Hammer House of Horror: Season 1, Episode 7

The Silent Scream (25 Oct. 1980)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 241 users  
Reviews: 9 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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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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25 October 1980 (UK)  »

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A strong episode of Hammer House of Horror starring Peter Cushing and Brian Cox
9 February 2015 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

The Silent Scream is the seventh episode of the 'Hammer House of Horror' TV series. It is one of the most prominent entries on account of the presence of Peter Cushing who starred in many Hammer feature films from the 50's through to the 70's. This was his last appearance for the studio and it's a pretty good swan song, seeing as he puts in a strong performance, playing a pretty sadistic character. The film is also notable for featuring the excellent character actor Brian Cox, who would of course go on to give the very first portrayal of Hannibal Lector in the 1986 film Manhunter. It's got to be said that this episode benefits greatly for having these two strong yet very different actors. It's certainly one of the strongest instalments of the series as a whole.

A convict just out of jail visits an elderly pet shop owner who used to visit him when he was inside. The old guy offers him a job looking after the selection of dangerous animals he keeps in his cellar by way of an advanced security system. Before long he too finds himself incarcerated and realises that the seemingly kindly old gent is far from who he seems.

Many of the other episodes in the series cover standard horror types and themes, this one stands out a bit and is more original than most of the others, in that its story is pretty odd. The idea of an underground zoo and the claustrophobic horror of imprisonment are strange bed-fellows and combine to produce a pretty crazy plot-line that admittedly requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. But it's quite inventively scary, with the idea of being imprisoned by a madman a somewhat alarming one. And of course, the strong leads help matters a lot too. This one, like most of the others ends with another decidedly nihilistic climax, which works very well for these short horror tales.


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