Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


SILENT MADNESS (1984). Director: Simon Nuchtern.

When the wrong man with a similar name is released from an institution, Dr, Joan Gilmore (Belinda Montgomery) realizes that a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic is on the loose -- although the administrators at Cresthaven mental hospital in Manhattan prefer to cover it up rather than deal with it. Meanwhile the deranged man heads back to a campus at the Barrington College for Women in upstate New York where he committed several murders years before with mayhem on his mind, and Gilmore follows, unaware that two sadistic security men from the hospital are following her and hoping to catch up with the maniac, Howard Johns (Solly Marx). Viveca Lindfors plays den mother Mrs. Collins, who turns out to be Johns' mother and who's been keeping some other secrets as well. David Greenan is the reporter Mark McGowan, who bonds with Joan, and Sydney Lassick is the fairly befuddled small town sheriff. The acting in this isn't bad, with professional turns from Montgomery, Lindfors, and others, and Roderick Cook is also notable as Dr. Kruger of the Cresthaven hospital. The film has some creatively ghoulish moments and a fairly exciting climax. Originally released in 3-D, which the film doesn't seem to have taken much advantage of.

Verdict: Creditable mad slasher film holds the attention. ***.

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