Teen-Age Strangler

2707. TEEN-AGE STRANGLER (1967-USA) COLOR. Wooden acting, robot-like staging and a one-chord rock music score make this combination teen-angst melodrama and murder mystery one unintentionally hilarious hoot from start to finish. It opens late one night with small-town teen Betty, who is supposed to be in the company of her girlfriend Ann. Instead, she is making out in an alley with her boyfriend Jimmy. After Jimmy disappears into the night, friendly high school janitor Mr. Wilson arrives on the scene and offers to walk the girls home. They decline and head off by themselves. As they stop to rest, Ann says, “Hey, did you hear something?” Indeed she has! Before you can say “I know what happens next,” an attacker leaps out of the darkness and strangles poor Ann to death, as Betty runs off in horror. “It looks like she got it jusl like the rest,” a cop utters as he observes the crime scene. It seems that Ann is the latest victim of a bloodthirsty killer who has been doing in innocent young women. Who could the culprit be? Is it Jimmy? Or Mr. Wilson? Or some unknown fiend? While this is supposed to be a mystery-drama, the laughs far outnumber the thrills. Jimmy is a member of a supposedly rough-and-tough leather jacket-clad teen gang, but he and his pals are easily the wimpiest adolescent hoods ever seen on screen. Our favorite bad performance is by the actress who plays Betty’s mother. She is so goofy and cheerful you would think she is serving milk and cookies rather than speaking to a cop investigating the murder of her daughter’s friend. Plus, the gawky youngster who plays Jimmy’s kid brother is so unabashedly awful that he must have been the son of the producer! In the middle of all this, there is a ludicrous rock ‘n roll number performed by a tenth-rate Connie Francis clone. You need not be a teenager or a strangler in order to fully savor this film’s sheer silliness, 62 minutes. Teenage Schlock