When a glitch in the computer system at an asylum for the criminally insane results in the release of the wrong patient – a giant-in-stature homicidal maniac named Howard Johns, who has a penchant for killing college coeds – it’s up to one of the institute’s top doctors to track him down. Unfortunately, it’s not just Howard she has to worry about, as the administration of the asylum has decided to cover up the error to avoid bad press, going as far as to hire a duo of thugs to permanently ’silence’ the good doctor. Soon enough, Howard finds his way back to the sorority house he once terrorized and sets out to murder the latest batch of nubile coeds who have taken up residence in the stately manor.
I love 1980’s Horror, and especially Slashers. It feels like it would be kind of hard to fail on such a simple concept, get a masked murderer, some hunting of victims during nighttime, some nudity, some special effect murders… This one fails on almost all accounts! There are some short topless scenes, but no special effect killings (apart from a drill scene), otherwise just off screen stuff. More or less everything is done during daytime and the killer has no mask, just some red paint around his eyes. I love the label that have released this, Vinegar Syndrome, but their sales pitch is “SILENT MADNESS knows exactly what audiences want, and delivers.” is extremely incorrect. It should have been “SILENT MADNESS knows exactly what audiences want, and fails on all accounts”. Ok, not all accounts, we get some topless nudity as I said, and a drill in the back of the head scene, but otherwise it feels like all we get is to follow the psychiatrist Dr. Joan Gillmore (Belinda Montgomery) around searching for the lost patient for about 70 minutes … Zzzzzzzzzzzzz
With all this said, I still love that labels like Vinegar Syndrome, restore these kind of movies and save them from getting lost in time and I will ofcourse continue to buy and support their important work. It’s also one of the few slashers produced during the short-lived, early 80s revival of 3D movies.
Filmed in New Jersey in 1983 under the title “Dark Sunday”. Other alternate titles included “Beautiful Screamers”, “The Omega Factor” and “The Nightkillers”.
Clearly inspired by the success of 1982’s 3-D slasher Friday the 13th Part III, this one even recruited that film’s cinematographer, Gerald Feil (He Knows You’re Alone), who uses his expertise with in-depth scope framing here as well. In fact, he and director Simon Nuchtern (who had mainly worked in innocuous sex comedies to that point) teamed up again right afterwards for Savage Dawn.
Many viewers have speculated that the character of Dr. Krueger and the boiler room scenes are references to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). However, Silent Madness was actually shot in 1983 prior to the release of the A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
Katherine Kamhi (Jane) and Paul DeAngelo (Paul) previously appeared together in Sleepaway Camp (1983).
I watched this on an amazing blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome. It’s a 4k scan from its 35mm negative, with the 3-D option and also a flat 2-D. There are no cuts, and includes the Digital 3D (92:40), Anaglyph 3D (92:38), and 2D versions (92:40).
• Region Free Blu-ray (2-disc Set)
• Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm negative
• Three viewing options: Digital 3-D (requires a 3-D capable TV and player), Anaglyph 3-D (works on all TVs with included 3-D glasses) and regular Flat 2-D.
• Newly recorded commentary track with director Simon Nuchtern, moderated by author Michael Gingold
• Commentary track with The Hysteria Continues!
• “Method to the Madness” – a 45 minute making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew
• Deleted interviews from “Method to the Madness”
• “Silent Stalking Grounds” – locations featurette
• Introduction by director Simon Nuchtern
• Promotional 3-D sizzle reel for Silent Madness
• Promotional & behind-the-scenes still gallery
• Multiple radio spots
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles
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