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"Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

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"Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 10:16 PM
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"Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge



Silent Madness (1984)




Selected by clckorang


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2021 DISCUSSION | 2021 LISTS

Old 10-02-21, 12:05 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

A slasher from the heyday of slashers, 1984. An escaped mental patient who killed a bunch of sorority girls returns to hunt down even more while the psychiatric hospital tries to cover up his escape. The two hospital attendants, who are as psychotic as the patients, make the movie. I also enjoyed Sydney Lassik as the crabby police sheriff. Slow in the 2nd act, but overall a fun watch.
7/10
Old 10-02-21, 01:14 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

The oh so poorly done fight scenes took me out of the film.
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Old 10-02-21, 02:17 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

This is one of those films that seems like it's better than it should be, and it's not just because it's a fun watch in 3d. Maybe it's because the film really leans into making the hospital people as bad or worse than our killer. Maybe it's the awkward moments mixed in with some good ones.

I definitely agree that the movie fumbles a bit in the second act, but it leads into a good finish. The dumbbell death is a highlight. As far as slashers go, you could certainly do a lot worse. I think it's a pretty solid entry in that genre, though it has its share of awkward moments. Watching it again, probably my third time, I wondered how much some of the awkward stunts were done stylistically because of the 3d. At times, movements do seem more deliberate than normal. I think that might have been in aid to that.

Anyway, I realize this is my subset choice. I do have a weakness for slashers, so I was happy to revisit this one. I just find it to be a fun watch.
Old 10-02-21, 02:33 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I really enjoyed this one. Watched my VS release in 3D and for those that love 3D, this one is great. Several pop-outs but the depth blows away most anything modern. It can almost cross your eyes at times!

The overacting is just insane, the dialogue is terrible and the deaths are extreme and usually very original. This movie is so 80's it hurts...which is a good thing if you enjoy basking in the 80's look. It almost plays like a 60's horror film but somehow ended up being made in the 80's. I enjoyed this slasher way more than some of the others from this era. Really surprised you don't hear of this one more often and doesn't have a larger cult following. Maybe because it was so limited in availability compared to others from its time?

And the girls have their own Dragon's Lair machine in the sorority house! How cool is that? And who knew sorority houses had such intricate tunnels and huge boiler rooms going on underneath?

I also love how you have the hospital staff and the killer trying to murder the main actress all at the same time, while also trying to kill each other. Made for an original, fun ending.

My rating: ***1/2 out of *****

I recommend watching this one in 3D if at all possible. It definitely adds to the movie. Looking forward to checking out the extras eventually. The drill death was well done and as clckworang stated, the dumbell/inverted 80's workout kill is a highlight.
Old 10-02-21, 03:36 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

In the 80s there was concerted effort by the Right, who wanted to slash public spending, and the Left, who were concerned with the neglect of people with mental illnesses in often dirty and dangerous mental hospitals, to deinstitutionalize people with mental illnesses. But because states were reluctant to fund halfway houses and support systems for psychiatric patients, the end result was a flood of people abandoned on the streets. Silent Madness is clearly a commentary on Reagan-era politics.

The movie itself is a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I generally dislike slasher films, but this kept my interest, despite the community-theater level of acting and production. I also noticed in the credits that crime novelist Nelson DeMille made contributions to the screenplay.
Old 10-02-21, 04:17 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I realize a lot of people like 80's slashers no matter how bad they are, but I'm not one of them. I thought this was pretty abysmal. Everyone is screaming their lines, the fight scenes were terrible, and the two orderlies ranked right up there with the clown cops in Halloween 5 for me. Belinda Montgomery (a/k/a Doogie Howser's mom) was ok, but I hated almost every other character in this movie. It was a first time viewing and will more than likely never be revisited by me.
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Old 10-02-21, 05:08 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I love slashers. Even when there’s bad there’s usually something to enjoy for me. I watched this in digital 3D and I agree with the people that said this is the way to watch it.
Unfortunately for me I moved my 3D tv in my bedroom to make way for UHD. I fell asleep twice due to a late night and a tremendous amount of Four Roses.
Once I got that out of the way I restarted and really enjoyed it. It is rather slow, but there was enough to like.
Old 10-02-21, 05:28 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Man, but this film started slow. I thought that it was going to be a total slog, but once it got out of that dreary hospital, it picked up dramatically, and I ended up liking it a lot. Was it scary? Not in the least, but it made up for that with very nice cinematography and fun turns from Viveca Lindfors and especially from Sydney Lassick, who we'll see again in my subset pick in a few days. I do have to point out that two of the stars of Sleepaway Camp, another of my favorite early '80s slashers, show up in this film. And as others have pointed out, the 3D was phenomenal. The title of the film came so close to my face that I had to pause the disc to be able to decipher exactly what it said; my eyes couldn't adjust in time for it to resolve itself without the pause.

