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SILENT MADNESS (director: Simon Nuchtern; screenwriters: Robert Zimmerman/William P. Milling/story by Simon Nuchtern; cinematographer: Gerald Feil; editor: Philip Stockton; music: Barry Salmon; cast: Belinda Montgomery (Dr. Joan Gilmore), Viveca Lindfors (Mrs. Collins), Solly Marx (Howard Johns), David Greenan (Mark McGowan), Sydney Lassick (Sheriff Liggett), Roderick Cook (Dr. Kruger), Rick Van Nutter (Dr. Van Dyce), Stanja Lowe (Dr. Anderson); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Simon Nuchtern/William P. Milling; Media (Almi Pictures Inc.); 1984)
At best, it makes you laugh at its ineptness.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A tiresome copycat slasher film helmed by Simon Nuchtern(“Savage Dawn”/”New York Nights”/”That Man is Pregnant!”) that was released in 3-D. Its tagline is “The screaming never stops.” The derivative pic steals its plot from Halloween (1978). At best, it makes you laugh at its ineptness. It’s based on the story by Simon Nuchtern, who co-writes the screenplay with Robert Zimmerman and William P. Milling.

Howard Johns (Solly Marx) is a homicidal maniac mute accidentally released from Cresthavenhospital because of a computer error. The crazed escapee heads to the same sorority house at Barrington College, of his past murders some twenty years ago. The pretty blond psychiatrist Dr. Joan Gilmore (Belinda Montgomery) from the NYC mental hospital unwisely takes off to the upstate NY small college town after Howard, while the revolting hospital administrators are busy trying to cover-up their mistake. Gilmore tries to act professionally but is reduced to a dim-wit, as she dumbly lures the dangerous maniac to her by posing as a sorority member. Meanwhile the graphic murders begin to mount in the sorority house.

In the flashbacks, we learn that previously the sorority sisters mistreated Howard by paddling him, which is supposedly the reason he went crazy. Howard now gets his revenge and starts murdering the sorority girls.

Sydney Lassick is the sheriff who fails to heed the warnings from Gilmore until the mutilated bodies start showing up on campus.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”