4.8/10
1,502
50 user 65 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
The Incubus (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 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 | 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
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Through the reflection in the mirror, a girl witnesses her mother's boyfriend's murder.

Director: Ulli Lommel
Stars: Suzanna Love, John Carradine, Ron James
Nightmare (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 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
The Slayer (1982)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Two couples become stranded on a rugged isle, and are haunted by a supernatural beast, drawn to the wife of one of the couples, who dreams of its killings.

Director: J.S. Cardone
Stars: Sarah Kendall, Frederick Flynn, Carol Kottenbrook
Madhouse (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A woman is pursued by her murderous, psychopathic twin sister in the days leading up to their birthday.

Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis
Stars: Patricia Mickey, Michael MacRae, Dennis Robertson
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A strip-joint owner and a manicurist find that they have many things in common, the foremost being that they are psychotic serial killers. They fall in love and are happy being the family ... See full summary »

Director: Gorman Bechard
Stars: Carmine Capobianco, Patti Chambers, Carla Bragoli
Unhinged (1982)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Three young women who crash their car during a rainstorm are taken in by a bizarre family at their large, rural estate.

Director: Don Gronquist
Stars: Laurel Munson, Janet Penner, Sara Ansley
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

While trying to understand a frightening reoccurring nightmare, a pledge is coaxed into breaking into her father's department store by her sorority sisters, where a deranged killer targets the girls and their boyfriends.

Directors: Larry Stewart, Peter Crane
Stars: Vera Miles, Clu Gulager, Daphne Zuniga
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
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An orphaned teenager finds himself being dominated by his aunt who's hell-bent on keeping him with her...at all costs.

Director: William Asher
Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson
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 »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

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

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

Taxi Driver has a disturbed Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle who tries to assassinate the president and goes on a killing spree at the ending. 1980's Don't Answer the Phone has crazed Vietnam Vet Kirk Smith stalking and murdering the women of Los Angeles. Also Christopher Walken's disturbed and suicidal Nick in the Deer Hunter winds up killing himself and endangering the people around him. And Sylvester Stallone's John Rambo in First Blood gets into a conflict with several locals and law enforcement officials; ends up going into crazy Vietnam flashbacks and winds up killing most of the town. All of this can be seen as part of the dangerous Vietnam Veteran Trend. In the 1970s, (and the early 80s); as the Vietnam War ended and the veterans came home and re-entered society, there was a fear that the veterans were disturbed, dangerous; might be a threat to society. This was a reflection of our overall ambivalence about the war in general. One of the outgrowths of these negative attitudes was that Vietnam Veterans were often portrayed in movies as dangerous, and self-destructive psychopaths. Taxi Driver, Don't Answer the Phone; First Blood and Deer Hunter were all part of this trend. This trend flip flopped in the mid to late 1980s where Vietnam Veterans were now being deified in the movies. Where John Rambo was a psychopath in First Blood Part 1; in Rambo: First Blood Part 2 he is enlisted by his sergeant Richard Crenna to go on a mission back to Vietnam to save POWs that are still trapped there. He goes from misunderstood Frankenstein-Psychopath in part 1, to hero in part 2. Arnold Schwartzenegger's Commando was another Vietnam Hero in the eighties; trying to save his daughter Alyssa Millano, who has been kidnapped by terrorists. Good Morning Vietnam has DJ Robin Williams entertaining the heroic soldiers of the Vietnam war; Born On the Fourth of July has Tom Cruise portraying an almost Christ-like paraplegic War Veteran Ron Kovic and his transition from from soldier to protester. And on television in the 1980s we had China Beach; which had Dana Delaney and the other heroic nurses of the Vietnam war dealing with the war and it's traumas. The transition in movies from Psychotic Kirk Smith in 1980s Don's Answer the Phone; to the saintly Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July nine years later is staggering; and suggests the dramatic transitions in society's attitudes towards the war during that period. 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 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 Video Nasties: Draconian Days (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Worth a Look
19 December 2005 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Don't Answer the Phone is yet another film from the late 70s and early 80s about a psychotic, demented, socially awkward killer who brutalizes women because of his "problems" - whatever those problems might be. This time around we have a muscular, fat Vietnam vet who was never good enough for his father butcher pretty girls just after they have stripped from their little clothing. Nicolas Worth plays the wheezing, maniacal killer with a bizarre almost interesting quality. He is not a good actor yet is able to hold your attention throughout. I wish I could say something pleasant about the rest of the cast, but none of the rest are very competent. The police detectives who are looking for Worth - one which falls in love with the pretty radio psychiatrist that can shed light on the killer's identity - were particularly bad. The girls are pretty but the misogynistic flair devoted to their deaths is particularly degrading and unpleasant. The film is at least not overtly gory and had me interested until the end. The story was compelling enough and Worth is worth a look if nothing else.


14 of 21 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 Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed