Hammer House of Horror: Season 1, Episode 7

The Silent Scream (25 Oct. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Horror | Thriller
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 234 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

When Chuck Spillers is released from prison, he tells his wife Annie that he had been visited by an old man, Martin Blueck, along his sentence for robbing a safe, and Blueck had given some ... See full summary »

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Title: The Silent Scream (25 Oct 1980)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Martin Blueck
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Chuck Spillers
Elaine Donnelly ...
Annie Spillers
Anthony Carrick ...
Det. Sergeant Aldridge
Robin Browne ...
Police Officer
Terry Kinsella ...
Lionel
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When Chuck Spillers is released from prison, he tells his wife Annie that he had been visited by an old man, Martin Blueck, along his sentence for robbing a safe, and Blueck had given some money for him to help a fresh start in life. On the next morning, Chuck pays a visit to Blueck in his pet shop to thank the support and is invited to work for him feeding his animals in his private zoo while he is traveling. Blueck explains that he trains animals, conditioning then to obey some signals. A couple of days later, Chuck sees a safe in the store, and decide to open it, being trapped in a weird situation and disclosing the truth about the sadistic Blueck. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Drama | Horror | Thriller

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25 October 1980 (UK)  »

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Old-fashioned Hammer Greatness!
8 December 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Of all thirteen Hammer House of Horror episodes, "The Silent Scream" is the one I've been looking forward to seeing the most, understandably because it stars horror legend (and Hammer veteran) Peter Cushing as well as a rather young Brian Cox. All episodes are worth watching, of course, but the presence of two major stars like these always raises your expectations! And with good reason, as "The Silent Scream" is by far the scariest and most intense tale of the entire series! It's a disturbing story with several nail-bitingly creepy sequences and possibly the freakiest climax ever. Brian Cox, still in an early phase of his career here, plays a man freshly released from prison and returning home to his wife. To earn some money, he goes to see a peculiar old pet store owner (Peter Cushing) who frequently came to visit him in prison. The old man, Martin Blueck, offers him a job as feeder of his collection of wild animals he experiments with in the basement. Blueck is working on some sort of advanced guarding system with open cages that electroshock the animals when they come out before the correct bell signal is given. Chuck rapidly discovers that the old man is a sadistic creep who also intends to test his invention on human guinea pigs… Peter Cushing is simply amazing in his role! His character is purely evil personified, yet plausibly disguised as a fragile old man who seemingly loves all of God's creatures. But once he closes the doors of his store, he's a relentless and sick bastard who only cares for his cruel experiments. "The Silent Scream" contains no gory situations or special effects, but the suspense-level is almost unbearably high and constant. I certainly wouldn't recommend this short movie to people who suffer from claustrophobia, as they probably won't survive the 50 minutes of playtime. The script is horror in the purest meaning of the word, meaning that whenever you crave the good characters to get saved, something new and even worse happens to them. This eventually results in the aforementioned climax, which is truly astonishing. It's a fabulous entry in the series, presumably the best even though I still have seven more to see, nicely directed by Alan Gibson ("The Sadistic Rites of Dracula") and stating once more that Peter Cushing was an absolute master.


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