Night Screams (1987)


(director: Allen Plone; screenwriters: Mitch Bryant/Dillis L. Hart II; cinematographer: Eric Anderson; editor: Herbert L. Strock; music: Michael Linn; cast: Joseph Paul Manno (David), Ron Thomas (D.B), Randy Lundsford (Russell), Megan Wyss (Joni), Janette Allyson Caldwell (Lisa), John Hines (Snake), Diana Martin (Frannie), Jerry Goehring (Doug), Susan Lyles (Chris), Barbara Schoenhofer (Brenda), Dan Schramm (Mason), Mike Roark (Chuck), Dennis Arnold (Roger), Tony Brown (Runner); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Dillis L. Hart II; Image Entertainment (Prism); 1987)

Feeble teen slasher film that hardly merits a scream even if the body count reaches 15.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The tagline is “Tonight their cries will fall on dead ears,” for this feeble teen slasher film that hardly merits a scream even if the body count reaches 15. It’s poorly executed by director Allen Plone (“Sweet Justice”/”Phantom of the Ritz“), working from a story by Dillis L. Hart II and scripted by Hart and Mitch Bryant. The exploitation film includes not only gore but soft-core sex footage. The musical highlight is a Prince song delivered by the band called Dogs.

In Wichita, HS football star David (Paul Manno), on prescription meds for his anger management problem, wins a football scholarship to some university in Oklahoma. When his parents are out of town, Dave’s high school friend, D.B. (Ron Thomas), throws him a party at his parents’ remote country house. They invite the hot cheerleaders and a host of preppy teens. Also showing up and hiding in the cellar are gatecrashers Runner (Tony Brown) and Snake (John Hines), two dangerous convicts who escaped from a mental asylum and killed a cop.

The seniors get killed off one by one, as Mason (Dan Schramm) is impaled by a fireplace poker, Brenda (Barbara Schoenhofer) gets crushed underneath her car as the killer lowers the car lift, Doug (Jerry Goehring) is killed in the sauna as a light-bulb cable is tossed onto the hot stones, Chris (Susan Lyles) gets an ax to her head while lying near the pool, Frannie (Diana Martin) is electrocuted by the jacuzzi, Chuck (Mike Roark) is killed in the kitchen when his head is pushed into the grilling pan and he gets stabbed in the neck, and Lisa (Janette Allyson Caldwell) is strangled to death in the wine cellar. Snake finds Runner a bit disagreeable over the killings, so he places a plastic bag over him and suffocates him. When that’s not enough to kill him, Snake finishes the job by the use of a pool cue stick. It leads at last to a fight between David and Snake. But there’s a twist, as there’s a third psychopath hiding in the house, Joni (Megan Wyss). The nut-job has a crush on David, and when she shows how violent she can be she must be dealt with by David.

I’m sure I missed a few killings. I would also like to see a sequel that follows David’s college football career to see if the Dallas Cowboys draft him after college.

It’s worth checking out if you’re compiling a list of the most vile, not worst, slasher films ever.