Invisible Strangler (1984) poster

Invisible Strangler (1984)


aka The Astral Factor

USA. 1984.


Director – John Florea, Screenplay – Arthur C. Pierce, Story – Arthur C. Pierce & Earle Lyon, Producer – Earle Lyon, Photography – Alan Stensvold, Music – Richard Hieronymous & Alan Oldfield, Special Effects – Roger George, Makeup – Fred B. Phillips. Production Company – Jordan-Lyon Productions/New Century.


Robert Foxworth (Lieutenant Chuck Barrett), Stefanie Powers (Candy), Mark Slade (Sergeant Holt), Elke Sommer (Christina Hartman), Frank Ashmore (Roger Sands)


Roger Sands has been incarcerated in a psychiatric institution for the murder of his mother. There he has developed his powers of inner meditation so well that he can become invisible. He is thus able to walk out of his cell and then sets out to strangle those who helped convict him. Police try to find a means of stopping the insubstantial Sands from killing further.

This thoroughly awful, thoroughly nondescript film. It was originally made in 1976 as The Astral Factor and did receive a very brief release in 1978. It then waited on a shelf for eight years before being substantially reworked by other directors and with new cast members and then finding a release on video. This is something that must surely indicate something considering the dregs that most distributors are prepared to dredge.

With its’ flatter-than-flat action and lethargically developed menace, a more lacklustre and monotonous film one would have to go quite some way to find. The invisibility effects are very cheaply achieved and quite unconvincing. Boom mikes are visible in numerous shots.

The original version of the film was made by Arthur C. Pierce. However, the version seen here as Invisible Strangler was recut and reshot by John Florea who was otherwise a tv director throughout his career.

Arthur C. Pierce had a long resume of B and Z science-fiction during this era, having written the scripts for The Cosmic Man (1959), Terror in the Midnight Sun/Space Invasion from Lapland/Invasion of the Animal People (1959), Beyond the Time Barrier (1960), The Human Duplicators (1965), Cyborg 2087 (1966), Destination Inner Space (1966), Dimension 5 (1966) and The Destructors (1968). He only ever directed one other film with Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966). Earle Lyon was his co-writer on many of these.

Full film available here

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