The Strangler is saved from becoming a complete yawn fest by Victor Buono’s performance as the troubled protagonist. Buono (if remembered by anybody for anything it’s as King Tut in the campy Batman TV series) is a grossly obese, prissy, egotistical hospital lab geek with a doll fetish and a smothering, nagging, bitter, sickly mother (badly played by Ellen Corby, who would go on to her most notable role as the humorless grandmother in The Waltons).
The strangler’s psychological profile could be sketched as proto Edmund Kemper, and Buono plays it with a fair degree of creeper skill, mixing in periods of morbid ecstasy with child-like innocence (the fat man is most happy and at ease when playing games at an amusement arcade). The rest of the cast's acting skill is best described as low-grade wooden, with the notable exception of Diane Sayer, who has a dirty bed sheet sparkle as the bad girl co-worker of the strangler's wholesome arcade girl crush.
Besides Buono and Sayer, the film's other saving grace is that all the strangler's victims, for some reason, strip down to their bra and panties just before meeting their maker:
Anyway. . .and that's kind of a bummer, I know, to include in a movie review, but anyway, yeah, The Strangler, not the worst movie ever made, in fact, better than most of the garbage Hollywood sets on the curb today, and an eternal celluloid flame burning in memory of Diane Sayer, Victor Buono and all the other extinguished stars of the movies. . .
[Free with minimal ads on bargain bin streamer Tubi]