Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


THE ASTRAL FACTOR (aka Invisible Strangler/1978). Director: John Florea.

Roger Sands (Frank Ashmore) is a psychotic who murdered his unloving, self-absorbed mother and while in prison has developed the ability to enter the astral plane, become invisible, and escape. Once out, he runs about strangling women who remind him of his mother and/or who testified against him. Lt. Charles Barrett (Robert Foxworth of Prophecy) is the chief detective on the case, assisted by Holt (Mark Slade); both do a fairly miserable job of protecting the victims, but the killer is highly unusual. The Astral Factor isn't a very good movie, its chief interest being its bizarre C-list cast: Stefanie Powers is Barrett's nutty girlfriend; Elke Sommer is one of the potential victims; Sue Lyon is Sands' mother; Leslie Parrish [Missile to the Moon] and Marianna Hill are two other victims; and Cesare Danova and  Percy Rodrigues also have small roles.  Elke Sommer [Deadlier Than the Male] actually gives a pretty good account of herself as a nervous lady all alone in a big mansion waiting for Roger to show while the cops stand by. The film meanders terribly but there is some suspense at the end. The scientific/paranormal aspects of the script are pretty much muddled.

Verdict: The poster is much better than the movie. **.

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