Monk S02E09: “Mr. Monk and the 12th Man”

PLOT SUMMARY

Monk helps the police investigate a brutal string of nine murders but he is unable to stop two more killings before figuring out the pattern behind the killings.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Shea Broom
Strangled With: Wire Garrote
Result: Fatal

Shea Broom enters a darkened movie theater with a bag of popcorn and takes a seat. A moment later, a man enters and takes a seat behind her. He gets her attention by whispering her name. As she starts looking around, he whispers her name again. When she turns to face him, he asks how she’s doing as he gets up to attack her. She asks him what he’s holding, only to start gasping once the garrote is wrapped around her neck. The camera then pans down to a shot of her feet as she’s strangled to death. The clip ends there.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

A little brief, but good. My only gripe is that her face is masked in shadow from the light of the movie projector.

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Don’t Answer the Phone

PLOT SUMMARY

A deeply disturbed photographer and Vietnam veteran, named Kirk Smith, terrorizes Los Angeles by going around strangling lingerie-clad young women in their homes while taunting Lindsay Gale, a young psychologist, by calling her on a radio call-in show to describe his sexual hang-ups and misogynistic ways, while a local police detective, Lt. McCable, is always two steps behind in trying to catch the psycho.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Dale Kalberg
Strangled With: Stocking
Result: Fatal

This is the opening scene and the first strangling in the film. The clip starts with the nurse arriving home. We see her undressing from what looks to be the killer’s pov from down the hall, hiding in the dark. The camera then cuts to the kitchen where she’s on the phone with her mother, oblivious to the fate that awaits her the moment she hangs up. As their conversation comes to an end, Nicholas makes his appearance, casually walking up behind her. When she hangs up, he makes his move. He grabs her by the throat, gives her a good left hook across the face to knock her into submission, and then carries her screaming into the dining room. There, he plops her on top of the dining room table where he fights for the upper hand. Finally, he manages to wrap a stocking around her neck and begins strangling her. During the climax, we’re treated to a full shot of the attack where we get to see her legs kick as her final struggles end in a nice, slow death. The scene ends with Nicholas ripping her bra apart to expose her breasts.

Edits

None needed

Thoughts

I absolutely love scenarios involving nurses. There’s just something about a woman who’s made a career out of helping cure the sick get snuffed.  Growing up in the 70’s, seeing them in a pair of white stockings and period-style uniform helps.  😉

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Actress: Pamela Jean Bryant and Gail Jensen
Strangled With: Bare Hands, Stocking
Result: Both Fatal

There are four on-screen asphyxia-related deaths in this flick, but I’ve only ever really liked three of them.  The last two are featured in this scene.

Kirk is masquerading as a photographer again, and talks his way into the home of two very attractive young ladies.  Kirk has brought a portfolio of his work along with him.  Pamela greets hiim at the door, he introduces himself, and pretends to make a phone call while she’s looking through his portfolio.  As she turns the pages, the photographs become more disturbing, until finally she’s shocked enough to decide she’s not interested in being photographed. Kirk takes offense at this and… ahem… forces her to… change her mind. 😉 The result turns fatal for Pamela as she winds up topless on the couch, struggling against him in a futile attempt to breathe. Kirk maintains the upper hand and slowly chokes the life out of her.

As he’s finishing off Pamela, her roommate, Gail, walks in on them both, wearing nothing but panties. Unfortunately, her death is somewhat uneventful. She grabs a table lamp and smashes it on Kirk’s back in an equally futile attempt to save Pamela  only to wind up grabbed and carried into the dining room where Kirk plops here onto a chair and promptly starts choking her as well.  During the struggle, he manages to slip a stocking around her neck and finishes her off as well. She dies slouched on the floor against the chair. Considering how weak the murder looked, I’m inclined to believe she died more from shock than strangulation. Ah, well…

Edits

None needed

Thoughts

We are long overdue for another exploitation flick…

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Atomic Blonde

PLOT SUMMARY

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Sofia Boutella
Strangled With: Black Cord
Result: Fatal

Sofia is rummaging through her apartment and packing up after receiving a tip from  Charlize that she may be in danger.  She pauses at the entrance to her bedroom and appears anxious.  Moments later, James McAvoy sneaks up from behind her and deftly loops a black cord around her neck.  A fierce struggle ensues during which she briefly gets the upper hand and stabs him twice with a knife.  James tries desperately to remove the knife from his shoulder as Sophia lies on the floor.

