Hi, ha ha! It’s Burl! I’m here to review a horror mystery movie from the 1980s, which is something I’ve done before and intend to do again! Today’s review is of a picture starring Mannix himself, Touch Connors! It’s called Too Scared To Scream, and this is one of those movies I saw all over the place on the video shelves, but never did bother watching until very recently!
It’s a New York movie through and through, and in fact much of the action takes place in once specific building, the location of which I don’t recall ever being made clear! But the place is supposed to be pretty swanky I guess, because they have a cultivated doorman played by that fine British thespian Ian McShane, who’s just as nutty as a bug! Ha ha, he has a paralyzed mother at home to whom he seems totally devoted – but Mother’s perpetually twitching fingers tell us things might not be as cozy as they appear!
The doorman’s name is Vincent, and when reverse-giallo murders (by which I mean the killer wears white gloves, not black) begin occurring in the building, Vincent quickly becomes Suspect Number One in Touch Conners’ police investigation! Ha ha, of course Touch plays a cop; how could he be anything else? His partners are played by Anne Archer, who I believe is also supposed to be his girlfriend despite the twenty-plus year difference in their ages; and Leon Isaac Kennedy, whose role is that of the classic Assistant Cop! He gets bonked on the head near the end and has to sit out much of the climax!
Now, I won’t give away the big surprise ending here in my review! I’ll just say that so much of the evidence within the story, and the clues offered to viewers by the movie itself, point in his direction, that if Vincent had turned out to be the culprit, it would have been a surprising ending indeed!
Touch was not just the star of this movie, he was the producer too! Ha ha, and the director was an actor named Tony Lo Bianco, better known as the alien from Larry Cohen’s bizarre and noteworthy picture God Told Me To! This picture was apparently the culmination of his directorial career! With Too Scared To Scream, Touch and Tony have rigged it so that there are several naked ladies in there – ladies, that is, without any clothes on whatsoever! Ha ha!
Altogether it’s not a very dynamic or compelling murder mystery, and as with that picture Lies, it would have benefited from the take-no-prisoners suspense chops of Brian De Palma! It’s got some fine New York atmosphere, and there's a pretty great supporting cast (Maureen O'Sullivan from Hannah and Her Sisters and Carrie Nye from Creepshow are both in there, and besotted Murray Hamilton from Jaws, and a young John Heard from C.H.U.D.) and there’s something wonderful about movies that take place mostly in a single apartment building (though this one spends almost as much time at Vincent’s house with him and his paralytic mother), and Touch may not be a great actor, but he puts his back into this particular role, you’ve got to give him that! I do give him that, and I give Too Scared To Scream one and a half nude hairy-men!