2/9/11

From a Whisper to a Scream aka The Offspring (1987)



"It'll take two men and a young gorilla to satisfy that!" Horror anthologies get it wrong so much of the time, it's real fun to see one get it right. And how come we don't get comedy anthologies? Or like, action anthologies? Would be sweet. Make it so.

So From a Whisper to a Scream kicks it off with a bit o' Vincent Price-ism to frame the stories of an evil-spirited town, Oldfield, Tennessee. The stories are pretty fun, and get more gory as they go. Spoilers within. Kick it Vince.


Sho' nuff.

The first story is a pretty weird/effed up story of Stanley, a murdering, sister sexing, mutant baby fathering dweeb. It's campy, but not in the ways junk like The Willies or Nightmares is; it's genuinely a sleazy junky story. I wish we had more of a finale, but I'll take a mutant baby when I can, no questions asked. This stars the funtimes man Clu Galager from Return of the Living Dead. He's pretty great as Stanley, I'd take a whole movie of that character.





Jesse Hardwicke (who will always be Bernie to me) is a good-for-nothin trailer park inhabitant who gets shot, and nursed back to health by an old-timer in the swamps. He reminds me of an eye bulger. While looking at an old scrap book, Jesse figures the old-timer to be immortal and demands to know the secret. It's a pretty solid story with mild gore, as compared to the previous story's pretty absent gore. It's actually a really good segment.




Next Mr. Price tells the story of carnival freaks under the rule of the voodoo Snake Woman. Specifically the Glass Eater and his forbidden love, Amarillus. It's not the best, kinda interesting though. I like the concept of the ending, but wish there was more with the other freaks overall. Like No Face man. "I'm a glass eater; I'm a freak!"





Lastly we get the goriest of the bunch, a Civil War, cannibalistic Children-of-the-Corn-ish yarn starring Cameron Mitchell. It's relatively tame in the gore department compared to other flicks, but within the context of this movie, it's more intense. This segment a pretty solid one as well, I found it kind of believable almost. Maybe more Lord of the Flies





For director Jeff Burr, this movie led to a bunch of middle of the road type of '80s/'90s horror junk sequels like Stepfather II, Leatherface (TCM 3), Pumpkinhead 2, Puppetmaster 4 & 5. Truthfully, I've never seen any of those (no joke) but I'd bet this is better. I know I don't seem too enthusiastic but I did enjoy this. It's better than getting a titty twister.

I don't know why it would be called The Offspring for it's theatrical release, since not all the stories really have to do with kids. It is a more '80s marketable title though, I'll give it that. Check it out.


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