From a Whisper to a Scream – 6

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Director – Jeff Burr

Cast – Vincent Price, Clu Gulager, Terry Kiser, Harry Ceasar, Rosalind Cash

Release Year – 1987

Reviewed by John of the Dead

From A Whisper To A Scream is a film I had never heard of until recently, which grabbed my attention immediately given it is an 80s horror anthology, heavily complimented with a starring role from veteran horror actor Vincent Price.  While this watch was not nearly as great as I wanted it to be, it did come with some cool stories that were surprisingly brutal, a surprise I can always appreciate.Vincent Price stars as Julian White, an old historian residing in a sleepy Tennessee town.  On the night of his niece’s execution he is approached by a reporter seeking information on the town, and Mr. White obliges with four horrific stories of the town’s past.  One follows a lonely man who seeks the affection of a younger woman, even beyond the grave.  The next follows a man mortally wounded by loan sharks who comes in contact with an elderly hermit with the secret to eternal life.  After that we follow a glass/metal eating carnie who suffers terrible consequences for searching for love outside of the carnival, and lastly we follow a group of rag tag Union soldiers who stumble upon a village run by orphans with evil plans for the soldiers.

This film comes with some heavy flaws, but in this end I found this to be a borderline-positive watch.  The fact that Vincent Price would star in a horror film so close to his eventually death(in 1993) is a nice treat for us horror fans, and he of course delivers his role in excellent fashion.  The production value of the film is a bit lower than I expected, which was another testament to how cool of a guy Vincent Price is.  For a horror legend to accept a very low-budget job is a showcase of true character, and I respect Mr. Price highly for that.  It is rumored that Mr. Price accepted the gig simply due to the confidence no-name director Jeff Burr portrayed when he asked Mr. Price to star in the film.

While the production value is low, Jeff Burr’s direction is quite well done for the type of film this is.  We get good pacing, positive execution, and more gore and guts than I expected to see for such a film.  I will admit that the gore really does come out of nowhere, which makes for a shocking and fun experience.  Some of the acting is very questionable at times, but given this is a low-budget film it should just be expected and dealt with in a forgiving manner.

Story-wise I dugg the film, and I felt that each of the story had their own unique elements thrown in that separated one from another, and from other films with similar storylines.  The first story was a good way to get things going, and it even starred Clu Gulager in a non-traditional role of a sissy lonely man.  The second story was interesting if you are into the realm of voodoo and mysticism, and while the third watch was the weakest of the four entries, it still managed to provide some pretty horrific scenes and played on the love factor, something we do not see often in horror anthologies.  The final entry into the film was my favorite, and was of course the watch that provided the most horror.  I dig anything in horror having to do with the Civil War, and when you thrown in killer orphans who are expertly executed by the film’s director then you just up the awesomeness.  Of course, Vincent Price is used well as the film’s lead during the wraparound scenes, which provide their own story and come with a shocking conclusion you never see coming, but should have known to expect.

Overall, this is a flawed yet OK watch that provides some good horror at times thanks to positive direction.  The production value is low, and the acting is risky, but the stories come with unique ideas sure to keep the viewer engaged.

Rating: 6/10

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