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Murder by Phone (1982)

A disgruntled phone company employee develops a device whereby those answering a phone can be murdered, and it's up to Nat Bridger to stop the killer.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nat Bridger
...
Stanley Markowitz
...
Ridley Taylor
...
Noah Clayton
Gary Reineke ...
Lt. Meara
...
Fred Waites
...
John Websole
James B. Douglas ...
Jack Gilsdorf
...
Fil Thorner
Neil Munro ...
Winters
Jefferson Mappin ...
Photographer
...
Detective Tamblyn
Colin Fox ...
Dr. Alderman
Luba Goy ...
Beth Freemantle
...
Connie Lawson
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Storyline

A disgruntled phone company employee develops a device whereby those answering a phone can be murdered, and it's up to Nat Bridger to stop the killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your phone can pierce your brain, explode your heart, and jolt you ten feet in the air! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hell's Bells  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 5,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(re-edited American) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Known in the UK as Bells See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Nat Bridger: I'll call ya!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pictures of telephones are displayed throughout the concluding credits, which finish with a telephone ringing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks: The Car (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
For whom the funeral bells toll…
15 March 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Bells" looks like an average and routine 80's slasher but you should know to expect a little bit extra from the talented director of "Logan's Run"; Michael Anderson. And indeed, only a couple of minutes into the film and already it turned out that my impressions and expectations towards this film were entirely wrong and I was in for a pleasant surprise. "Bells" isn't a teen slasher movie at all (despite the VHS cover art and the cheesy sounding alternate title "Murder by Phone") but a fairly well plotted thriller that even shows the ambition to question the reliability of gigantic enterprises and refer to government conspiracies. How many "Friday the 13th" rip-offs can righteously claim to have done that? Richard Chamberlain stars as university professor and environmentalist Nat Bridger who privately investigates the bizarre death of one of his former students. The poor girl turns out to be the first victim of a maniac who developed a method to kill people over the phone (!) by sending an extremely high level of voltage through the speaker. Don't ask me to explain the technical aspects, but the victims start to shake and bleed from eyes & ears before getting catapulted in the air by an explosion! Not exactly tasteful but original and very entertaining to look at! This killing modus operandi as well as the further development of the "whodunit" storyline is often very implausible and silly, but you easily look past these flaws simply because the pace is exciting and the suspense-sequences are extremely intense. The film's only real disadvantage is that the scenery has severely dated by now and that some of the observations in the script turned out very exaggerated (for example, the phone company tour guide's estimation that there will be 1.4 trillion phones by the year 2000). Perhaps, this even is a rare example of a horror film that would actually profit from a remake! I'm convinced that some of the nowadays scriptwriters can come up with nifty ideas when re-working this premise into a story that revolves on mobile phones, teleconference attributes or web cams. Class actor Chamberlain is adequate in the lead, but the best performances are delivered by Sara Botsford as his love-interest and Gary Reineke as the obnoxious police detective.


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