Then,  a buzzer starts going off – Charlize has arrived and is downstairs trying to buzz her.  Sofia gets up to try and answer the buzzer.  One scene later, Sofia tries to reach for her gun lying on her bed, but James snares her with the cord again pulls it taut.  She tries to push him off using the bed for leverage, but is unsuccessful and dies moments later.

As Charlize manages to sneak past someone leaving the apartment, Sofia’s body falls to the floor while James escapes out the back.  Charlize enters Sofia’s apartment, sees her body on the floor, and curses under her breath.  The scene and clip end there.

Edits

There are a few cuts to Charlize arriving at the apartment building and pressing the buzzer to Sofia’s apartment.  I removed them all.

Thoughts

I first saw Sofia in 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service.  She played a double amputee henchwoman and Samuel L. Jackson’s right hand.  Her prosthetics doubled as blades.  The movie was fantastic but by the end of her first appearance on-screen, I was already hoping to see her play an asphyxiated character some day.  Three years later, Atomic Blonde unwittingly granted my wish, and I was quite pleased.  Sofia’s performance was excellent, and the closeup on her face as her character’s life faded was icing on the cake.  As she’s dying, James brings the scene home with this beautifully ominous line:  “Sorry darling… this is the game…”   

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Ninja III: The Domination

PLOT SUMMARY

The body of a sexy aerobics instructor is invaded by the evil spirit of a dying ninja. At first, changes in her behavior is limited to having strange interactions with an arcade game, doing sexy things with V8 juice, and being attracted to an unusually hairy police officer. But soon enough, she’s systematically killing, ninja-style, the officers responsible for the ninja’s death, and can only be stopped by another ninja!

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Unknown
Strangled With: Cord
Result: Fatal

Lucinda Dickey plays the aerobics instructor.  The setup for this scene has her paying a visit to the police station to look for someone.  After talking to the desk clerk, she sees one of the cops who shot the ninja who’s spirit has invaded her body – we’re shown a flashback of the shooting.  The cop strolls out of the station while arm-in-arm with two women.  Lucinda follows them out and to a nearby spa.  A moment later, she’s wearing a robe and carrying some towels to their room.  By now, the cop and both women are already enjoying each other in a jacuzzi when the brunette gets out to retrieve the greet who she thinks is an employee of the spa.

After setting the towels down, Lucinda disrobes to reveal a one-piece bathing suit.  The cop is mesmerized but the women are quite put off.  Lucinda steps into the jacuzzi and starts making out with the cop. While he’s distracted, she pricks him in the back of the neck with her ring, poisoning him to death. Before the two women can react, she cuts one of them across the chest with the same ring. As the other woman tries to climb out of the water, Lucinda wraps a cord around her neck and pulls her back to the center of the jacuzzi, submerging her for added effect.  The woman dies a few seconds later.

Edits

I thought about removing the flashback to the shooting, but since it’s shown long before the strangling, I decided to leave it in for context.

Thoughts

My only complaint about this scene is that the woman who’s strangled screams far too much for such a quick death.  Otherwise, she looks damn hot struggling as we get a superb closeup of her perfectly lit, wet cleavage.

