4.9/10
1,460
50 user 64 critic

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower.

Director: Joseph Ellison
Stars: Dan Grimaldi, Charles Bonet, Bill Ricci
Humongous (1982)
Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

The monstrous offspring of a violent crime grows up in seclusion on a remote island, where a boat-full of hapless teens have shipwrecked, unaware of what's lurking in the woods.

Director: Paul Lynch
Stars: Janet Julian, David Wysocki, John Wildman
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Four college students are stalked by an unknown assailant while staying on campus over the Christmas holidays to help clear out a dormitory which is to be demolished.

Directors: Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow
Stars: Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs, David Snow
Crawlspace (1986)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A man who runs an apartment house for women is the demented son of a Nazi surgeon who has the house equipped with secret passageways, hidden rooms and torture and murder devices.

Director: David Schmoeller
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Talia Balsam, Barbara Whinnery
Evilspeak (1981)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An outcast military cadet taps into a way to summon demons and cast spells on his tormentors through his computer.

Director: Eric Weston
Stars: Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joe Cortese
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady's friends.

Director: David Winters
Stars: J'Len Winters, John Kelly, Joe Spinell
Nightmare (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A mental patient embarks on a murder spree upon escaping from an institution.

Director: Romano Scavolini
Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

College student Beth and her sorority sisters are stalked by an escaped psychopathic killer who shares a strange telepathic link with her.

Director: Carol Frank
Stars: Angela O'Neill, Wendy Martel, Pamela Ross
The Nesting (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A writer suffering from agoraphobia rents an isolated house so she can concentrate on her writing. She doesn't know that the house is a former brothel, and is inhabited by the ghosts of dead prostitutes.

Director: Armand Weston
Stars: Robin Groves, Christopher Loomis, Michael David Lally
The Incubus (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A small town's doctor takes matters into his own hands after a series of gruesome and bizarre rape crimes perplex the clueless authorities.

Director: John Hough
Stars: John Cassavetes, John Ireland, Kerrie Keane
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A tough female reporter and her cameraman boyfriend team up with a four-man commando unit in the New Guinea jungle who are fighting flesh-eating zombies.

Directors: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso
Stars: Margie Newton, Franco Garofalo, Selan Karay
Bloody Moon (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Girls are killed at a language-school in Spain.

Director: Jesús Franco
Stars: Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Murder's just a phone call away ... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hollywood Strangler See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scorpion Releasing See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was inspired by a series of brutal murders that were committed in the 1970's in California by Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who were known collectively as the Hillside Strangler. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Lisa: Mom, Dad, the drugs are more important than you!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by around a minute by the BBFC with edits made to 3 scenes:
  • The murder of the woman in the bedroom lost all footage of her being bound and her nightdress ripped open (shots of her breasts being scorched with candle wax were not present in the original submitted cinema print).
  • The strangling of the model was heavily reduced and the shot of the killer placing a coin in her stocking was removed.
  • The killing of the prostitute lost a shot of a coin being placed in her stocking and tied. The UK Anchor Bay DVD reinstated the shot of the coin in the prostitute's stocking though the print itself had been pre-edited by around 4 minutes and the other original BBFC cuts were not available to restore.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Nicholas Worth is a genius
15 January 2010 | by theoshulSee all my reviews

This was obviously meant to be a standard late-70s total-waste-of-time movie, an excuse to show topless women squirming and thrashing while being strangled, but Nicholas Worth turns it into a must-see. Actors-in-training and stage-vocalists, especially, can learn from his vocal prowess and from the way he uses his size. He is a huge, hulking basso with the ability to near-totally relax his inhibitions, and he uses his entire range, from resonant, snarling low tones, through a thundering midrange up to a piercing, blubbering whimper at the very top which has to be heard to be believed. He should have been an opera-singer. He could have sung Wagner.

The women dress beautifully in late 1970s casual summer-wear, and they get undressed equally beautifully by Worth's character, after (sometimes before) he strangles them to death. (One of them is future PLAYBOY-centerfold Pamela Jean Bryant.) As the other reviewer said, James Westmoreland (Detective McCabe) and Flo Gerrish (Doctor Lindsay Gale) act extremely badly; however, Ben Frank (Detective Hatcher) delivers some very funny lines with excellent cheesy deadpan. Like when McCabe tells him that the strangler has stolen some of the victim's clothes, and he replies: "That's great! Now we got him on petty theft, as well as murder!" Also, Chuck Mitchell, one of the few actors even bulkier than Nicholas Worth, plays a small part as a porno publisher. (If Mitchell looks familiar, it's because he played the Warden in PENITENTIARY and the title character in PORKY'S.)

These folks have created a masterpiece in spite of all their best efforts to the contrary.


14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed