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Don't Answer the Phone! (1980)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  29 February 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 1,033 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 53 critic

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... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Chris McCabe
Ben Frank ...
Sgt. Hatcher
Dr. Lindsay Gale (as Flo Gerrish)
Nicholas Worth ...
Kirk Smith
Stan Haze ...
Gary Allen ...
John Feldon
Michael D. Castle ...
Lab Man (as Michael Castle)
Pamela Jean Bryant ...
Sue Ellen (as Pamela Bryant)
Ted Chapman ...
Man in Bar
Chris Wallace ...
Psychic Von Hammensveld
Dale Kalberg ...
Deborah Leah Land ...
Police Woman
Tom Lasswell ...
Police Psychiatrist
Mike Levine ...
Gary Markov


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. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


RUN - if you must. HIDE - if you can. SCREAM but ... ... He'll Know You're Alone! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hollywood Strangler  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All the shots of the killer on the prowl on the streets of Los Angeles were filmed without permits. See more »


The first blonde victim can clearly be seen to breathe after being strangled. See more »


Sam Gluckman: I want you to know something, officer. I wouldn't print anything like this. I mean really... candles stuck in all her privates? That's just sick.
See more »


References One of a Kind (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Groundbreaking PTSD Drama Still Shocking Today
19 March 2008 | by (Amityville) – See all my reviews

With the '07 passing of Nicholas Worth, we lost an actor whose work on Don't Answer the Phone (DATP) informed a generation of the dangerous psychological effects of war and the horrifying results of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in American troops.

Still as intense as when it was first released on the gritty 42nd street trash houses of the day, DATP, though dated in respects to its treatment of women and psychology, still delivers some hardcore death scenes, not to mention a "killer" (if not repetitive) soundtrack.

James Westmoreland (of "Undertaker" fame) leads a cast in what ultimately is the most scene stealing of his career (in that he has the most scenes, by number, than any other movie of his career). Here he is at his cheesy best.

In conclusion, the lesson of war's tragic effects continue to go unlearned by a society that will be host to many more young female victims, victims of cinema's PTSD wrath.

I weep for a better tomorrow but if our reality creates more cinema in the vein DATP, I welcome it with open arms.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Good 'n bad! Sro100
Book the film was based on rachaela
Not that bad. Ripe for a re-make SE7EN/Silence of the Lambs style TheScreenWatcher
This movie? big50701
Scorpion Releasing DVD poefan
Alex Jones would be awesome as Kirk Smith in a remake GreenGoatGhost
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