"Silent Scream" DVD
If you're looking for
a movie about the evils of abortion, you're in the wrong place.
Despite the title, which I hope somebody knew was already taken,
this particular "Silent Scream" has almost nothing to
do with abortion, unless you're one of those who considers murder
an abortion, just in something like the eighty-eighth trimester.
Which is what will be happening out at a psychology professor's
vacation home, way out in predictably enough the middle of nowhere.
Because after all, if
this were in the middle of, say, downtown Cleveland, we'd have to
find a whole new set of excuses as to why the cell phones don't
work and the cops will never show up. Actually, with downtown Cleveland,
that may well be excuse enough.
But anyway--jokes about
Cleveland aside, we've got a whole bunch of vanishing psych students
and a whole lot of mind manipulation going on here.
And I'll confess. "Silent
Scream" starts out like any one of a hundred others before
it--horny coeds in the middle of nowhere banging each other's brains
out and then getting them cut out. Course, it really doesn't help
that the guy / girl ratio is already a lousy score--there's about
three girls shy of parity and one guy's getting a threesome. This
pretty much ensures there's going to be problems aplenty--small
wonder it's the guys who get the first kills.
Worse yet, the effects aren't exactly up to par, either. Check
out the guy in the yellow coat taking the hatchet to the forehead
from about fifty yards out. He actually reacts to it first, and
then gets knocked back. He LOOKS at the damn handle in his face
before getting knocked back!
There needs to be a class for filmmakers called "Physics For
Horror Movies" where you can learn that the force from that
kind of hit would knock your character back before they could look
at the handle in their head.
And yet, our parka-packin' wonder killer here has wildly better
efficiencies than Jason ever did. He racks up as many as six kills--one
is unconfirmed but pretty likely--in the first fifteen minutes alone.
Granted, that leaves pretty few people left to actually carry on
with the last hour of the movie, but still.
Also on the plus side for "Silent Scream" is that they
don't telegraph the punch very well. With a quarter of the movie
done, they've established at least three possible suspects for the
parka killer. As an extra added attraction, the disjointed nature
of the movie--normally a detriment--allows for the movie to actually
proceed in waves. The students arrive in two groups, so the second
set lands in the cowflop of trouble created by the first.
When I first saw the ending, I thought that it was actually going
to be the worst kind of cheat imaginable. And it was almost enough
to disgust me out of watching. At least, it was, until I kept watching.
What they've actually done with the ending is a surprising form
of twist ending that is very, very seldom used. In fact, the only
other time I've seen it used was in a zombie flick, 1980's "Nightmare
The special features include audio options, English and Spanish
subtitles, cast interviews, and trailers for "The Descent",
"See No Evil", "Dark Fields", "Zombie Nation",
and "A Dead Calling".
All in all, despite some issues with plot and special effects
work, "Silent Scream" is an excellent example of the early
to mid eighties slasher movie. It adds the "two-wave"
concept to the slasher genre, and this is a good addition, but the
extremely rare ending is "Silent Scream"s high point,
and this is enough to give it sufficient respect. "Silent Scream"
will definitely be worth watching.
Directed by Matt Kantu, Lance KR Kawas
Written by Lance KR Kawas
Starring Scott Vickaryous, Melissa Schuman, Shanti Lowry, Peter
Produced by Bob Brown
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