The Silence of the Hams (1994)
"Il silenzio dei prosciutti" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Thriller  |  11 March 1994 (Italy)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 4,037 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 7 critic

The federal agent Joe Dee Foster is currently investigating a serial killer, helped by doctor Animal who is isolated in a maximum security jail.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ezio Greggio ...
Lily Wine
Jane Wine
Det. Martin Balsam
Insp. Pete Putrid
The Ranger
Mr. Laurel
Mrs. Motel (The Mother)
Ranger's Wife
Andre Rosey Brown ...
Motorcycle Cop (as Rosey Brown)


A rookie FBI agent, Jo Dee Foster (Billy Zane), has been assigned to work on the case of the Psycho Killer, a killer who has killed over 120 people. But to find out more about the Psycho Killer, Jo is forced to meet Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza (Dom DeLuise), a famous doctor turned cannibal who ate pizzas with human body parts. Meanwhile, Jo's girlfriend, Jane Wine (Charlene Tilton), has just stolen $400,000 in cash from her money-hungry boss, Mr. Laurel (Rip Taylor), so she and Jo can be happy, but gets lost in a really horrible storm, caused mostly by a special effects crew behind her car, and stops at the Cemetery Motel, where the owner, Antonio Motel (Ezio Greggio), is dominated by his insane mother ('Shelly Winters'). Written by Will

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Slark, raving comedy.


Comedy | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

11 March 1994 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Silence of the Hams  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Even though the title of the movie spoofs The Silence of the Lambs (1991), almost the entire movie is a spoof the movie Psycho (1960). Both films were inspired by Ed Gein. See more »


Dr. Animal: What are you most afraid of?
Jo: Anchovies.
Dr. Animal: Good answer.
See more »


Spoofs Dracula (1992) See more »


Written and Produced by Chris Many and Geoff Levin
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User Reviews

Martin Balsam Amazes
7 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I can't think of another movie in which an actor replayed his most famous role...for laughs. Millions of people over several decades saw Martin Balsam as the Detective who Gets Killed on the Stairs in "Psycho" (1960). And here he was, 34 years later, playing his every scene from the original as a gag.

Unlike "Psycho" shower murder victim Janet Leigh, Balsam always refused to give interviews on his scenes in "Psycho," feeling it was given too much notice over his other films (he won the 1965 Oscar for "A Thousand Clowns.") I guess he was finally willing to revisit the detective -- for pay. Maybe it was revenge for Balsam to play the role in so bad a movie this time.

Yeah, "Silence of the Hams" is terrible, but as a film artifact, I find Balsam's appearance amazing. His physical appearance, too. He's a fair sight more elderly and frail in "Silence of the Hams" than he was in "Psycho," but he takes his staircase fall ("Again??!!") yet again with grace and humor. Intriguing: this was made by its star, Italian comedian Ezio Greggio, and Martin Balsam died in Italy about a year later. Balsam had appeared in many other Italian-made films. Was this film made in Italy?

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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