My subset film rankings so far (although all of them have been great):

1. Slither
2. Silent Madness
3. Road Games
Old 10-02-21, 09:57 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Oh man, didnít realize the disk came with 3D glasses. Not one for slips, but this slip is really sturdy.
Old 10-02-21, 11:49 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

My first watch tonight and first time watching this.

It was definitely a throwback, and I liked the vintage vibe. The orderlies were satisfyingly evil. Some fun deaths (the head screw for the rapist was nice). The misogyny was a bit much, even for the 80s. The script was lazy. They apparently made no attempt to research doctors or mental hospitals or actual procedures. Whatever they were doing to the guys in the bags, there didn't seem to be any logic in it, and the hospital subplot was mostly unresolved (yes, I know the newscaster said there were arrests or something. But what did the head lady dr know?). Also I also felt the "no one will believe me" trope got frustrating and there was no real payoff for that. I wanted to see the sheriff apologize!

Putting plot issues aside, this was a decent slasher to start the evening. Hey, I had fun. On to Friday the 13th series....

Last edited by jholmes; 10-03-21 at 12:00 AM.
Old 10-03-21, 12:12 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Well, I really enjoyed this one. I started drinking early in the evening, but stopped once I put the movie on, because I wanted to really watch this one. It probably didnít deserve my undivided attention, but it did keep my attention. I have not seen a 3D movie in ages, and I decided to go with the non-3D disk. The print looked pretty good in the center of the image, but as you made it to the periphery, you could see the image blur from the two images not quite aligning. Nice pick for the slasher night.
Old 10-03-21, 06:35 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

There were a lot of shots that looked like fun gimmicks for the 3d. If I were to watch it again(admittedly unlikely), I would probably watch the 3d. Unfortunately, the acting was pretty bad and it overall didn't keep me engaged throughout.
Old 10-03-21, 07:44 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Don't forget that if you happen to have a VR set for the PS4, you can watch it in Real 3D. Not sure if that works with other VR sets as well.

I watched mine with my PS4.
Old 10-03-21, 12:00 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Doogie's mom, Dragon's Lair, facsimile machine, aerobics leotards -- a lot of '80s goodness in this movie.

I lived in an older college dorm with steam heat but I never envisioned an endless dank industrial complex below with cobweb encrusted electrical panels and a security guard traipsing about.
Old 10-03-21, 02:41 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I don't know if it's me and my eyes adjusting but the opening credits in 3D seemed really off to me, once the movie got going it was great but the first few minutes it felt wrong. Anyone else? Just my eyes adjusting?

Loved this movie, great for anyone into formulaic 80's slashers.

Why did red shorts = death, but only for the first half of the film? Wish Elizabeth Kaitan was in it a bit more before getting knocked off, something about that girls smile.
Old 10-03-21, 06:19 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by SterlingBen
I don't know if it's me and my eyes adjusting but the opening credits in 3D seemed really off to me, once the movie got going it was great but the first few minutes it felt wrong. Anyone else? Just my eyes adjusting?

Loved this movie, great for anyone into formulaic 80's slashers.

Why did red shorts = death, but only for the first half of the film? Wish Elizabeth Kaitan was in it a bit more before getting knocked off, something about that girls smile.
I agree about the opening credits. Something feels off, but that's the only thing that seems odd with the 3d.
Old 10-03-21, 11:23 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I forgot to mention how much I loved the several extended mad laughter sequences. I mean...who that that was a good idea to have those in there? Though it did add to the ridiculous fun.

