Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 27th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1980
Director: Robert Hammer
Writers: Robert Hammer, Michael D. Castle, Michael Curtis
Cast: James Westmoreland, Ben Frank, Flo Lawrence, Nicholas Worth, Denise Galik, Stan Haze, Gary Allen
DVD released: October 16th, 2012
Approximate running time: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $16.95
Synopsis: A disturbed Vietnam vet moonlighting as a photographer goes on a killing spree.
Though Don’t Answer the Phone! strives very hard to be something more than your standard T & A body count film. It struggles to shake this moniker from the get go as it quickly becomes apparent that this film is more interested in its murder set pieces, then trying to flesh any of its characters out. And while this is not going to be a deal breaker for those, who are hardcore fans of trashy exploitation cinema. The majority of viewers are sure to walk away from this film underwhelmed by its predictability.
With that being said, this film only redeeming assets is the performance of its leading man Nicholas Worth (Swamp Thing) in the role of disturbed Vietnam vet named Kirk Smith, who masquerades as a photographer to lure and kill his victims. His gives a sublime performance that is head and shoulders above the rest of the rest.
Scorpion Releasing presents Don’t Answer the Phone! in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the films intended aspect ratio. This film was lasted released on DVD back in 2006 and this transfer is a marked improvement that transfer. Black levels are at best average, details generally look crisp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. Background noise is minimal, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 36 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a audio interview with actor James Westmoreland (21 minutes 53 seconds), two on-camera interviews with Nicholas Worth, the first one titled ‘Answering the Phone’ (13 minutes 43 seconds – letterboxed widescreen) and the second one titled ‘For What it’s Worth’ (8 minutes 54 seconds – letterboxed widescreen) and a audio commentary with writer / producer / director Robert Hammer and moderator Shane M. Dallmannn.
The extras do a superb job cover the various aspects of this production and the second interview ‘For What it’s Worth’ gives a well rounded overview of other films that Nicholas Worth has appeared in.
Also there are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Play Movie’ or ‘Play Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’. This second option include comments before and after the main feature from Katarina Leigh Waters, who’s comments are done in a more analytical way as she gives a overall of who all the main players in this production are and she closes with her thoughts on the main feature.
Overall Don’t Answer the Phone! gets a solid release from Scorpion Releasing.