Monday, May 17, 2010

Silent Scream (1980)

From the golden age of slashers, the awesome 80s, comes Silent Scream, an intriguing film that features a stark raving mad Barbara Steele! I don’t know about you, but I’ve loved Barbara Steele ever since I saw her in Mario Bava’s black and white masterpiece Black Sunday, so she was pretty much the reason I decided to check out Silent Scream.

The story is relatively simple – spunky college girl Scotty (Rebecca Balding) rents a room in a gorgeous mansion overlooking the beach. Sure, the owners are a little weird – the geeky teen is always watching TV and his mom is a bit of a recluse – but her other housemates are loads of fun! The problems start when a mysterious killer starts offing the housemates one by one…can Scotty survive the slaughter or will she be next?

I really wasn’t expecting too much out of this film, especially since it wasn’t released on DVD until recently. While it isn’t the greatest film ever made, it certainly isn’t the most horrible. Though it contains some common cliches, it still manages to be fun and entertain…and isn’t that all we really want in a slasher film?

The thing that probably sold me the most on the film was “Final Girl” Scotty. She was just so down to earth and likable, and not even cheesy scenes featuring her and her hunky blond roommate getting down to awfully corny music could ruin her appeal. The other characters were all pretty likable, and eventually we even got to see the unhinged character Barbara Steele plays. It doesn’t seem she has that much to do in this film, but when she does she does it with aplomb!

I also appreciated how the film got things off with a bang by showing us the end of the film, when the cops storm the mansion to find a bloody spectacle on their hands. It definitely lent lots of suspense to the rest of the film as we are never quite sure if anyone will be left alive by the film’s end.

Speaking of grue, this film really doesn’t boast much in that department, though there are the typical stabbings and shootings. Nothing new there. However, I did enjoy the human sand castle scene!

Also stereotypical is the killer’s back story, though I still found myself enjoying it. I also enjoyed how the whole family got caught up in the madness and fell to their own demons.

Despite its flaws, I found myself thoroughly enjoying Silent Scream. It may not be the most original movie or the most suspenseful, but it sure was a fun way to spend an hour and a half…and Barbara Steele always makes everything better!

Available from Amazon!

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