4.7/10
1,058
49 user 57 critic

Don't Answer the Phone! (1980)

A deeply disturbed Vietnam veteran terrorizes the young women of Los Angeles and taunts a radio psychologist with descriptions of his grisly crimes.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Chris McCabe
Ben Frank ...
Sgt. Hatcher
...
Dr. Lindsay Gale (as Flo Gerrish)
...
Kirk Smith
...
Lisa
Stan Haze ...
Adkins
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 ...
Nurse
Deborah Leah Land ...
Police Woman
Tom Lasswell ...
Police Psychiatrist
Mike Levine ...
Gary Markov
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hollywood Strangler  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicholas Worth consulted a criminal psychologist to research his role as the killer. Moreover, Worth improvised a lion's share of his dialogue. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Lisa: Mom, Dad, the drugs are more important than you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Nicholas Worth is a genius
15 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was obviously meant to be a standard late-70s total-waste-of-time movie, an excuse to show topless women squirming and thrashing while being strangled, but Nicholas Worth turns it into a must-see. Actors-in-training and stage-vocalists, especially, can learn from his vocal prowess and from the way he uses his size. He is a huge, hulking basso with the ability to near-totally relax his inhibitions, and he uses his entire range, from resonant, snarling low tones, through a thundering midrange up to a piercing, blubbering whimper at the very top which has to be heard to be believed. He should have been an opera-singer. He could have sung Wagner.

The women dress beautifully in late 1970s casual summer-wear, and they get undressed equally beautifully by Worth's character, after (sometimes before) he strangles them to death. As the other reviewer said, James Westmoreland (Detective McCabe) and Flo Gerrish (Doctor Lindsay Gale) act extremely badly; however, Ben Frank (Detective Hatcher) delivers some very funny lines with excellent cheesy deadpan. Like when McCabe tells him that the killer has stolen some of the victim's clothes, and he replies: "That's great! Now we got him on petty theft, as well as murder!" Also, Chuck Mitchell, one of the few actors even bulkier than Nicholas Worth, plays a small part as a porno publisher. (If Mitchell looks familiar, it's because he played the Warden in PENITENTIARY and the title character in PORKY'S.)

These folks have created a masterpiece in spite of all their best efforts to the contrary.


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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
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Alex Jones would be awesome as Kirk Smith in a remake GreenGoatGhost
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