The Boston Strangler: The Untold Story (2008)

Genre(s): Crime / Drama
Weinstein Company || R - 93 minutes - $19.98 || July 22, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-07-21


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Michael Feifer
Writer(s): Michael Feifer (written by)
Cast: David Faustino, Andrew Divoff


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

The Zodiac Killer, Son of Sam, Ted Bundy and The Boston Strangler. These were some of the most famous serial killers in American history. The first two already came to the big screen with the amazing Zodiac and Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam. Obviously both had more substance than just focusing on the killers and instead showcased those investigating or living in the time of the killings. The Boston Strangler: The Untold Story actually examines the story surrounding the killer and the man, Albert De Salvo, who confessed to the murders, though later he probably was not the real Boston Strangler.

I don’t take issue with the focus, yet there really wasn’t much substance in this film. The Boston Strangler has all the earmarks of a direct-to-DVD flick with substandard acting, downright bad writing and a story that never has any energy or drive. Writer/director Michael Feifer tries to give both sides of the story, one from the perspective of the lead investigator, John Marsden (Divoff) and De Salvo himself (played by David Faustino who you may remember from “Married with Children”). But neither story was that interesting and in the end all I could say was, “So what?”

I believe this story deserves better and in the hands of a skilled writer or director, it could have been. I would recommend watching a documentary on The Boston Strangler rather than this film. And ironically, the subtitle of “The Untold Story” has been told before. I watched a documentary on The Boston Strangler some months ago, and that was far more interesting than this film (not to mention two TV movies were already made in 2006 and 2007...).

I’m unsure if this is a result of the numerous DTV horror films or because of the critical and audience praise for Zodiac, either way this just is not a good movie. The acting is pretty bad and director Feifer doesn’t seem to know how to skillfully tell a story. Skip at all costs.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Nothing much in the special features except for a commentary track with David Faustino (De Salvo), Writer/Director Feifer, Composer Andres Boulton and Editor Roberto Jimenez. This group commentary is pretty good, filled with info from how the project came about to just general behind-the-scenes stuff.

There is also the trailer for The Boston Strangler: The Untold Story which strangely has better sound than the actual movie.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The movie looks OK and it is presented anamorphic widescreen and a 1.78 OAR. It doesn’t look that bad, but it also isn’t high quality either. There’s no real visual style except that parts are pretty dark and even daylight scenes seemed kind of muted.

As I already mentioned, the sound on this is inexcusably awful. Dialog is flat and at times just uneven. In one scene you could have one character sounding alright but another standing a foot away sounding like the microphone was on the other side of the room. Why author a Dolby Digital 5.1 track when it seems Dolby Surround would’ve sufficed. This is honestly one of the worst audio tracks I’ve heard in quite a while.



.::OVERALL::.

The Boston Strangler: The Untold Story is just another DTV, low-budget film that doesn’t bring anything new to the table. While it’s nice to see Faustino get some work, he just doesn’t have what it takes to carry the film. When you add in shoddy production values and bad acting by the supporting actors, there’s absolutely no reason to see this film. I can only hope one day a Fincher-like director (Chris Nolan maybe?) will take on this serial killer...