Adamantium Bullet

31 Days Of Horror: SCREAM FOR HELP

For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror film a day leading up to Halloween. Each film will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All will be endured in honor of the season. Expect SPOILERS. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s “All 80s” edition of 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

In this episode, J Bryant and AngieBee discuss the sleazy 1984 shocker SCREAM FOR HELP starring Rachael Kelly, Corey Parker, Rocco Sisto, and David Allen Brooks.

Sixteen-year-old Christie Cromwell never wanted a stepfather. Now, her mother is engaged to a lying, cheating murderer, but no one believes Christie when she tries to tell them …and no one is going to hear her SCREAM FOR HELP!

Four characters die on-screen. One dies off-screen.

Early on in SCREAM FOR HELP, final girl Christie (Rachael Kelly) discovers that her 17-year-old best friend Janey (Sandra Clark) is pregnant and is going to get an abortion. Don’t worry, we’re not counting that future abortion as the MOST MEMORABLE KILL. That would be pretty f*cked up on our part. What is going to count, however, is the extremely f*cked up decision on the filmmakers part to kill Janey (and, by connection, her unborn child) less than five seconds after the pregnancy reveal when Christie’s evil stepfather Paul Fox (David Brooks) pops up out of nowhere and runs her down with a car. Brutal.

Janey and Brenda (Lolita Lorre) both go fully nude. Paul and Josh (Corey Parker) both go shirtless. The nude scenes with the ladies were extended and very gratuitous. The shirtless scenes with the men were brief and lacking in gratuitousness (gratuity?). That’s just how director Michael Winner did things back in the day. He never delivered equal opportunity nudity. Oh well…

See MOST MEMORABLE KILL …or Christie’s “I’m going to have to kill them” line and subsequent slaughtering of her stepfather and his cronies. Both of those bits could easily be the SIGNATURE MOMENT.

Christie acknowledges early on she needs photographic evidence to prove to her mother that Paul Fox is a bad apple, yet doesn’t bother bringing a camera on her little ‘Nancy Drew’ pursuits of him until almost halfway through the film. This would not have been a problem had the filmmakers established she didn’t own a camera and needed to buy/borrow one, but that’s not the case. Christie appears to just own a camera she feels would be better left at home than with her while she’s snooping around town.

See MOST MEMORABLE KILL …and then witness Christie immediately give her virginity to freshly dead best friend Janey’s baby daddy Josh. This might just be one of the most “WTF?!?” MOMENTS we’ve ever seen during the 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

> Debut cinema movie score composed by John Paul Jones formerly of the band Led Zeppelin. (IMDB)

> SCREAM FOR HELP was originally going to be the third collaboration between writer Tom Holland and director Richard Franklin (following PSYCHO II and CLOAK & DAGGER). But with his career on the rise, Franklin decided it would be unwise to helm such a low-budget film. We're not sure SCREAM FOR HELP have effected Franklin’s career all that much, seeing as he only helmed a handful of features (the simian stinker LINK, the okay-but-not-really-necessary sequel FX 2: THE DEADLY ART OF ILLUSION, and the indie drama HOTEL SORRENTO) and TV episodes (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE LOST WORLD, BEASTMASTER) before his untimely death at the age of 58 in 2007.

Posted by J. Bryant

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