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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Hammer House Of Horror: The Silent Scream (Alan Gibson, 1980) (TV) ***
27 October 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

A very good episode with, for Hammer, an unusual sociological theme – revolving around an original (and fascinating) premise, where a system of 'prison without bars' is tried on an inveterate petty thief (played by a young Brian Cox). The identity of his deceptively sympathetic captor (the ever-reliable Hammer stalwart Peter Cushing in his final effort for the studio which made him famous) supplies a twist eventually which is, frankly, predictable…but, imbued with the star's idiosyncratic pragmatism and authority, the characterization is completely believable – chilling in its implications, but still essentially human. The pet-shop-housing-a-private-zoo setting adds flavor – and excitement – to the already tense proceedings (aided immeasurably by having two such powerful, yet totally opposite, personalities at work); along the way, Cox' wife and even a police sergeant become involved in the situation. Improbable though it may be, the final twist – in which Cox and wife discover they've merely exchanged one prison for another, with rescue a lot harder to come by this time around! – is a real beauty; this is actually followed by yet another involving Cushing's own ironic fate. By the way, the title refers to the sound-proof, electrically-wired booth in which virtually all the characters end up at one time or another. Director Gibson had helmed the last two sorry entries in the Hammer Dracula series; he proves more adept at dealing with psychological - as opposed to supernatural - issues.


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