Scream Factory brings the forgotten anthology collection “From a Whisper to a Scream” to Blu-ray for the first time ever. Some horror fanatics might know the film by its other title, “The Offspring.” Director Jeff Burr and the screenwriters take the portmanteau formula and inject their own brand of bloodletting and revolting deeds of dementia into it. Their approach takes the art form to a whole other level of graphicness and disgust that couldn’t be explored in previous decades.
Beneath the small-town exterior of Oldfield, Tennessee lies a history of shocking violence and terrifying phenomena, as recounted by local historian Julian White (Vincent Price). In the '80s, an office worker (Clu Gulager) nurses a deadly crush. In the '50s, a witch doctor (Harry Caesar) holds the secret to unending life. In the '30s, fighting breaks out in a traveling carnival over forbidden love. Finally, in the 1860s, Union soldiers discover a group of orphaned children with a deadly agenda.
When you see Vincent Price’s name attached to “From a Whisper to a Scream,” your mind will drift to the classic films he made in the 1960s and 1970s, which were tame by today’s horror standards. I assure you that’s not the case here. The four tales presented come stuffed full of the gore and gruesomeness we all expect from 1980s genre movies.
“From a Whisper to a Scream” is rated R for violence and gore, adult situations, nudity, profanity, alcohol, drugs, smoking, and frightening and intense sequences. Necrophilia is insinuated which spawns a deformed monster baby in one of the most disturbing segments of the film. No nudity is shown in relation to sex. It was still unnecessary and added nothing to the story or plot.
Scream Factory packs the Blu-ray edition of “From a Whisper to a Scream” full of bonus material that will thrill collectors of the macabre. New audio commentaries are provided by Director Jeff Burr, Producer Darin Scott, and Co-Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner. A feature length documentary about teenagers making “Super 8” movies in 1970’s Georgia is included. Director Jeff Burr, Producer Darin Scott, Co-Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, Actor Clu Gulager, and others star in a feature documentary about the making of “From a Whisper to a Scream.” It also contains a still gallery, foreign theatrical trailer, and TV spots.
“From a Whisper to a Scream” fits perfectly somewhere between other portmanteau films made in the 1980s like “Tales from the Darkside” and “Creepshow” and 1960s classics such as “Tales from the Crypt” and “The Vault of Horror.” Vincent Price serving as the teller of the sordid stories lends an air of nostalgia which leads the viewer to expect a bit more quality to what might be mistakenly thought of as just another attempt at an anthology collection. However, you’ll find yourself glad you made the trip to Oldfield as the ending credits roll.
“From a Whisper to a Scream” is available now on Blu-ray.