DIRECTED BY: Denny Harris
PLOT: College students rent rooms in a mysterious mansion by the beach only to find that the landlords are a tad invasive.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: The Silent Scream is not a particularly weird movie. Instead, it is a dated relic of the “Unusual ’80’s” horror movie phenomenon. The 1980’s produced a glut of highly conventional, large-draw slasher flicks such as Friday The 13th and the Halloween sequels. The decade also produced a couple of dozen unusual and distinctive efforts such as Fade To Black, My Bloody Valentine, Grandma’s House, and Motel Hell. Odd films like these dwell on a darker, more rarefied level, one that hasn’t been visited much in the intervening years. Newly released on DVD after 29 years, The Silent Scream is a noteworthy entry in this later category of period horror. Until last year it had been lost in the mysterious, silvery mists of screen-scream antiquity.
COMMENTS: Barbara Steele stars as the villain in this dated ’80’s American-made shocker. Good character development, strong performances, and relatively little gore distinguish this effort from the usual slasher fare.
Here’s the setup: Cute and saucy Scotty Parker (Balding) transferred to her university a couple of weeks late and missed out on the fun of bunking with a bunch of freaks she doesn’t know in the dorms. Challenged to find accommodations, she gravitates toward the old Engels house, a foreboding, sea-side edifice.
The creepy Engels place is run—on behalf of his very reclusive MOTHER! (De Carlo)—by a wrapped-awfully-tight, real-life Milhouse Van Houten character named Brad (Reardon). Brad harbors a wide variety of deeply seated personal issues. (Hey, who’s that looking through my air vent?) Three more hormonally bloated students sign rental agreements and the school year is off to a beer and bodily fluid saturated start. For most of them, that is. The fratboy/ Continue reading CAPSULE: THE SILENT SCREAM [AKA SILENT SCREAM] (1980)