Silent Scream [Import]
Young co-ed Scotty(Rebecca Balding The Boogens) is unable to find housing on the campus.She finds a vacancy at the Engels' mansion, now a boarding house for college students.Mrs. Engels (Yvonne De Carlo, TV's The Munsters) and her son seem nice enough, but it becomes clear to Scotty that something is not right at her new residence.When her fellow borders begin dying, two detectives (Cameron Mitchell Toolbox Murders and comedian Avery Schreiber, in a serious role) must solve the mystery of the Engels' boarding house before the body count rises. This Film was Number 1 at the Box Office in 1980.
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College student Scotty Parker (Rebecca Balding) is unable to find on-campus housing. As a result, she rents a room at the Engels seaside mansion, which has been turned into a boarding house. Three other students also rent rooms there. When one of them is found murdered on the nearby beach, the police (Cameron Mitchell, Avery Schreiber) begin an investigation - with a special focus on the Engels family - but can they solve the mystery before the other students meet the same grisly fate?
Barbara Steele delivers a terrifying, outstanding performance as the mute and disturbed Victoria Engels. Her eyes alone are enough to frighten you. Yvonne De Carlo, in her 50s at the time, plays her mother and also delivers a credible, albeit brief, performance. The pair is perfectly cast, due to both their talent and very noticeable resemblance.
Special features include the following:
* Mastered in HiDef from the Original InterPositive
* Brand New 5.1 Surround Sound
* Audio commentary with Writer/Producers Ken and Jim Wheat, and star Rebecca Balding
* Three all-new Featurettes: "Scream of Success: 30 Years Later," "Silent Scream: The Original Script," and "The Wheat Bros: A Look Back"
* Director Denny Harris' Final Audio Interview
* Theatrical Trailer
* TV Spot
I am definitely looking forward to owning this movie on DVD...finally. Many thanks to those who made it happen!
Silent Scream came out fairly early in the slasher craze, it was being made right after the original Halloween and had many scenes added and/or reshot over the next year. Amazingly, the film didn't end up a disjointed mess, but is a reasonably stylish, though slow moving, trip into the early days of the genre, before excessive blood and guts took over post-Friday the 13th. Rebecca Balding (The Boogens and t.v.'s Soap) is an engaging and cute lead, and unlike many of these types of actresses, she can act. Some of the supporting cast is not as good, but the worst offenders are killed by the 2/3 mark. Barbara Steele and Yvonne DeCarlo don't have big parts, but make the most of their screen time.
*** Spoiler ahead ***
Barbara manages to be quite scary in her part as a mute and very crazy daughter/mother/sister. The scene where she attacks Rebecca is really unnerving.
*** End of Spoiler ***
The print on the DVD is very good as is the sound for a low budget flick over 30 years old. The extras are great, especially the informative and amusing discussion with Rebecca and the Wheat brothers, who stepped in and re-wrote the script to make it salable. They went on to write Pitch Black and Nightmare on Elm Street 4 among others and they have funny anecdotes about this film and some of their others.
Though not in the same league as Halloween, the film is entertaining if you don't go in expecting excessive gore and a high body count, though the end turns deadly.