Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blue Steele: The Silent Scream

Sometimes, obscure films can actually turn out to be good.  Given my track record, I expected very little here.  Today's film is The Silent Scream, a Slasher film made right before they all turned into Halloween clones.  I suppose that you could argue that they became Friday the 13th clones if you really want to split hairs.  This is one of those 'Let's make it a mystery' Slashers from the early days.  These are make or break films depending on whether or not the mystery is good.  On top of that, you need to make us care about the Characters and whether or not they live or die.  This film kind of lives or dies by that situation.  I applaud it for being different...but maybe don't love the whole thing.  Check out the story and decide for yourself, but do also make sure to read on...
In an oddly-arty moment, the film begins In Media Res by having the two Detectives- Cameron Mitchell and Mario- show up at the scene.  They don't reveal too much though.
Our heroine is a desperate new College Student who arrived too late to get Dorm Housing.  Time to stop at the creepy old house by the beach.  Is it also the last house on the left side of dead end street?
As it turns out, her and the three other victims...I mean, tenants are the prey for a mysterious killer.
To the film's credit, they kill off the most annoying character first.  I'd prefer that he wasn't here, but we can't all get what we wish.

After all, I'm not married to identical twins that look like Scarlet Johansen...yet.
The mysterious killer takes out another student.  Since the only one who's not the Final Girl or screwing her is this 'fat' chick, she's toast!  You clearly should have gotten a man- that way you'd live.
This was supposed to be part of Barbara Steele Week, right?  Well, she finally shows up about fifty minutes in and she's the killer.  Dun dun duh.
Here's what happened: she got knocked up, tried to kill herself and went insane.  When the state gave up on her, she ends up rooming with her sister and son, who doesn't know of the relationship.  Holy Jack Nicholson, Batman!

To make a long story short, she's nuts.
So is the son, who puts on his dad's fake Army uniform and tries to kill our heroine when she finds out the truth.  Oddly, he accidentally shoots 'fake Mom' and just kind of walks out of the film.

Seriously, he doesn't get killed!  That's one point for originality, I guess.
Steele actually has a great bit where she slowly stalks our heroine.  You can probably see where it goes, but this is the best part of the movie.  I won't SPOIL it here.  The End.
Honestly, I was expecting a lot worse.  As I said before, the film really lives or dies based on the characters and the mystery.  Let's discuss both, shall we?  The characters are pretty stock, but most of them get their moments to stand out a bit.  Our Final Girl becomes pretty assertive near the end, which is a nice thing to see.  Ultimately though, you may not care for them.  I sort of did.  The mystery is kind of a mixed bag as you never really believe it's any of the students are the killer.  Well, maybe the geeky guy who watches old Westerns and rape scenes in his spare time.  Seriously, they show a snippet of him watching a rape scene (just the build-up) and it just comes the hell out of nowhere.  It's much more about the mysterious entity in the house, which might be a barely-there Yvonne De Carlo.  Mind you, if you saw this as a Barbara Steele film and she didn't show up for forty-five minutes, you'd probably figure it out.  There's a neat twist or two to her character, but she never really talks.  It's a trade-off, I guess.  If you think that all Slasher films are the same, you deserve a chance to see stuff like this.  While it's not perfect, it is different.  Seriously though, that scene of him watching a rape scene...the hell?!?
Up next, a film that Netflix refuses to let me see, so I bought it for $1.50.  Is this truly the interesting version of Armageddon?  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment