Silent Madness/Review

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< Silent Madness
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Dr. Joan Gilmore (Belinda Montgomery) is on top of things—so much so that she’s the first to discover that Howard Johns (Solly Marx), the man responsible for the “Sorority House Massacre,” has mistakenly been released from a facility for the criminally insane.


On a hunch, Gilmore travels to the upstate New York campus where the massacre occurred. She believes emotionally disturbed Johns will return to the scene of his crimes. Local reporter Mark McGowan (David Greenan) comes to her aid in more ways than one. As they attempt to locate Johns and dodge the mounting bodies, romance blooms. Will Johns ever be found? It seems he’s quite adept at hiding. And why exactly did he go berserk?


Director Simon Nuchtern shows an appreciation for location shooting. The quaint upstate New York town and the sprawling campus grounds are a nice backdrop. And the murders—a slaughter in the back of a van, a head crushed by a vice, a hanging, a bludgeoning—are smartly presented, designed as they are, for the picture’s original 3-D release.


A movie with a surprise ending, Silent Madness (our murdering main character is mute hence the title) is filled out with a bunch of chatty Cathys that include a dour sorority house matron, a beer guzzling town Sherriff, and a bevy of young female students who are happy frolicicking about semi-nude—and unafraid to venture into what looks like a football field sized “basement.” Worth a peek: Movie-of-the-Week like.


Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.

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