19 January 2015

SCREAM (1981)


Alternate Title:
The Outing

German Title:
Scream - Der Schock des Übersinnlichen

USA, 1981
Director: Byron Quisenberry


Before "Scream" there was... erm, "Scream"! Yes, one and a half decades before Wes Craven revived the Slasher genre with the outstanding "Scream" + three sequels, a young filmmaker called Byron Quisenberry already shot a slasher flick under the same title, which follows a group of stupid and unlikable friends on a rafting trip ("Deliverance" anyone?) who stop in an old ghost town to spend the night. What they don't know: there's a mysterious killer lurking in the dark, waiting to kill them all one by one...

Believe me: even though the premise sounds really awesome, there's a reason why this is one of the most unpopular 80s slashers, especially among die-hard slasher fans who frequently call it one of the worst slashers flicks ever made. I don't hate is as much as others do and think that films like "Berserker", "Hollow Gate" or "They Don't Cut The Grass Anymore" are way worse than this. Still, I have to admit: it's far from being good.

The entire cast is plain awful. None of the actors are able to deliver a somewhat convincing performance, not even veteran actors like Pepper Martin ("Superman II") or Hank Worden who appeared in 17(!) movies with John Wayne. As you can imagine, their characters aren't much better. From macho to annoying wisecracker, from old geezer to fat dumbass... no matter what cliché you're expecting, it's all in here *sigh*

Quisenberry's direction is horrible, the pacing is as slow as syrup, the story (which starts rather promising) ends as inept and completely incoherent mess, the script feels unfinished, all the kills are poorly executed, there's hardly any gore... hell, there's so much wrong with this movie, it's shocking. Why do I still give it a 3/10? Well, it has a very decent, slightly creepy synth score by longtime TV composer Joseph Conlan ("The Equalizer", "Simon & Simon"), the ghosttown looks bloody great and the weird opening with the butcher, baker & candlestick maker wax figures is somewhat really wow! Also, in some odd way, it's a really charming flick. I can't really describe why... it just feels charming.

As for the rest: meh, meh, meh. "Yawn!" would have been a better title. Only recommended to die-hard slasher freaks.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Oh btw, holy shit! Look at the German VHS cover (right) - sooo much more badass than the U.S. VHS cover (left)!


  1. And yet we never knew what's really killing them...
    even I hate this...

  2. All these terrible slasher films you mention, as well as this Scream, all sound like they'd make for fine review fodder! I'll have to get on that this week!

  3. Good point, Kaijinju.

    Can you actually explain the Ending, Maynard?

    1. Nope, the ending sucks and doesn't make any sense.


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