Silent Madness (1984)

Produced & Directed by: Simon Nuchtern

Written by:
Bill Milling & Bob Zimmerman


Belinda Montgomery .... Dr. Joan Gilmore
David Greenan .... Mark McGowan
Solly Marx .... Howard Johns
Viveca Lindfors .... Mrs. Collins
Roderick Cook .... Dr. Kruger
Dennis Helfend .... Virgil
Philip Levy .... Jesse
Tori Hartman .... Pam
Katherine Kamhi .... Jane
Katie Bull .... Cheryl
Sydney Lassick .... Sheriff Liggett
Stanja Lowe .... Dr. Anderson
Ed Van Nuys .... Dr. Van Dyce

Special Appearance:

Elizabeth Kaitan .... Barbara

Release Date: Theatrical: October 26, 1984



A homicidal maniac Howard Johns (Solly Marx) who was in an asylum due to a bunch of sorority murders years ago is accidentally released from an insane asylum due to a computer error and heads back to the sorority site where he commited his last murders.
Howard's shrink Dr. Joan Gilmore (Belinda Montgomery) takes off after him and tries to get help from the local county Sheriff Liggett (Sydney Lassick) yet he is too hard headed to do anything about it so she meets up with a charming man named Mark McGowan (David Greenan) whom he helps her to the area of an all girls sorority house which she meets the headmaster Mrs. Collins (Viveca Lindfors) who tells her what had happened there but one of the sorority sisters Jane (Katherine Kamhi) seems disturbed about it all whenever the subject is brought up.
It seems that Howard beat her to the place and tried to attack her but no one believes her when she warns the others about this maniac so one by one he slays these people away.
Meanwhile, the hospital administrators lead by Dr. Kruger (Roderick Cook) sets out two thugs Virgil (Dennis Helfend) and Jesse (Philip Levy) out to get her while they try to cover up the mistake on Johns' bail.


When I started watching this film during the beginning I had a feeling it was going to be a real bad one by how everything was set out which looked roughly paced and boy was I ever right. The story is extremely rushed with alot of bad performances. It's also a typical run of the mill slasher film which has been overly done with others which tries so hard to be scary with the killer attacking his victims but it looks very obvious.
There's a crummy conversation between a couple Paul and Susan while they're making out near a campsite which looked too obvious as well as close up shots on Paul himself in a van with her as well as a glimpse on Howard Johns peeking near the van as well as a good shot on him swinging a sledge hammer when the back door opens I must say towards the camera.
Of course there's twisted scene's with the psych ward, corny moments with the patients (Which doesn't look at all believeable) and shocking stuff from the lead character when she discovers on how the patients are treated which you don't see everyday. Good shots on these patients in a lab sleeping with Dr. Joan Gilmore looking shocked by what she sees which leaves a nice impression as well as Virgil and Jesse giving her heck for entering in which it looked not too bad like these two people had something hiding from her.
There's good takes on Joan in a meeting with Dr. Kruger, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Van Dyke having a discussion with her along with a good shot on Kruger being firm and serious with her which looked fairly good.
There's many good discussions between Mark McGowan acting charming towards
Joan which looked nicely done between the two of them showing good chemistry with one another surprisingly compared to his other situations in this flick.
There's also bland moments with sorority sisters at an all girls sorority house that doesn't pick up at all except for certain areas with mentions of a murderer and one of the sisters really bothered by this or a headmaster with some dark secrets that no one knows about which as well as the killer appearing to kill one of the first sisters or almost finding the psychiatrist is one of the only interesting moments. Then it goes downhill when this killer kills the other sorority sisters which is oboviously expected instead of surprising you.
For example a wooden conversation between Pam and Cheryl playing Monopoly in a sorority house for girls which looked way too unnatural.
But there's a great moment with Mrs. Collins coming down the stairs and lashing out towards them for doing a dirty trick which looked quite intimidating along with a good moment on Jane by calming her down and taking her up the stairs.
A fairly average conversation between Mrs. Collins acting pleasant with Joan when she introduces herself as well as telling her about what happened there years before showing a good black and white shot with two sorority sisters doing things to their pledges along with close up shots on the pledges bending over and getting their butts whacked by a paddle. There's also good shots on them crawling over Howard as well as a good shot on him losing control and shooting them with good frightened reactions on them too.
A good moment with Joan in a room and spotting Howard staring at her and trying to talk calmly to him and he tries to grab her which is a good jumping moment. There's a good shot on Howard looking above later on expressionless which leaves a good creepy feeling to the picture.
Plus there's two bumbling thugs driving an ambulance who act like twiddle dee and twiddly dum that are supposed to be suspects to this killer and with their suspenseful actions are not taken aeriously at all. It just looks stupid when they are supposed to be goofy but in a dangerous way and not coming across like that at all due to on how this plot was written and done.
There's corny discussions between Virgil and Jesse when they are driving an ambulance and acting crazy about stuff which looked a bit too comedic and unfunny too.
Stale choreography with the fighting scene's between the two of them against Howard with their struggles against one another as well as Joan trying to get away. It really needed improvement big time.
There's good shots on Joan trying to get away from Howard's grip when she crawls into a vent as well as good shots on him using a sharp steel object to stab theough the metal. There's also good shots on her in the vent dodging from his stabbing actions.
There's a cheesy moment with Mark with his hands tied trying to shoot Howard with a shotgun regardless as well as him and Joan trying to struggle against Howard whenever he tries to attack the two of them.
Yet the near ending was quite impressive with the final confrontation on the killer, psychiatrist, her boyfriend and the headmaster.
Bottom line is this is a boring and amateurish slasher flick that we've already seen in Black Christmas, Halloween (In which it almost seems like a close spoof to) and A Nightmare On Elm Street which offers no twists at all although it tried so hard to. Heck even Slumber Party Massacre was alot more entertaining. I can see now why this film was almost unheard of and hard to find in which Media probably discontinued it for not renting too well after it's theatrical release as it was probably a very small run if you ask me.

