certainly not for everyone. Those of you who want to see some disgusting acts of violence will certainly enjoy that aspect of the film and the die-hard fans of Misty Mundae will love seeing her first ever appearance in a film regardless of her screen time, but everyone else... well, if you're not sold on either of those two items, this probably isn't the film for you. Both of those applied to yours truly though, and for that, I'm going with an 7/10.
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