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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Silent Scream

Hey hey! Nope, I'm not dead, just been bombarded with appointments, Thanksgiving, and day-to-day hassles. It's probably just as well that The Silent Scream got pushed until after turkey per week is plenty! Anyway, on with the show, my fellow masochists! Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...blah blah blah, SPOILERS!, blah blah blah.

The credits begin by informing us that Rebecca's Balding. Now, either that's the name of the lead actress, or these are the bitchiest credits in movie history. Somebody send Becky some Rogaine, on the double!

Anyway, after the cast credits wrap up, the title splatters itself in our faces, complete with some comical, over-sized drips of blood. In the background, a police car is seen, along with another car driving close behind. In dramatic slo-mo. Yeesh!

Everybody from both cars arrive at a house that looks like it would be occupied by Holly Hobby, if she were a cannibal. They knock, then bust in and discover bodies and blood upstairs. And then they go bye-bye, with no further explanation of what we just saw. Genius.

The next scene opens on some of the butt-ugliest women of the 1970's interrogating students during a college admission/orientation day. Seriously, there was an outbreak of the fuglies when this sequence was shot! It's not all bad, though: this scene also introduces us to our lead character, a cute coed with the improbable name of Scotty Parker. Hey, even with the weird first name, I'll take her!

Scotty is told that there is no on-campus housing available, so she goes around the city to see if she can afford an apartment. After a montage of dead-ends and rejections, Scotty drives out to the beach, to look for a room at the house we saw in the opening scene. Run away, Scotty, run away!!

As she drives toward the house, Scotty nearly runs over a young man who has the same hairdo as her. Gotta love that decade! Scotty keeps taking her eyes off of the road to gawk at the house, and thankfully, no one dies. Yet...When she parks her convertible, she climbs the porch to the front door in massive, exaggerated steps, like an astronaut hopping around on the moon. Is ANYTHING in this movie normal?

No one answers the door, so she starts to leave. Someone coming up from the beach calls out to her, and we're introduced to Doris, who already has a room at the house. She looks kind of like the "Pat" character from SNL, but she seems nice enough. Oh, and Scotty also discovers that the kid on the bike that she nearly ran over is Mason, the teen son of the homeowner, Mrs. Engels.

After learning all of this, Scotty sees another car pull into the driveway. It's driven by a male student by the name of Peter, also looking for a room. They prepare to fight over it, until Mason reveals that there are enough rooms for everyone. Oh, and there's also a tenant named Jack, but we haven't met him yet.

Oh, and as Scotty looks at her new room, someone is seen peering in at her through a small vent above the bed. Jack? An intruder? Leatherface? Oh, I hope it's Leatherface! And, before I forget, Mason tells Scotty that the room used to belong to his sister. Maybe her ghost is still there...

Mason goes to his room, and removes his shoes before sitting up on his bed. He turns his television on and finds a violent crime drama to watch, then looks like he's ready to have an orgasm. HBO would give this guy a fatal heart attack.

Scotty finishes unpacking her stuff, then knocks on Mason's door to ask if there's somewhere she can put her empty suitcases. He suggests the basement, but Scotty complains that her luggage might get damp. Boo-friggin'-hoo! Mason tells her that she can put them in the attic, as long as she doesn't disturb his mother. Geez, maybe his name should be Norman...

Scotty enters the attic, which is like Ground Zero for creepy shit, and admires the view of the beach from one of the windows. She puts her luggage away on top of some boxes, and then meets Mrs. Engels, a stern-faced woman who just stares her down until she goes back downstairs. Creepy, but at least she's real!

Peter and Doris make small talk outside while waiting for Scotty to get ready for dinner, and a long-haired blond dude pulls up on a motorcycle. This is the elusive Jack, and he introduces himself to Peter. Mason watches them from the shadows, and he looks pretty angry. Then, when all 4 of the tenants leave for dinner, we get an unguided tour of the house, revealing secret tunnels behind the walls. At the end of the passageway, a hand is seen frantically trying to make an opening in the wall...and it finally succeeds. Uhhh, I'm going to predict that this is probably a bad development for our main characters.

At a local hangout, the foursome get drunk and goofy. Doris tells a funny story about how several of the girls at her high school got nosejobs from the same surgeon, who gave them identical noses. That stinks, huh? (Oh, stop rolling your eyes...I know some of you at least giggled a little, right?)

Back home, Doris and Peter have a drunken squabble on the beach, over whether or not they're going to have sex. Jack escorts Scotty to her door, and they share a kiss while Mason watches them. In a moment that has to be seen to be believed, Mason's not just peering at them through a crack in the door; no, his ENTIRE HEAD is visible when the camera reveals him. And the best part? He's making a face like the "sneaky snake" office character from MadTV. This movie is cinematic gold, my friends.

Doris and Peter realize that the tide has come in fairly quickly, meaning that they'll have to get their feet wet to get home. Doris swiftly removes her shoes and starts walking, only to realize that he's not following. She returns to the spot where he sat down to take off his shoes, but only his jacket remains.

