Slobodan Šijan, 1985
91 min. Yugoslavia.
In Serbian with new English subtitles.

Presented by Screen Slate •

In this Serbian New Wave bloodbath, a meek flower salesman with Mommy issues begins to experience periodic blackouts during which he stalks and chokes the life from women who spurn his carnations. Belgrade is thrown into hysteria as the city wonders who will be the next victim while celebrating the idea that a serial killer means their capital finally arrived as a major metropolis. In the meantime, the frontman of New Wave band VIS Simboli (played by Srđan Šaper, real-life leader of pioneering Yugoslav New Wave band Idoli) identifies a telepathic connection to The Strangler, which inspires him to write a sensational hit single catapulting the group to national notoriety. Yet as his heightened mental and emotional sensitivity to The Strangler grows, so does the desire to slip his fingers around his lover's slender neck… In the meantime, an ingenious yet hopelessly neurotic police inspector stumbles his way through the case.

This Grand Guignol comedy brings everything to the fore: the tar-black humor of Eastern Bloc cinema after the thaw and art house sophistication along with copious violence, sex, laughs, gothic ambience, cross dressing, New Wave, and even a psychic pep talk from an adoring pet cat. Though STRANGLER VS. STRANGLER appears to have only had minor theatrical distribution from the same company that released movies like "Rockula," "American Ninja 4" and "Gas Pump Girls", it has for all intents and purposes rarely screened in the U.S.—all the more shocking considering Slobodan Sijan is regarded by those familiar as one of the greatest directors of contemporary European Cinema. STRANGLER VS. STRANGLER is part of a string of 1980's masterpieces including WHO'S SINGIN' OVER THERE?, and it's also the most accessible to American audiences. A perfect introduction to an overlooked master filmmaker—or at least a bloody hilarious late-night watch.

Screen Slate presents it with all-new custom subtitles.

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