The first I ever heard of From a Whisper to a Scream was when Scream Factory announced a Blu-ray release of said film. Once I researched it and found out it was a Vincent Price starring anthology film, also known by the name The Offspring, I thought to myself, how did I miss this until now? Well, I can finally say I’ve seen the movie and perused the amazing special features and it’s certainly a quirky anthology horror movie, with plenty of issues, but with a certain charm that runs through it that makes you enjoy it no matter the problems. Let’s sit down together and spin a tale of terror by reading on…
RUN-TIME: 99 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
PRODUCTION DATE: 1987
Fear… Times Four
Prepare to be shocked out of your skin with four grisly tales of terror in one small town! Legendary king of horror Vincent Price gives “his fullest, most sepulchral tones of macabre camp” (Los Angeles Times) to this gruesome anthology that will haunt you for days!
On the night his niece is executed for committing a string of brutal killings, historian Julian White (Price) reveals the sinister secrets of her hometown, Oldfield, Tennessee, a horrific hamlet that spawns evil! But as the town’s murderous legacy is exposed with White’s chilling accounts – including stories of a necrophilic madman, a voodoo priest with life-prolonging powers and a legion of children with an appetite for flesh – White doesn’t realize that he is about the write the final chapter of Oldfield’s morbid history…in his own blood!
Okay, first let’s break down the movie and its four tales of terror, as told by Vincent Price, who looks like he was paid to be there and wasn’t paid much. The movie, along with each tale, was directed by Pumpkinhead II director, Jeff Burr.
The first tale stars Clu Gulagar, who you may know from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and The Return of the Living Dead. He’s a bespectacled weirdo, who is in love with his boss and has the weirdest relationship with his sister (I’m talking very, very weird.) He isn’t completely all there, so when his boss agrees to go out with him, mainly cause she feels sorry for him and wants a free dinner, things take a turn for the worse and strange… very strange. If I was to tell you any more about this story, I would ruin the ending. This one wasn’t too bad, much to acting of Clu and the morbid ending.
The next tale is about a man, played by Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Weekend at Bernie’s star, Terry Kiser, who is greedy beyond all words. After being shot by some goons and taken in by a hermit in the swamps, he learns a secret that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, but greed can be deadly, very deadly. This one story I actually quite enjoyed and once again, the ending has that old fashion Twilight Zone twist we’ve all come to love.
The third tale is about a carnival and the man who works there and the woman he loves. The guy eats glass and metal for a living, yet he can easily pick up a hot chick, who loves to frolic in a graveyard. The man’s got game I tell you. Anyway, the carny leader (Rosalind Cash) doesn’t like her flock frolicking with the locals, so she uses some wicked voodoo power to teach him a lesson. The ending to this one is dark, gory and altogether amazing.
The last tale is honestly the weakest of the lot, many thanks to some bad acting from a bunch of kids and a story we’ve seen before, mainly Children of the Corn. It takes place at the end of the Civil War and a group of soldiers end up being kidnapped by some deranged kids, who don’t take to kindly to adults and soldiers. The story falls flat and I would have no problem it having been left out.
As you can see, you do get a lot of variety in the stories with this movie, but I’ll be honest, each one has it’s fair share of problems, be it bad acting, bad writing or stretches of boredom. Another issue with this movie is in the audio department. For some reason, it sounds like the entire movie was shot using ADR, as in the voices are dubbed over whilst action is happening on screen. There are times where scenes are taking place and dialogue is being said, but clearly the actor’s lips aren’t moving. It’s distracting and happens throughout most of the movie. Overall, though, I ended up enjoying the film, audio quirks and all, as each tale does have some pretty dark twists come to the end and there is plenty enough gore and twists to feed my anthology appetite.
Scream Factory can’t be stopped it seems, as they go above and beyond the call of duty with this movie. Featuring not one, but two feature-length documentaries, you’ll be busy for quite some time. The first documentary is the making of, which runs a whopping 1 hour and 52 minutes, longer than the actual movie. Chalk full of interviews and behind the scenes, this feature alone is worth the price of admission. Next up, you have another feature length documentary about the joys of shooting on 8MM as a kid, with interviews from Director Jeff Burr and others. Although not really related to the movie per say, this documentary is enjoyable. Rounding things out are two commentaries, a still gallery, a trailer and TV spots. This disc is crammed full and about ready to burst. Amazing stuff! As for the video and audio, the movie is looking great, but due to the issues I listed previously, the audio is hard to judge. It sounds fine, but the weird dubbing and low speaking parts make some areas a challenge to figure out what they are saying. Although, I think that issue is probably more the movie’s fault and not Scream Factory’s.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- Return To Oldfield – A Comprehensive Feature-Length Documentary About The Making Of From A Whisper To A Scream, Featuring Director Jeff Burr, Producer Darin Scott, Co-Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, Actor Clu Gulagar And More!
- A Decade Under The Innocence – A Feature-Length Documentary About Teenage Adventures In ‘Super 8’ Filmmaking During The 1970’s In Georgia, Featuring Director Jeff Burr And More!
- New Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Jeff Burr
- Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer Darin Scott And Writer C. Courtney Joyner
- Still Gallery With Commentary By Writer/Director Jeff Burr
- Theatrical Trailer
- “The Offspring” TV Spots
From a Whisper to a Scream isn’t the best anthology horror film I’ve seen, but it certainly isn’t the worse. It’s got some interesting, albeit troubled stories, with some wonderfully twisted endings. The acting is rocky in a few places and the last story is kind of a waste, but overall it’s fun and that’s all you can really ask for. Round it all out with a Scream Factory Blu-ray that comes off like a fancy Collector’s Edition, with special features up the wahzoo; this disc is a big recommend. The movie itself may not blow your mind, but the special features just might.