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Halloween (1978)

PLOT SUMMARY

Michael Myers has been in an institution since he was a young boy, after murdering his sister. Now he’s escaped and is heading back home to terrorise the quiet community which still remembers him.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: PJ Soles
Strangled With: Telephone Cord
Result: Fatal

PJ is filing her nails when Michael enters wearing a sheet and her boyfriend’s glasses. Unaware her boyfriend is dead, she asks if he got her the beer she asked for. After repeatedly failing to get a response from him, she gets out of bed and dials Jamie. As she’s waiting for Jamie to pick up, Michael sneaks up and attacks her from behind with the telephone cord. She’s dead within seconds, leaving Jamie to wonder whether she was faking her choking sounds before Michael hangs up the phone.

Edits

There are a few cuts to Jamie while PJ is being strangled.  I removed them all.

Thoughts

This is one of my favorite stranglings. PJ looks incredibly sexy with her top open and that cord around her neck. I especially love that she kept gasping even after she slid off-screen.

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Taking Lives

PLOT SUMMARY

A successful FBI profiler, Illeana Scott (Jolie), is summoned to help out Canadian law enforcement in Montreal, to hunt down a serial killer who assumes the lives and identities (hence the title) of the people he kills as he travels across North America, which forces Illeana to adjust to working in a strange city with a police team with which she doesn’t really fit in with.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Angeline Jolie
Strangled With: Wire Garrote
Result: Non-Fatal

This is the last scene in the movie.  After learning the hard way that they’ve been chasing the wrong man, Angelina decides to turn the table and use the killer’s (Ethan Hawke) own M.O. against him.  She has herself fired from the FBI and takes refuge in a farm home near a small town.

Six months later, she’s noticeably pregnant with his child (they fucked at about 3/4 into the film), before she knew who he was), and appears to lead an otherwise normal life.  Then, Ethan appears and tries to talk her into starting a family with him.  She refuses, and he starts lapping her around.  He knocks her to the ground and then orders her back up to try and persuade her one last time.  After she nearly vomits from having to kiss him, he knocks her down again and then pulls out his wire garrote.

He swiftly wraps it around her neck as she’s crawling away, and pulls her back up to her feet.  She begins to struggle before he assures her he’s not going to kill her and then spots a pair of scissors on a nearby dresser.  Unfortunately for her, he is quickly winning the struggle.  She’s able to grab the scissors while finally collapsing to the floor, and eventually kills him with them.

Edits

I removed a small chunk of their one-sided conversation after Ethan takes a seat at the table.  The dialogue hindered the scene’s pacing and was boring me.

Thoughts

The strangling was pleasantly long.  Angelina did a pretty decent job.  I have to admit, it was a bit surrealistic seeing Ethan Hawke play a bad guy, but he pulled it off well. 

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Girl House

PLOT SUMMARY

A HALLOWEEN-style slasher for the digital age, it follows a beautiful young college student who, needing money for tuition, moves into a house that streams content to an X-rated website. After a deranged fan hacks in to determine the house’s location, she finds herself in a terrifying fight for her life.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Chasty Ballesteros
Strangled With: Tourniquet
Result: Fatal

Description

Chasty pays a drug addict who sweet-talks her way back into the house after a rehab stint.  Later in the movie, the killer finds her shooting up and strangles her to death with her tourniquet.

Edits

The clip starts at the moment we see her cooking up a dose of heroine.

Thoughts

Nice scene.  So far, so good.

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Actress: Elysia Rotaru
Suffocated With: A Dildo and Packing Tape
Result: Fatal

Description

After failing to convince him to 20 20 minutes to finish and old B&W movie before they fuck, Elyia’s boyfriend manages to seduce her into heading off to her room.  Shortly after they start going at it doggy-style, her boyfriend sees the killer standing in the corner and tells him to watch online like everybody else.  The killer storms toward them and knocks him against a wall.  He then grabs Elysia, rams a large dildo down her throat, and seals it in with packing tape, covering her nose in the process.  Her hands get caught in the struggle, further immobilizing her.  With her taken care of, the killer resumes his attack on her boyfriend.

At this point, the camera spends most of its time on thse two, but gives us a couple of good shots of Elysias fighting to breath.  It also cuts twice to another girl next door who decides to personally ask them to tone down the noise.  Unfortunately for us, Elysia dies off-screen, but we are treated to a wide shot of her corpse as the other girl opens the door.  The sound she heard from the other side was the killer sawing the boyfriend’s head off.

