Saturday, February 7

Silent Madness (1984)

Directed by Simon Nuchtern
93 Minutes / Media Entertainment / Cropped from 2.35:1 to full screen.

A homicidal nutter is mistakenly released from an institution and a resident psychiatrist (Belinda Montgomery) seems to the only one with any concern. The maniac travels north to his old "stomping" ground to resume the young girl flesh terror. On one of her hunches, the psychiatrist fakes being an ex-sorority sister in the hopes the missing patient will re-surface around a college he marked forever decades past. When he inevitably does, the good doctor finds that he isn't the only thing she has to worry about.

A very good slasher in need of rediscovery. Montgomery is a strong female lead and the rest of the cast holds their end up well. Inventive kills including axings, impalements, and head crushing all done by a believable mute psycho. There are a few dull moments, but I must say that I liked this more than My Bloody Valentine. Seek this one out before they remake it...?

A few notes about the VHS. It's terribly cropped. You can tell Nuchtern really used the entire 2.35:1 frame, as there are many instances of half faces and actors speaking to unseen others off screen. Simply awful, but the film is solid enough to endure this, especially if you're a slasher fanatic. Also the film was theatrically exhibited in 3-D and even though the VHS is "normalized" in 2-D, some shots still exibit slight bluish hues around edges of things on-screen.

Film: 7/10 (a good DVD with proper framing will awaken a new appreciation)
VHS Picture: 2/10
VHS Sound: 7/10

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