Also forgot to mention earlier that I enjoyed the score on this one. Most of the time, it seemed way better than the budget would have allowed. So I actually wondered if they lifted any of it off another film?
Old 10-04-21, 09:22 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Have been thinking about how to ‘rate’ my watches going forward. For years, pretty much my only records of such have been rating them at IMDb on their 1-10 scale; with a few ratings here in various threads over the decades.

Tempted to change things and go with a simple ‘would I ever watch this again?’ response and database. The answer on this one would be, maybe in 3D, once.
Old 10-04-21, 10:54 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by wishbone
Doogie's mom, Dragon's Lair, facsimile machine, aerobics leotards -- a lot of '80s goodness in this movie.

I lived in an older college dorm with steam heat but I never envisioned an endless dank industrial complex below with cobweb encrusted electrical panels and a security guard traipsing about.
Don't forget the sound of dripping water. They had a hellacious leak down there somewhere, from the sound of things.


Old 10-04-21, 10:57 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by SterlingBen
I don't know if it's me and my eyes adjusting but the opening credits in 3D seemed really off to me, once the movie got going it was great but the first few minutes it felt wrong. Anyone else? Just my eyes adjusting?

Loved this movie, great for anyone into formulaic 80's slashers.

Why did red shorts = death, but only for the first half of the film? Wish Elizabeth Kaitan was in it a bit more before getting knocked off, something about that girls smile.
The Severed Arm took this idea and ran with it....
Old 10-04-21, 12:42 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by WillieMLF
Don't forget the sound of dripping water. They had a hellacious leak down there somewhere, from the sound of things.
When the girl went downstairs I thought she was going to take a shower with water sounding like that in the background. Yikes!

Originally Posted by WillieMLF
The Severed Arm took this idea and ran with it....
Red shirt with brown slacks is a bold fashion statement.
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Old 10-05-21, 12:06 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

It's a really fun sort of Halloween knockoff, although a bit restrained for an early 80s slasher with the amount of off-screen kills. The boiler room was a unique setting, and I thought it was another reference to NOES after "Dr. Krueger", but the IMDB trivia page says this was shot before. I just wanted more Sydney Lassick with his file cabinet of beers cans and the college girl that poured Coke into her cereal.

Originally Posted by Spiderbite
Don't forget that if you happen to have a VR set for the PS4, you can watch it in Real 3D. Not sure if that works with other VR sets as well.

I watched mine with my PS4.
The Anaglyph 3D I went with had really washed out colors that gave it an almost B&W appearance, but I was spared the neck cramps I get from wearing the PSVR goggles. Respect to anyone who can make it the entire film duration with them.
Old 10-05-21, 08:50 AM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Chad
The Anaglyph 3D I went with had really washed out colors that gave it an almost B&W appearance, but I was spared the neck cramps I get from wearing the PSVR goggles. Respect to anyone who can make it the entire film duration with them.
I watch all my 3D movies this way nowadays. It can a chore on the eyes, head and neck but I lay back in my chair and try not to move around a whole bunch.

I watched the 3D version of Titanic like this. It definitely can be a rough go for longer movies but it can be done though I definitely prefer shorter films.
Old 10-08-21, 02:30 PM
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Re: "Silent Madness" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

The production values and acting were better than I expected but it was a bit slow in the middle. With a more daring screenplay it seems like this could have been a much more interesting film.

What was with the 'twist' ending? The killer is really the killer, but in fact the original killer was his mother? That seems awfully pointless, unless the that was the emphasize the point that the real villain was the crooked hospital/justice system all along that perverted the innocent mute boy and make him a killer on his own (like his mother but rather than his original nature?).

Sorority house slashers are a decent excuse to introject 'scenery' into the film but it seems really pointless to them confine it to a basement broiler room, there's got to be a surprisingly meta humor to that in somewhat denying the audience the setting it established by going to the dungeon.

I didn't notice a ton of obviously 3D gimmicks, curious how it might have been.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-08-21 at 05:03 PM.
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