Don't Answer the Phone

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Don't Answer the Phone
DAtP.jpg
Official poster
Directed byRobert Hammer
Produced byMichael D. Castle
Robert Hammer
Written byMichael D. Castle
Robert Hammer
StarringJames Westmoreland
Denise Galik
Nicholas Worth
Music byByron Allred
CinematographyJames L. Carter
Editing byJoe Fineman
StudioScorpion
Distributed byCrown International Pictures
Release dates29 February 1980
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
 
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Don't Answer the Phone
DAtP.jpg
Official poster
Directed byRobert Hammer
Produced byMichael D. Castle
Robert Hammer
Written byMichael D. Castle
Robert Hammer
StarringJames Westmoreland
Denise Galik
Nicholas Worth
Music byByron Allred
CinematographyJames L. Carter
Editing byJoe Fineman
StudioScorpion
Distributed byCrown International Pictures
Release dates29 February 1980
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Don't Answer the Phone! is a 1980 low-budget cult classic horror thriller film directed by Robert Hammer, written by Hammer and Michael D. Castle.[1]

Plot[edit]

Former Vietnam vet and photographer Kirk Smith is a crazed killer who stalks the streets of Los Angeles, picking up young women and strangling them in lurid fashion. He repeatedly contacts Dr. Lindsay Gale, the psychologist on a radio show. He targets Dr. Gale's patients, commits a murder while on the phone to her show (forcing her to listen to the victim's cries), and eventually goes after Dr. Gale herself. Two goofy policemen track him down.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Nicholas Worth won the Medalla Sitges en Plata de Ley for his role as Kirk Smith.[2] It was shot in and around Los Angeles, California.[3]

Soundtrack[edit]

The score was composed by Byron Allred.[4]

Release[edit]

Crown International Pictures released the film on February 29, 1980.[5] By the end of that year the film had accrued US$ 1,750,000 in distributors' domestic (U.S. and Canada) rentals, making it the year's 105th biggest earner.[6]

Vincent Canby in The New York Times felt the film was “a nasty, dimly executed exploitation movie about a psychopathic fellow who roams around Los Angeles strangling women with stockings and then mutilating their bodies. The performances are terrible, as are the writing and the direction…"[7] Paul Taylor in Time Out magazine called it “a routinely mindless sickie." [8]

Years after its initial release, the film's mainstream critical reputation continues to be abysmal. Michael Weldon, in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, noted, "If you like really sick films, see this one...The ads made it look like another baby-sitter-in-distress movie, but it's in a class by itself."[9] Phil Hardy's The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror described the film as "yet another woman-in-jeopardy movie...the covert suggestion that the female victims have 'asked for it' is particularly objectionable."[10] However, the review further observed that Nicholas Worth's performance as the lunatic killer was "so outrageously over-the-top, and so bizarrely eccentric as to be horribly fascinating and the final line of 'Adios, creep', delivered over a shot of Worth's corpse floating in a swimming pool, is curiously resonant."[10]

The VHS was released in the United States on 28 February 1982 by Media Home Entertainment.[11] The DVD was released in 2002 by Rhino Home Video[12] and re-released by BCI Eclipse on 10 October 2006.[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Don't Answer the Phone! Review (1979) - The Spinning Image
  2. ^ Anchorwoman In Peril!: Don't Answer the Phone!
  3. ^ PLANET OF TERROR!!: Don't Answer The Phone! (1980)
  4. ^ Review: Don't Answer The Phone DVD (1980) - Retro Slashers
  5. ^ Don't Answer the Phone!
  6. ^ Gebert, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Movie Awards (listing of 'Box Office (Domestic Rentals)' for 1980, taken from Variety magazine), pg. 355, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1996. ISBN 0-668-05308-9. "Rentals" refers to the distributor/studio's share of the box office gross, which, according to Gebert, is roughly half of the money generated by ticket sales.
  7. ^ Canby, Vincent (1980-08-09). "Don't Answer the Phone! (1980) PSYCHOPATHIC KILLER". New York Times, review dated August 9, 1980. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  8. ^ Taylor, Paul. Review from Time Out magazine reprinted in The Time Out Film Guide, Second Edition, pg. 191, edited by Tom Milne, Penguin Books, 1991. ISBN 0-14-014592-3
  9. ^ Weldon, Michael. The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, pg. 199 - 200, Ballantine Books, 1983. ISBN 0-345-30381-4
  10. ^ a b Hardy, Phil (editor). The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror, Aurum Press, 1984. Reprinted as The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: Horror, Overlook Press, 1995, ISBN 0-87951-518-X
  11. ^ Don’t Answer The Phone (1980) (a.k.a. The Hollywood Strangler)
  12. ^ EAT MY BRAINS! - Don't Answer The Phone Review
  13. ^ Don't Answer the Phone - DVD Drive In

External links[edit]