59 user 70 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.


Robert Hammer


Robert Hammer (screenplay), Michael D. Castle (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »





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


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 | Plot Synopsis


He'll Know You're Alone! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Gail Jensen, who plays the slim blonde model whose home Kirk Smith strangles after talking his way into her home by pretending to have been scheduled to photograph her, married David Carradine, and was his wife until she died from complications of alcoholism. See more »


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


Sue Ellen: Wow! So this is what a photographer's studio really looks like.
Kirk Smith: More coffee?
Sue Ellen: I can't believe I'm this lucky. I'm in LA two weeks and I get picked up hitchhiking by a photographer who needs a model. My friends back in Indiana are gonna be knocked out when they see me on the cover of a magazine! It's all like a dream to me, really.
Kirk Smith: Yes, it is like a dream. You know, sue Ellen, hitchhiking in California can be very dangerous. I think you should be careful, honey.
Sue Ellen: You're telling me! One guy stopped and...
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Crazy Credits

No music during end credits. 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.
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Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

User Reviews

DVD was cut
16 August 2001 | by lecblueSee all my reviews

Don't buy the DVD. It has been heavily cut. If you have previously seen this movie, the DVD will seriously disappoint you. Check your local video store for the original VHS tape if you want to your own copy of this film.

If you haven't seen this movie, rent it. It only appeals to a small group. It is standard fare of the late 70s to early 80's horror movies. Mindless killer terrorizes town (Hollywood). Police can't buy a clue.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hollywood Strangler See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scorpion Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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