Blu-ray Review: From A Whisper to a Scream

Blu-ray Reviews, Reviews, Top Story

The horror anthology film is a great way for a small production to grab named stars for a few days without breaking the bank. The shoot can be spread out over a longer period since they’re not under the gun to shoot all the stories at once. From A Whisper to a Scream was able to get a star studded cast for it’s tale of the twisted history for a sleepy Southern town. They were able to land Vincent Price for one of his final horror flicks. The key to Price’s involvement is giving him a role that required him to remain seated and just work with his hands, eyes and voice.

Oldfield, Tennessee seems like a nice place to set roots and raise a family. Except the town historian (Price) has four tales of terror that won’t be appearing on the tourism brochure. Reporter Bess Chandler (Susan Tyrrell) gets the inside story that will make her go screaming into the woods. The first involves Clu Gallagher (The Return of the Living Dead) seems like a nice guy except he doesn’t take kindly to when a woman won’t give him a second date. He hooks up with her when she’s reached room temperature. This leads to an ungodly outcome. A flashback to the ’50s is about treachery involving the secret of eternal youth. The third tale spins back the ’30s when the carnival came to town. It’s a freaky story featuring freaks. The final tale involves a Yankee soldier (Without Warning‘s Cameron Mitchell) cutting through town after the Civil War. He stops by an abandoned plantation house overrun with orphan kids. He gets treated to some Southern hospitality that would later be known as Terminus BBQ. Will he got dine with the kids?

From A Whisper to a Scream is memorable mainly through the casting of Price, Gallagher and Mitchell. The trio get to be the stars of their segments without being reduced to the old guest star role if this was one horror story last 90 minutes. The low budget affair does a fine job of giving a few scares that match up with Tales From the Darkside episodes.

The video is 1:78:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks fine for a film that was made on a shoestring with the risky short ends. Price looks fine in one of his final scary roles.

Audio Commentaries allow for all the tales from the set to get told. The first features director Jeff Burr. He mentions how it was great to have Vincent Price on the set for two days. The second commentary Producer/writer Darin Scott and writer C. Courtney Joyne share plenty of memories on their own commentary track.

Return To Oldfield (116 minutes) is a documentary that’s longer than the film. Everything gets covered as the filmmakers remember how they pieced together the film using 35mm short ends. Strange to think those are now a rarity in the digital filmmaking world.

A Decade Under The Innocence: Adventures in Super 8 Filmmaking (77 minutes) focuses on the early work of director Burr in the small film format. Just think that nowadays more young kid filmmakers merely use their cellphones to capture moving images. This is about the passion of a kid who would eventually work with Vincent Price.

Theatrical Trailer and TV Spot promote the film when it was known as The Offspring.

From A Whisper to a Scream tells the tale of a small Southern town’s wicked past. Vincent Price offers the unfriendly PR stories. The Blu-ray’s bonus features reminds us of how much passion goes into creating an indie movie.

Scream Factory presents From A Whisper to a Scream. Directed by: Jeff Burr. Starring: Vincent Price, Cameron Mitchell & Clu Gallagher. Rated: R. Running Time: 99 minutes. Released: April 29, 2015.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.