Search - Don't Answer the Phone on DVD

Don't Answer the Phone
Don't Answer the Phone
Actors: James Westmoreland, Ben Frank, Flo Lawrence, Nicholas Worth, Denise Galik
Director: Robert Hammer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 34min


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Movie Details

Actors: James Westmoreland, Ben Frank, Flo Lawrence, Nicholas Worth, Denise Galik
Director: Robert Hammer
Creators: Michael D. Castle, James L. Carter, Robert Hammer, Joe Fineman, Michael Towers
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Rhino Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/10/2003
Original Release Date: 02/29/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 02/29/1980
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Censored G-Rated Version Of A Notorious Sleaze Epic
cameron-vale | Seattle, WA | 10/03/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE (1979): Suffering from the memories of his abusive father, gibbering lunatic Kirk Smith is a photographer who occasionally uses the cover of his job to help locate young female victims to murder. For fun, the serial killer routinely takes part in Psychologist Lindsey Gale's call-in radio program, pretending to seek advice about his sexual obsessions. Street savvy cop Lt. McCabe and his sidekick Sgt. Hatcher attempt to identify the perpetrator of the fiendish killings with little success, at one point utilizing the powers of an incompetent psychic. During the investigation, McCabe and Gale meet and become romantically involved. Meanwhile, Smith breaks into the house of Carol, a beautiful young patient of Dr. Gale's, and tortures her before killing her. Later, he is invited into the home of prospective model Joyce. When she complains about the sick nature of some of the photographs on display in his portfolio, he tears off her clothes and strangles her on the living room couch. Her roommate enters the room in time to see her friend die, at which point she is cornered by the wildly shrieking madman, who strangles her slowly to death. McCabe and Hatcher interview Sam Gluckman, a smut peddler who identifies Smith. Hot on Smith's trail, the cops are stunned when the maniac kidnaps Gale, which suddenly makes the case very personal for McCabe. Before Smith is able to make the psychologist his next victim, McCabe frees the terrified woman and pursues the killer into a residential area. "Adios, creep!" McCabe intones, shooting the fleeing murderer repeatedly in the back. In slow motion, Smith's bullet-riddled corpse falls into a swimming pool...

This strange hodgepodge of a movie, a mixture of violent death scenes, "comedy" time-filler and pathetically incompetent dramatics, arbitrarily lurches from sequence to sequence in a fairly bewildering fashion. In fact, the narrative, such as it is, exists merely as a pretext for a series of often shocking murder scenes. The film is horribly padded with a muddled, vaguely detailed police investigation of the crimes, as well as by shots of the killer interminably walking the streets accompanied by a cheap, pulsing synth score.

Director Robert Hammer handles his chores with only perfunctory competence, but he definitely has what Pauline Kael once called (in her review of MAGNUM FORCE) "sadistic savvy." By making sure every beautiful victim is unclothed at the time of her death, Hammer deliberately gives each murder a sick, erotically charged emphasis.

Despite its overall wretchedness, the film has managed to develop a small cult thanks to the undeniably fascinating performance of Nicholas Worth, a generally fine character actor whose turn here as a shrieking, chortling, utterly deranged psychopath makes Kirk Smith one of the most memorable horror villains of the slasher era. While not exactly a "good" performance per se, Worth's extreme hamminess and undeniable charisma burn up the screen and make it all the more unfortunate that the screenwriters could not think of more interesting things for him to do in between killings.

The Rhino DVD release of DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE is an absolute abomination. Apparently an edited-for-TV print of the film was utilized for the transfer, so all hints of profanity, nudity and violence have been censored from the proceedings. The storyline is now resolutely incoherent from beginning to end. While much of Worth's performance is still intact, the fact of the matter is that with all of its "good parts" missing, this moderately entertaining sleaze fest has been rendered completely worthless."
Don't bother with this version!
cameron-vale | 01/29/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Rhino has totally butchered this old exploitation/drive in flick --do NOT buy this version. The only reason to watch this movie was to see sex and violence; all nudity and graphic violence has been edited out on this version. It has been so badly butchered it would not get an "R" rating if submitted as presented on this DVD.Shame on Rhino, you people are obviously very sick."
Rhino has no respect for 80s horror
cameron-vale | 03/30/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I was totally disgusted with rhino,s version of Don,t answer the phone.All the great parts are butchered beyond belief.The violence was watered down to nothing and all you are left with are a bunch of talky parts.The reason people buy a film like this is for those exciting segments.Without that you have nothing.First of all we pay money for these products so they should not be edited.This version was like a bad tv movie.We should all get our money back from being ripped off like that.My advice is to wait until a reputable company releases this film UNCUT,and gives it the respect it deserves."
Blec-c-c-h! What a Waste of Time and Money!
cameron-vale | 10/27/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is rated R, but should be rated PG. All sex and violence has pretty much been slashed. The original movie has one of the all-time great, or should I say outrageous, serial killers in Nicholas Worth, but his efforts are lost in this major disappointment. The violence is tempered by some, shall we say, sick humor. Not much else is left. I rated this DVD a 1, but only because that is the lowest rating available. DON'T BUY THIS DVD!!"