It’s Horror Anthology Week on Hatched, where we’ll talk about some of our favorite horror anthologies to lead up to the Nitehawk premiere of V/H/S on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
From a Whisper to a Scream aka The Offspring (1987)
Directed by Jeff Burr. Starring Vincent Price.
One thing I’ve learned, my dear, is that one is never too old for nightmares.
We won’t lie to you, From a Whisper to a Scream (also known as The Offspring) certainly isn’t the best of horror anthologies. It seems more geared toward a television movie-of-the-week rather than a vehicle for the great horror maestro, Vincent Price. Still, the four stories are tight and pack a punch. And there is actually something quite disturbing about them. Directed by Jeff Burr, he of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 and Night of the Scarecrow, From a Whisper to a Scream is in the same vein as other 1980s horror flicks like Creepshow and television shows like Tales from the Darkside because it evokes horror revenge/morality tales. Basically, as most horror anthologies do, it provides a warning to the viewers – don’t act on your emotions or you will pay with your life!
The basic structure of From a Whisper to a Scream is thus…after a convicted serial killer (a woman played by Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde’s Martine Beswick) seductively dies in the town of Oldfield’s electric chair, a reporter seeks out the truth behind the town’s murdering horrors by speaking to historian Julian White (Vincent Price). He regales her, in his captivating manner, with four stories: a date-and-sister-killing loser, a jealous witch deals with a carnival glass-eater, a man who doesn’t escape his evil predators, and, in perhaps the most gruesome tale of all, children from the Civil War go all “lord of the flies meets Rob Zombie” on the Yankees (Hello skinned soldiers and plucked out eyeballs). It should come as no surprise that the ending provides a twist, one that makes Julian White wind up as a casualty of the latest horrific story to be told. Turns out the journalist is also psychopath! There is no happy ending here. Only death. Such is the curse of Oldfield.
So, if you’re looking for some 1980s gross fun with bad shoulder-pads and creepy psychos, then From a Whisper to a Scream is totally for you. But, when you’re through, we suggest also checking out Vincent Price’s horror anthology greats Comedy of Terrors and Twice Told Tales.