21 user 16 critic

Scared to Death (1980)

R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | March 1981 (USA)
An ex-cop, now working as a hack novelist, is called out of retirement to help investigate a string of deaths that appear to be the work of a serial killer but soon are revealed to be the ... See full summary »


William Malone


William Malone, Robert Short (story) | 1 more credit »
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Stinson John Stinson ... Ted Lonergan
Diana Davidson Diana Davidson ... Jennifer Stanton
David Moses David Moses ... Detective Lou Capell (as Jonathan David Moses)
Toni Jannotta Toni Jannotta ... Sherry Carpenter
Walker Edmiston ... Police Chief Dennis Warren
Pamela Bowman Pamela Bowman ... Janie Richter
Mike Muscat ... Howard Tindall (as Michael Muscat)
Freddie Dawson Freddie Dawson ... Virgil Watson
Tracy Weddle Tracy Weddle ... Kathy Sperry
Joleen Porcaro Joleen Porcaro ... Kelly - Victim #5
David Daniels David Daniels ... Michael, roller skater (as Joseph Daniels)
Stephen Fanning Stephen Fanning ... Scott, roller skater
Greer Justin Greer Justin ... Sandy, rollerskater
Johnny Crear ... Victor Colter
John Moskal John Moskal ... Police Lab Man (as John Moskal Jr.)


An ex-cop, now working as a hack novelist, is called out of retirement to help investigate a string of deaths that appear to be the work of a serial killer but soon are revealed to be the work of the Syngenor - the synthesized genetic organism! Written by Brian J. Wright <tyrannorabbit@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They wanted to create a new form of human life...They failed. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Syngenor (the name of the monster) stands for SYNthesized GENetic ORgansism See more »

Crazy Credits

[Before the film commences, this is placed across the screen] PROLOGUE: The events portrayed in the film, although fictional, are based on scientific fact. If they have not already happened, they soon could. Genetic engineering is real, and soon we may all have to deal with new values and definitions for life and death. See more »

Alternate Versions

A TV print that aired on USA Network included a scene not included on Media's VHS: a group of teens searching for their lost friend in a parking garage find her body hanging upside down much like a scene in Halloween (1978). See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

User Reviews

An uninspired man-made monster movie.
10 December 2017 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Rather than use his scientific genius to benefit mankind, a genetics expert creates a vicious synthesised life-form that uses its forked tongue to drain the spinal fluid of its victims. Why? I dunno… must've seemed like a good idea at the time, I suppose. Cop turned novelist Ted Lonergan (John Stinson) helps his police pal Lou (David Moses) to investigate.

This one starts out in classic B-movie monster mode with a naked blonde babe slipping into sexy, silky red underwear before becoming another victim of the Syngenor (Synthesised Genetic Organism). Its a fun, trashy way to kick things off, but the rest of the film offers very little to get excited about: lots of dull chit chat, a few gore-free deaths, and some roller-skating, all leading to the inevitable showdown between Ted and the incredibly slow moving H.R.Giger-style creature in a factory (an ending that might possibly have influenced The Terminator!).

Missable stuff, unless you absolutely have to see every movie inspired in some way by Ridley Scott's Alien.

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Release Date:

March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scared to Death: Syngenor See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA


Box Office


$74,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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