The Silent Scream (1980)

Rebecca Balding seems like someone who could have been a scream queen, between appearances in this movie, the made for TV movie Deadly Game and The Boogens.

That said — this movie ended up changing between it being shot and shown in theaters.

Diane McBain (Wicked Wicked) was originally cast as a police detective but the first take on the movie was considered unwatchable. So the script was rewritten by Jim and Ken Wheat (The Return, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, After Midnight and Pitch Black) and then reshot with genre stars Yvonne De Carlo, Barbara Steele and Cameron Mitchell.

All in all, only 15% of the original footage remained in the film.

Balding plays Scotty Parker, a college student in need of a last minute place to stay. That place ends up being the cliffside home of Mrs. Engels (DeCarlo), who lives in the house along with several college students and her son Mason.

In just a few days, one of them is dead thanks to a knife and the cops — played by Cameron Mitchell and Avery Schriber, who you may remember as the Russian Olympics coach Markov in The Concorde … Airport ’79 — are looking into the Engels.

The big reveal of this is that Victoria (one of the last roles Steele did before taking an extended break from theatrical films; she did, however, act in and produce the hugely successful The Winds of War mini-series with Dan Curtis) attempted suicide when she got pregnant with Mason and has been both silent and filled with murderous rage ever since.

That 15% or less of original footage is mainly what Mason is watching on television. Crazy, right? Even stranger — Murray Langsdon, the Unknown Comic, was the original actor to play the role and treated him as an over the top homosexual villain.

The Engels house is actually The Smith Estate, which is located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. You may recognize it as the Merrye house from Spider Baby.

You can get this from Ronin Flix.

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