Scared, Doris decides to make a run for the house, only to have Peter pop up and frighten her. He laughs at her, so Doris slaps him and continues to the house. Peter just laughs some more, then falls onto his back in the sand. He wakes up when the water reaches him and backs away to a dry spot, only to be stabbed in the chest several times by an unseen maniac holding a biiiig kitchen knife. The killer then hides the body beneath a large sand castle sculpture, leaving one blood-drenched arm visible.

An autopsy is performed on the body, and the 2 detectives who escorted the uniformed officers in the first scene are there to watch. The larger of the pair, Manny, looks like a portly Groucho Marx. His partner, Sandy, looks like any generic television cop from the era. They talk about the case, then Manny leaves to question the houseguests. Wait, is an announcer going to pop up and announce that this is a "Quinn Martin Production" soon?

Nope. Okay, so we return to the house. The interviews go nowhere, until Detective Sandy talks to Mason. They discuss the tenants, his mother...and his mysterious sister. Despite his creepiness, the cops leave. Then he and his mother have a very brief, tense chat. Upset, Mason opens up a chest filled with his late father's belongings, and paws through all of it.

On the college campus, Scotty bumps into Jack. They start out flirting, until Jack suggests that they go for a swim later, on the beach where Peter was slaughtered. Scotty is understandably upset by his nonchalant attitude regarding the murder, but ends up going with him. In what universe does this seem like a good idea?

On the bright side, she looks great in a bikini. Too bad Peter towels her off like he's punching a side of beef. Meanwhile, the detectives are pressured to solve the murder quickly, by the victim's father. Then Scotty and Peter make out on the beach.

Mason finds the rapiest movie on the Rape Channel to get off on, while Scotty reads before bed. After another brief cop chat about a rape, Scotty finds Doris doing some laundry. After Peter sneaks up and scares her, Marty and he decide to snuggle.

While sitting with her laundry, Doris hears a noise. She explores the rest of the basement, and hears her friends having sex via one of the air vents. Their sounds of passion cover up her murder, which makes zero sense to me. But at least we know that Jack isn't the killer!

He returns to his own bedroom after the lovemaking, and puts on some headphones bigger than his own head, to listen to music(or signals from a distant planet, if the size of them is a factor in their signal strength...) Then the crazy, not-dead daughter is shown watching her mother sleep, posing in front of a mirror, and interacting with a corpse that I think is supposed to be Doris.

Scotty goes looking for Doris, but ends up wandering throughout the creepy house in the dark. She finds the secret passage, and is assaulted by the crazy sister, which wakes up the rest of the household. Mama and Mason hold down Scotty to silence her, as Peter goes in search of the source of the earlier noise.

Peter leaves the attic to look elsewhere for Doris and Scotty, and the Engels' panic over what to do. Oh, and the sister's name is Victoria. We find out in a flashback that Victoria tried to hang herself. Oh, and that Mason is her son. Ummmm.....okay.....?

Mason freaks out, leaves the attic, and knocks out Jack. Then he grabs his grandfather's military pistol. At about the same time, our lunkheaded detectives discover the truth, and race off to rescue Scotty and Jack. This is turning into a soap opera now!

Wait. It gets better. Mason returns to the attic, but now he thinks that he's his own father/grandfather, and is dressed in the military uniform. He decides to shoot Scotty, but he and his mother struggle over possession of the pistol. Several shots are fired harmlessly around the room, but the last one hits Mason's mother.

Mason approaches the body, then his real mother stares at poor, innocent, tied-up Scotty. Crazy Mama II picks up the butcher knife she used on her other victims, and creeps toward Scotty. Then, in maybe one of the few grimly funny bits in this monstrosity, she sets her sights on Mason instead, and makes a beeline for his back.

Scotty tries to shout a warning to him through her gag("Mmmmmphnnn!"), and he turns around, but his gun is now empty. He backs away to reload it, shoots Victoria, then kills himself with a bullet to the brain.

Jack comes to, just as Scotty frees herself. Then Victoria pops up again, and tries to finish off Scotty, who just barely bars her striking knife by slamming a door between them. Victoria bursts in at the exact moment that Jack breaks into the attic, and the 3 just stare at each other for a second or two.

Then Scotty pushes her into a wall, and the knife goes into Victoria's abdomen. The cops "rescue" Scotty and Jack, and the end credits roll over an image of dead Victoria. THE END

Well. That was...a movie. Yup. Let's just give The Silent Scream a nice, average, plain 3. It was the slasher version of vanilla ice cream. I did like Scotty, though. Cute actress.

So, did The Silent Scream leave me with ANY wisdom?

-Sand castles don't cover up corpses very well.

-Horny guys will swim anywhere, even in the middle of a crime scene.

-If you want to commit a murder, wait for someone to start having sex first.

My next movie is a cheeseball movie from 1986, called Chopping Mall. Or sometimes Killbots. Whatever. It's goofy by any name. Later!