The acting was a little off and some of it quite bad and due to the low budget and weak direction and plot didn't make things better for any of the cast members but let's take a look here.
elinda Montgomery (Dr. Joan Gilmore) seems to do her trick as a psychiatrist by trying to bring a good character to her part with her nice attitude as well as her frightened actions too. A good reaction on her in a scene by trying to run away and scream for help which looked energised. She pulls off some good energy to her role so I will give her good credit to what she had to do in it.
David Greenan
(Mark McGowan) brings on a great charm by playing that guy next door type of attitude and seemed natural with doing so especially with his outgoing behavior. He also shows nice a nice anxious attitude too in a scene when something terrible has happened. He is the man for sure to play this part.
Solly Marx
(Howard Johns) really stood out very big as the killer Howard Johns and does look intimidating too but yet when you see him perform you can tell that he will have limitations for future work with his silent behavior as a Michael Myers type of killer.
Viveca Lindfors
(Mrs. Collins) really stole the film with her performance as the headmaster of the girls sorority house by having a disturbed attitude and going in a rage when something sleazy happens and yet having a calm and pleasant behavior when things are okay in which she portrayed a perfect key role to the film as someone with some skeletons in the closet making her role a good horror character.
Roderick Cook
(Dr. Kruger) showed a good stern attitude as the employer at the asylum named Dr. Kruger and stood out quite well with what he had to do in the flick. He could be well remembered for his work in it.
We have a supporting role by TV daytime soap actress Katherine Kamhi (Jane) who plays a sorority sister got cast in this due to her success in the 1983 cult slasher classic Sleepaway Camp in which she did a much better job than with this one as she seemed quite rough in her role. Yet she knew on how to act disturbed when there's a discussion on a murderer. A good reaction after she discovers that something is wrong at a campground when she visits her sister yet she seems a little too melodramatic when she gets emotional and screaming too. She does her best with her upsetting emotions when she encounters some dead bodies but yet it lacked a bit.
ydney Lassick (Sheriff Liggett) was another actor in the film who has done better jobs in other shows but he wasn't too bad in this one but has done better in which he plays an obnoxious county Sheriff Liggett. He comes across well with his closed minded attitude but yet tries to bring some humor to his part and fails.

There's a shirt change by bit part actress Daisy White with full breast shots on her.
A sorority sister flashes her breasts in a flashback scene and another one does much later in the story.

There's some open stabs wounds
A head is bashed by a hammer which almost exposes the skull
Some bloody gun shots on some sorority sisters in a flashback scene
A head is drilled

There's trashy sounding high pitched music as if it suppposed to sound like a violin which was quite annoying. However there's great technical sounds along with deep organ music which sounds very similar to the music in the Linda Blair cult classic Hell Night in which this was brought together by Barry Salmon.

Mrs. Collins: All right girls listen up. This is probably a simple prank. Just to be safe I want you to lock up and stay together.