A lot can be said about nature vs nurture, and especially with how things are progressing throughout the country, it is sometimes easier to see when people’s actions are molded by their surroundings. In the film FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM, evil resides in the city of Oldfield, Tennessee and ensures that once you enter Oldfield, there’s no escape.
An anthology film from 1985, FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM is getting the re-issue treatment from Scream Factory, and I’m definitely glad it did for numerous reasons. With 4 stories about the history of Oldfield spanning from the end of the Civil War to 1970’s, we get a wrap around story starring the master of horror himself, Vincent Price. As the town’s librarian and historian, we are given the history of how evil has molded the growth of their tiny burg in a gruesome fashion. While the first two stories focus on evil deeds being punished, soon, we see that good deeds aren’t left unpunished as well. Oldfield apparently has a deadly consequence for each and every action.
Each story does a great job of embracing the time period, both with the wardrobe and soundtrack. The score incorporates music from the time in with effective mood pieces to keep the dread moving throughout. And while there is plenty of despicable acts to see, there is also tempered into it humor that can be just as dark and biting, while occasionally laugh out loud hysterical. And with strong performances from veteran actors like Clu Gulager, Harry Caeser, and Cameron Mitchell, it allows the young filmmakers to really leverage their talents in bringing out some gold.
Now, if you’re a horror fan, the film alone is worth the purchase of the reissue Blu-ray. It looks and sounds amazing. But if you have any interest in film making as a process, the special features are worth the purchase alone. Included on the Blu is a nearly 2 hour long documentary about the making of the film, from how the concept came to be all the way to completion. There is an amazing story of how the director and producer were able to get Vincent Price involved in the film. Beside that documentary, there is another 90+ minute documentary about how the film makers got started as young kids using Super 8 cameras. For anyone that has enjoyed stories like Robert Rodriguez’ tales about filming as a kid, or JJ Abrams’ inspiration for SUPER 8, then you should check out this doc alone, as it really dives into how this medium allowed kids to really tap into the film world and cut their teeth, well before even being able to get into a film school.
Scream Factory did a great job with putting together this Blu-ray. I highly recommend it to any fan of horror anthologies, especially the older Amicus anthologies, and even more recommend it to those fascinated with the film making process, as the film makers are open books on all the special features.
FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM is available on Blu-Ray from Scream Factory April 28th, 2015.