Thursday, October 21, 2010

review: Don't Answer The Phone!

Look, I've seen some shit, okay? I've seen movies that would give most people PTSD. I've watched Andy Milligan and Godfrey Ho films back to back and gone back for more. I've watched the non-MST3K version of Manos: The Hands of Fate on repeated occasions. I've seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've seen a million faces and I've rocked 'em all. I'm telling you this so that when I tell you Don't Answer The Phone is a bad film, I don't mean it's incompetent. I'm not saying there's continuity problems and OMG LOLZ I'm gonna tattle to IMDB. No. Don't Answer The Phone is an evil movie, and I fear the world in which it was possible. It's a bad idea like trepanning yourself so you can rub PCP directily onto your brain with a piece of rusty coathanger is a bad idea. When they find my bloodied body with swathes of my skin removed in an attempt to enter heaven, the only place where I might possibly be free of the memory of this film, free of the putrefaction of this prison I currently call my skin, it will be because of this film. I now bear the mark of Cain and shall find no peace until the end of days. I need you to understand. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND.

I think everyone has had the experience of watching a film and feeling like you could improve upon it, given the opportunity. I suspect the makers of Don't Answer The Phone were watching Manhunter in a meth frenzy and simultaneously stared at each other while furiously scratching at their sore-covered deformed bodied and hissed "We could make this movie! But no arty shit. Real perverts like us don't read Blake! We fuck roadkill and eat babies! After the success of our film we'll be able to fuck the finest roadkill and eat the tastiest babies the world has to offer!". But WAIT! you say -- this film was released in 1980! Manhunter didn't come out until '86! Red Dragon didn't get published until '81! That's because these cretins are SORCERERS! They have alliances with slithering things whose names bear such malevolence that the human larnyx has evolved in order to make pronunciation impossible -- except for They What Walk And Apparently Make Movies In Darkness! I understand now! THEY GAVE ME A BRAIN TUMOR WITH THEIR MOVIE MAGICK!

Easy, boy. Just a quick drink to steady the nerves. The public must be warned.

So we've got a crazed killer who (natch) was a Vietnam vet and who (natch) is now a photographer and general all-around pervert. We also have two detectives who vow to catch this mad dog killer on the loose who are also perverts. This gives you the false sense that this film has a plot. Other movies follow this same line and have plots, so ipso facto this film must have a WRONG WRONG WRONG. This film falls like a goober dangling from the finest strand of saliva from a bully whose mouth has never known anything but Snickers and feces directly into your fear-rictus'd maw. It's like the re-enactment of ritual abuse in a psychiatrist's office illicitly videotaped and stitched together to suggest cohesiveness. Do you understand? How can I be expected to ever accept friendship or know love now that I've seen the deformed obsidian skeleton that hides inside the earth and mirrors its shape in the destinies of humanity? How can I ever be expected to play a dvd knowing that by some diabolical machination the contents of that disc might possibly contain even a half-second snippet of Don't Answer The Phone!? How, I ask you? Never again will I complain about the indignities of Robert Culp's flapping length! A lifetime of hopping vampires would be better! Death Drug: The Musical would be better! If you ever watched something like Last House On The Left and wondered (as I did, when I was eleven) why anybody would make a movie like that, then perhaps this is the film for you. If you think a horror movie should actually be scary, then watch this film and never trust another human being for as long as you live! This film will find you where you live, smash down your plate glass windows, put a fist through your steel plated door and rub its gibbering hindquarters on everything you hold dear! I know it sounds like fun, but it's not! I swear! If only my brain could vomit up the memory of this film I might be okay, but no! NO! WHAT SIN COULD A MAN COMMIT IN A SINGLE LIFETIME TO WARRANT DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE?

I might try to write more on this later. Right now I think I'm gonna take a fistful of quaaludes and try to sleep. I'm never answering a phone again, that's for sure. For a more useful review of this film, please see Tenebrous Kate's review, which is (as always) dead-on accurate. If for some reason you should want to do this terrible thing to yourself, you can find a copy on the new Mill Creek 50-film collection Pure Terror, which is an *incredible* collection, with lots of genuinely great horror, lots of bad-but-fascinating films (such as Manos and Guru the Mad Monk -- in fact if you want some good-time incompetence watch Bloody Pit of Horror starring oily bohunk Mickey Hargitay and revel in his Crimson Executioner steez) and best of all three (THREE!) movies starring my main man Paul Naschy -- every home needs a copy, but seriously, save this one until you're sitting alone after a night of downing reds and morning glory wine and feel a severe need to punish yourself.

1 comment:

  1. /me tries to decide if he should watch Don't Answer The Phone, or Swing Time.