Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980)
Article 6073 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Robert Hammer
Featuring James Westmoreland, Ben Frank, Flo Lawrence
What it is: Psycho killer movie
A psycho killer is on the loose strangling women in their homes. The female doctor of a call-in radio therapist show receives calls from the psycho about his crimes. Police investigate.
Answering the phone actually has very little to do with putting yourself at risk in this movie as far as I can see, so the title doesn’t tell you much. But, then again, there’s precious little to tell here; if you’re familiar with MO of a psycho killer movie (in opposition to a slasher movie) there’s nothing here striking enough to set it apart from the crowd. The moment when I noticed that the police investigation scenes largely felt like comic relief was the moment I lost hope that anything novel was going to happen. And, given that this was a psycho killer movie made in the wake of the rise of the slasher film, I’m also not surprised that this movie borrows one trick from that genre, and I bet you know what the trick is. Nothing to recommend here.