4.8/10
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Don't Answer the Phone! (1980)

A deeply disturbed Vietnam veteran terrorizes the young women of Los Angeles and taunts a radio psychologist with descriptions of his grisly crimes.

Director:

Robert Hammer

Writers:

Robert Hammer (screenplay), Michael D. Castle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Westmoreland ... Lt. Chris McCabe
Ben Frank ... Sgt. Hatcher
Flo Lawrence ... Dr. Lindsay Gale (as Flo Gerrish)
Nicholas Worth ... Kirk Smith
Denise Galik ... Lisa
Stan Haze ... Adkins
Gary Allen Gary Allen ... John Feldon
Michael D. Castle Michael D. Castle ... Lab Man (as Michael Castle)
Pamela Jean Bryant ... Sue Ellen (as Pamela Bryant)
Ted Chapman Ted Chapman ... Man in Bar
Chris Wallace Chris Wallace ... Psychic Von Hammensveld
Dale Kalberg ... Nurse
Deborah Leah Land Deborah Leah Land ... Police Woman
Tom Lasswell Tom Lasswell ... Police Psychiatrist
Mike Levine Mike Levine ... Gary Markov
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Storyline

A deeply disturbed photographer and Vietnam veteran, named Kirk Smith, terrorizes Los Angeles by going around strangling lingerie-clad young women in their homes while taunting Lindsay Gale, a young psychologist, by calling her on a radio call-in show to describe his sexual hang-ups and misogynistic ways, while a local police detective, Lt. McCable, is always two steps behind in trying to catch the psycho. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RUN - if you must. HIDE - if you can. SCREAM but ... ... He'll Know You're Alone! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hollywood Strangler See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pamela Jean Bryant, who plays the aspiring model "Sue Ellen" whom Kirk Smith strangles after locking her in prisoner-transport shackles during a photo-session, appeared on a centerfold in Playboy. See more »

Goofs

The first blonde victim can clearly be seen to breathe after being strangled. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Chris McCabe: It's the strangler's M. O., all right, but now we know that he uses a stocking from the previous victim.
Sgt. Hatcher: Hey, that's great! Now we got him on petty theft, along with murder!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release from Rhino Video is censored, with all nudity and graphic violence removed. The old VHS release on the Media Video label is the uncut version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sick and Stupid
26 November 2003 | by GafkeSee all my reviews

If you are a hopeless misogynist, this is the film for you. If you enjoy seeing women abused, tormented, tortured, humiliated and finally strangled, with the camera right in their face so that you won't miss one single second of their fear and pain, then run right out and rent this movie. If you like cheap, porno movie soundtracks, complete with the early 70s wocka-ch-wocka riff, you'll love this film. If you admire poker faced heroines, whose facial expression NEVER CHANGES whether she's having sex, trying to save a suicidal girl or fending off a serial killer, then this film is a must-see.

This film could have been good. Maybe not great, but at least halfway decent. But that's what happens when you swap subtlety for unrelenting, in-your-face sadism: you get crap. Believe it or not, I do not NEED to see EVERY SINGLE VICTIM die a brutal, agonizing death. I'm perfectly happy with crime scene photos or an after-the-fact discovery of the body. I don't enjoy watching people being terrorized, crying while their clothes are ripped off and/or screaming in fear as they're slapped and called derogatory names while their incredibly disgusting assailant grins and laughs.

You know a movie is bad when the only halfway decent performance comes from the guy playing the killer. The rest of the cast are much like mannequins from the worlds seediest department store: they never come to life and aren't at all interesting. The entire movie appears to have been shot through the eyes of a nasty, dirty old man who never bathes and whose only girlfriend was inflatable. It's shamelessly filthy, ugly and cheap. A better title might have been: "Don't Waste Your Time."


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