Edits

I removed all of the cuts to the boyfriend after the initial attack, and the cuts to the girl working out next door.  Later in the movie, one character examines various webcams on a monitor, and zooms in on a shot of Elysia’s body as shown from the webcam on her night stand.  As a bonus for the clip, I grabbed a frame from that shot and added it to the end of the clip.

Thoughts

This, for me, is the best of the three surprisingly good scenes in the movie, despite the fast pacing and focus on the boyfriend.  Elysia’s performance and panic-stricken expression are fantastic.  She’s also drop-dead gorgeous, and topless.

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Actress: Alyson Bath
Suffocated With: Plastic Bag
Result: Fatal

Description

Earlier in the movie, Alyson’s character is taken by surprise during a webcam session.  After ending a session with a client whom she believed was pranking her by trying to warn her about the killer, she sees the killer’s reflection in her computer monitor and is subsequently beaten and tortured.  Later, after being left beaten and bloodied, she’s shown trying to get help with her laptop.  The killer returns and chops off her fingers.

At one point, the heroine (Ali Cobrin) is shown looking for Alyson, and finds her.  Alyson begs her to kill her, but Ali insists everything will be ok.  Ali then leaves her to go find help.  a couple of scenes later, Alyson retrieves a plastic bag fro her closet and suffocates herself with it.

Edits

Most of Alyson’s beating was filmed from the client’s POV so I opted not to include it.  The clip starts with Ali finding Alyson.

Thoughts

My only nitpick here is how quickly she dies, given how inflated the bag looks even after she draws the strings closed.  Otherwise, this scene makes it 3 for 3 on asphyx content.  Very nicely done indeed. 

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Actress: Alyson Bath
Strangled With: Bare Hands
Result: Non-Fatal

Description

We’re at the tail end of the movie now, and Ali is in a pitch-black basement watching for the killer with a camera in “night vision” mode.  Moments later, he’s shown coming down the stairs and wandering blindly in the dark.  Ali waits for an opportunity to strike, and then lunges at him with a broken pool stick, stabbing him in the gut.  He yanks it out, angrily retaliates, and trips on something in the process.  Ali tries to run away, but is tripped herself when he grabs her ankle.  She then tries to claw her way back to the camera, but to no avail.  He climbs on top of her and begins throttling her with his bare hands.

During the several-second long struggle, she reaches for and manages to grab the camera.  She knocks him over the head with it, sending her flying back off of her.

Edits

None needed.  The clip ends right after Ali knocks the killer off of her.

Thoughts

4 for 4.  Damn.  Talk about a lucky break, and a few bucks well-spent.  During the struggle, we’re shown a couple particularly nice shots of Ali through the camera’s viewfinder, still in “night vision” mode. 

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Departed, The

PLOT SUMMARY

Two just-graduated officers from Massachusetts State Police Academy follow opposite sides of the law: William Costigan is assigned to work undercover with the Irish mobster Frank Costello to get evidences to arrest him. His true identity is only known by his superiors Dignam and Oliver Queenan. The protégée of Costello, Colin Sullivan, is promoted in the Massachusetts State Police and is the informer of Costello. Each police officer gives his best effort trying to disclose the identity of the other “rat”.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Sarah Fearon
Strangled With: Black Cord
Result: Fatal

Sara opens her bathroom curtain and is strangled from behind by her husband (Ray Winstone).  The scene is 2 seconds long and shown as a flashback in the movie.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

What a waste of potential.  Excellent scene, otherwise, and Sarah looks damn hot in that underwear and robe.

