The uncle of an executed murderess relates four stories of his hometown, Oldfield, to a reporter: an elderly man pursues a romance with a younger woman, even to the grave and beyond...a wounded man on the run from creditors is rescued by a backwoods hermit with the secret to eternal life...a glass-eating carny pays the ultimate price for looking for love on the outside...and Civil War soldiers are held captive by a household of orphans with strange intentions for them. Written by
Brian J. Wright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jeff Burr was a young, new filmmaker when he boldly approached Vincent Price and asked him to star in his film. Price was so impressed with Burr's confidence that he readily agreed to take the role. His scenes for the framing story were the last to be filmed. See more »
When Stanley pours the champagne for himself and Grace at the funeral home, he is seen draining his glass. The next shot of the glass shows it filled again, and he never refilled it. See more »
One thing I've learned, my dear, is that one is never too old for nightmares.
See more »
Near the end of the credits, we are told "WHEN IN TENNESSEE VISIT OLDFIELD". Oldfield is not a real town. See more »
Opening with the execution of a serial murderessa scene which proves to be rather uncomfortable viewing thanks to its humourless approach and Jeff Burr's unflinching directionFrom A Whisper To A Scream is quick to establish its credentials as a nastier than average horror omnibus: this is not a collection of scary stories tempered by dark humour, but rather a genuine attempt to shock and horrify. And more often than not, it succeeds!
Vincent Price plays Julian White, the father of the executed woman, who recounts several macabre tales in an attempt to convince a journalist that his home town of Oldfield is a place of unparallelled evil.
The first story stars Clu Gulager as Stanley Burnside, a seemingly meek man who turns to murder after being spurned by an attractive co-worker. And then to make matters worse, he consummates his love with the poor woman's corpse, which results in the birth of a (laughably unrealistic) demonic child nine months later. Gulager gives a great performance, but the story lacks a suitably memorable ending.
Tale two is a much more successful effort, and sees trailer-trash lowlife Jesse Hardwick (Terry Kiser) mortally wounded by a pair of gun toting gangsters before escaping into the swamps, where he is miraculously nursed back to health by reclusive old-timer Felder Evans (Harry Caesar). When Jesse realises that Felder possesses the answer to prolonging life, he resorts to violence to discover the old man's secret, with terrible consequences. Well paced, with solid direction, excellent use of music, and a truly chilling ending, this is perhaps the best of the four stories.
Next up is a nifty tale of voodoo magic and forbidden love that sees carnival freak Steven (Ron Brooks) paying the ultimate price when he decides to leave the circus to be with his girlfriend, Amaryllis (Didi Lanier). A wonderfully splattery finalé makes this episode unmissable fun for gore-hounds.
The final story also features more than a touch of graphic violence, and stars Cameron Mitchell as a despicable Confederate soldier who meets a very nasty end when he stumbles across a town ruled by a gang of cannibalistic children. A thoroughly depraved piece of nastiness, with a brilliant central performance from Mitchell, this chapter features some of horror cinema's most fearsome kids (The Children of the Corn are nothing compared to these little monsters!).
Like many horror anthologies, From A Whisper To a Scream is a rather uneven affair overall, offering four episodes of varying quality, all connected by the rather unexceptional wraparound story. However, what makes this movie stand out from the crowd are its sterling cast, the solid direction from Burr (who gave us the unfairly maligned TCM sequel Leatherface), and a willingness to explore themes that many might consider taboo: this extremely warped collection of tales deals with such unsavoury topics as necrophilia, incest, child murder, and cannibalism, all of which go to make it perfect viewing for sickos like me!!!
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
14 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?