The Hillside Strangler
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A real-life series of killings that held Los Angeles, CA, in the grip of fear during the late '70s provides the inspiration for this tense crime drama. Kenneth Bianchi (C. Thomas Howell) is a nebbishy security guard who lives with his mother in Rochester, NY, and dreams of becoming a police officer. After Bianchi's application to join the Rochester police is turned town, he takes his mother's advice and moves out to Glendale, CA, where she arranges for him to stay with his cousin, Angelo Buono (Nicholas Turturro), who works in auto repair. When he's unable to get a position… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A garishly slick piece of exploitation with surprisingly high production values but nary a moment of suspense."
‑ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"Another repulsive, fetishistic trawl through the life and crimes of a serial killer."
‑ Megan Lehmann, New York Post
"Feels very cheesy due to its awkward, period-style acting and directing. But it's also chillingly informative."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Parello's deadpan re-creation of the stranglers' repellent war on women is all the more chilling for being so matter-of-fact, and cinematographer John Pirozzi flawlessly evokes the grit-and-grime look of low-budget '70s crime films."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"This relentlessly unpleasant film documents the true story of cousins whose murder spree in late 1970's Los Angeles was at first attributed to a lone killer known as the Hillside Strangler."
‑ Dana Stevens, New York Times
"Here's one for the Sick Voyeurs Club."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"Career-wise, no one really stands to benefit from the film, with the exception of Turturro, who shows he's ready for bigger cinematic opportunities."
‑ Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
"A good horse kick, or a fistful of Valium, may help you get through this relentlessly sadistic exercise with your soul more or less intact."
‑ Ron Stringer, L.A. Weekly
"Dumbed down and sexed up, 'Hillside' cashes in on the overtly lurid aspects of the murders while giving short shrift to the more interesting psychological aspects of the case."
‑ Staci Layne Wilson,
"Sordid and sleazy, although the lead performances are hard to fault."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
More reviews for The Hillside Strangler on Rotten Tomatoes