Judge Dylan Charles has been disgusted and he's been bored, but never both at the same time...until now.
Come meet—if you dare—Winston and Myles Strange?
I have watched every Friday the 13th movie (all eleven of them) and shrugged each one off with a cheerful wisecrack and a carefree grin.
I have watched Cannibal Holocaust, a movie that graphically shows animals being killed, not staged or faked, and made it through with just a grimace, though with a lessening respect in my fellow man.
I have even watched The Hot Chick, that Rob Schneider movie where he switches bodies with a teenage girl and only experienced mild stomach cramps.
I'm telling you all this so when I say that I Was a Teenage Strangler nearly made me throw up, you'll know exactly what I mean.
This is the worst movie I have ever seen. I won't say it's the worst movie ever, because I'm sure somewhere, out there, there is something far worse. Pol Pot's Guide to Genocide and Delicious Brownie Recipes for example, is bound to be worse, but I haven't personally experienced it. I was a Teenage Strangler is something I have experienced. It's much like the experience of a car accident or being kicked in the groin by an enraged child wearing pointed shoes.
Apparently, Factory 2000 (the makers of this movie) decided they were going to make a response to the fetish films they had been watching. They were angered by the disgusting acts they saw and so they made this strong cinematic indictment. Kind of like Thomas Paine's Common Sense and how Paine used his words as a scathing attack against the British fetish pamphlet industry. So Factory 2000 set out to make a movie that was more disgusting than the movies they were lashing out against. This means that they've made a movie that purveyors of fetish pornography would not even want to watch.
In the first half of the movie, or the "Pre-Party Sequence," Factory 2000's crew has crammed in as many disturbing acts as they can imagine. It starts off with a catfight, as two unattractive women kind of tussle around in an attempt to simulate fisticuffs. "Okay," I think to myself, "this isn't too bad. I can take this." This is then followed by a poop-eating scene. Not real poop, mind you, but, for me, pretend poop is bad enough. Some of you have paused on the previous sentence and the majority has already decided they're not going to watch this movie. Good for you. But the movie keeps on going and so will I.
The next atrocity is a rape scene. It was unpleasant, yes, but not as unpleasant as the wire hanger abortion scene that immediately followed it. Or the vomiting. Or the peeing. God, the peeing!
So I Was a Teenage Strangler is one of the most disgusting things I've seen. It's also deadly boring. Once it hits the second half or the "Party Sequence," everything slows down to an unbearable crawl. There's a 10-minute sequence where an effeminate, dangerously thin man regales an audience with a tale about an enraged pig. I was on the edge of my seat, I can tell you! Will he escape from the pig? Will the story ever end? After the first 40 minutes, the last thing I expected was to be bored out of my mind. Nauseous? Yes. Retching? Most definitely. Falling asleep? Not so much.
I should remind you that this is a movie about a teenage strangler. I'm still not sure if the strangler is himself an adolescent or his victims are the teenagers, but it doesn't really matter. The stranglings go on forever and there are about fifteen of them (or twenty or thirty), enough to stretch on for all of eternity.
Which makes me wonder who would want to watch this movie. If you don't find it disgusting, you're going to be bored. Or confused. Or dismayed.
Due to the fact that they recorded I Was a Teenage Strangler on a video camera back in the 1990s, the quality isn't exactly top-notch. There are even tracking errors, which made me nostalgic for my VCR. Occasionally the sound is so bad you can't hear what the actors are mumbling—which is a godsend. There was no script, just improvised dialogue, which means you get to hear gems like "Shit? I hate shit!"
The only extra is a bunch of trailers for movies created by the same people. Depressingly, it looks like I Was a Teenage Strangler was the best of the lot.
It's badly shot and badly acted with no coherent plot and boring as sin. Its only contribution to the world of film is acting as a cinematic vomit inducer.
Very, very guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: After Hours Cinema
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