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Body Double

PLOT SUMMARY

A young actor’s obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

More Information:IMDb

Actress: Deborah Shelton
Strangled With: Phone Cord
Result: Non-Fatal

Craig Wasson plays Jake Scully, a struggling actor who comes home to find his girlfriend with another man and has to find a new place.  Between his acting workshops and his role in a vampire B-movie, he scans the paper looking for anything.  He happens to meet a fellow actor who needs a house sitter.  Both are pleased with the arrangement that will have staying in the house, to sweeten the deal, Frank shows him his ‘favorite neighbor’, a sultry looking woman who strips with her window open each night.  When Jake witnesses a murder, the police try and pin the crime on him.  During the investigation, Jake discovers that there are several coincidences between the murder and his actor friend, but must hunt them down himself, without the police.

In this scene (the murder), Jake is watching the woman’s house through Frank’s telescope when he sees an intruder casing the wall safe in her bedroom.  He then sees the woman (Deborah Shelton) return home and heads upstairs to slip into something more comfortable.  As she enters her bedroom, Jake pans back and forth between her and the intruder.  He tries to phone her and warn to get out of the house, but it’s too late.  The moment she picks up the phone, the intruder grabs it and starts strangling her with the phone cord, lifting her off the floor during the attack.  Unfortunately, she gets the upper hand, kicks him in the shin, and they both fall back onto her bed.  Later in the scene, she’s finally killed off-screen when the intruder uses an industrial-sized drill on her abdomen, impaling her and drilling a hole in the floor in the process.

Edits

During the scene, there are several cuts to Jake trying to call her.  I removed all of them.

Thoughts

Though non-fatal, this is a fantastic scene.  We get a couple of beautiful close-ups of her feet (clad in snakeskin, peep-toe, slingback heels) as she’s lifted off the floor and starts kicking during the struggle.  My only criticism is how weak the thief is when she retaliates.  One kick to the shin and they’re on the bed?  :: roll eyes ::

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Blow Out

PLOT SUMMARY

This stylish Brian DePalma thriller plays off the theme of the unsuspecting witness who discovers a crime and is thereby put in grave danger, but with a novel twist. Jack is a sound-man who works on “Grade-B” horror movies. Late one evening, he is “sampling” sounds for use in his movies, when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he doesn’t know who he can trust.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Deborah Everton
Strangled With: Wire Garrote
Result: Fatal

This is the second strangling in the movie and takes place in what I believe is Grand Central Station.  It opens with John Lithgow reading the latest headline about his murderous exploits while eavesdropping on a hooker (Deborah) and a Navy sailor on leave haggle over the price of a blowjob.  Lithgow then starts fidgeting with his watch garrote as they agree on a price.  Afterward, he follows her to a row of phone booths and pretends to make a call while he waits for her and the sailer to finish up.  The rendezvous abruptly turns sour, and she’s left trying to collect herself.  John gets her attention through the row of booths and offers $50 for the same action.  She agrees, motions him to give her five minutes, and then heads for the bathroom.

John follows her in and quietly takes a position in an adjoining stall as she starts brushing her teeth.  He pulls out his garrote and wraps it around his gloved fingers.  The camera shows a few close-ups between Deborah brushing and Lithgow waiting for his moment to strike.  Deborah senses something isn’t right, and when she looks up, is unable to react before John snares her.  In one smooth, deft move, he wraps his garrote around her neck and lifts her off the ground.  The camera then cuts to a close-up shot of her feet from outside the stall door as she starts furiously kicking.  The camera slowly pulls back to a wide shot of her feet from across the bathroom as she dies, and then lingers for a moment as they dangle mere inches above the floor.

Edits

There’s a brief shot of the sailer and his friends hanging out together after he and Deborah finish negotiating the price of the blowjob he wanted.  I removed it.  No further editing was necessary.

Thoughts

This is one of the best stranglings I’ve ever seen.  As a foot fetishist, the long shot of her feet after the initial attack made up for the lack of any more shots of her expression during the struggle.  My imagination has always filled that gap.  If I had a top 5 list of favorite stranglings, this scene would be on it.  I remember buying this on VHS what seems like eons ago now, and the excitement I felt upon learning it was on DVD.  I ordered a copy that day, and have never been happier to have this scene in widescreen.

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