Crown International Pictures was always a company I loved. For those unfamiliar think Cannon only more Grindhouse style. They had a hell of a run putting out everything from sex romps to slashers. One of the bigger, or at least more well know titles has always been a personal favorite of mine, Don’t Answer The Phone. A sleazy, slasher film from 1980.
It’s the story of Kirk Smith a Vietnam Vet/Bodybuilder/Photographer, who, when he’s not taking adult photos decides to practice his own religion, talk to his dead dad, and kill women then rape them, in that order. Actually sometimes it’s is a before and after, and during come to think of it. As this takes an emotional toll on him he decides to call into a radio psychologist Named Dr. Gail. He is clearly insane, complaining of head trauma, and blackouts. One night he even murders a girl while talking on the phone with the Dr.
As the body’s are piling up 2 detectives are put on the case and one soon becomes romantically involved with Dr. Gail, who has been targeted by Kirk as his next victim.
I watched this again last night and I must say it is still a fantastic film top to bottom. The acting is really well done and it has that nice not too creepy, not to sleazy feel. Plenty of blood for the gorehouds and that nice touch of 80’s slasher nudity.
The final act featuring Smith and Dr Gail alone in her house while he terrorizer her is still just as effective today. It’s actually a scene that has been copies countless times over the years. The tension and acting during this act alone make this a must watch film.
I watched this on VHS back in the day, but now Vinegar Syndrome has acquired the rights and have released it on a Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and like all there releases the quality both in video and audio are fantastic. The blue colors and the dark scenes play out especially well and the 4K transfer just further adds to the suspense. As its from Vinegar its also loaded with special features. Take a look
• Scanned and restored in 4k from recently discovered 35mm original negative
• All extras included on both Blu-ray and DVD
• Commentary track with writer / producer / director Robert Hammer
• Director introduction
• “Answering the Phone” video interview with star Nicholas Worth
• “For What It’s Worth” career retrospective with Nicholas Worth
• Isolated soundtrack by composer Byron Allred
• Original theatrical trailer
• Multiple TV spots
• Promotional still gallery
• 16 page booklet with essay by Michael Gingold
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH Subtitles
This is a must own for any horror fans collection
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars