SCREAM FOR HELP (1984) Reviews and overview


‘Alone and afraid… was she imagining or was it real…’

Teenager Christie Cromwell (Rachael Kelly) discovers that her stepfather and his cronies are trying to murder her mother and then her, but when she tells people, no one will believe her. Christie is forced to take matters into her own hands…

Scream for Help is a 1984 British horror thriller feature film directed and produced by Michael Winner (The Sentinel; The Nightcomers) from a screenplay written by Tom Holland (The Beast Within and Psycho II and future director of Fright Night and Child’s Play). Irwin Yablans (Halloween, Blood Beach) served as executive producer. The movie stars Rachael Kelly, David Brooks, Marie Masters, Rocco Sisto, Lorita Lorre, Sandra Clark and Corey Parker (Friday the 13th Part V).

Former Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones provided the film’s symphonic score, with assistance from Jimmy Page on two tracks. The latter went on to score Winner’s Death Wish 3 soundtrack the following year.

Bonus Features:

  • New 2K scan from the original film elements
  • New Audio Commentary by the Hysteria Lives
  • New Cruel Intentions – an interview with writer Tom Holland
  • New Stepfather of the Year – an interview with actor David Allen Brooks
  • Theatrical Trailer

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“Michael Winner of this period had a very peculiar way of shooting his films. The framing, dialogue and style of these pictures were off-kilter to say the least (um, Death Wish 3 anyone?) and for this one, his mad methods lend the film a pretty unique vibe. The film was shot in white-bread, picket fence land New Rochelle New York and that disjointed, occasionally lurid vibe Winner creates makes for a deliciously weird counterbalance.” Cinema Du Meep

“The best bits (read: deaths/gore) don’t occur until the finale, which means the bulk of the picture has to rely on building tension and playing the cat-and-mouse game between Christie & Paul. As mentioned, Winner was not the right director to deliver these elements. His strengths are more visible during the climax when all the cards are on the table and characters can act with less concern for being inconspicuous.” Dread Central


“Holland’s script, besides featuring several nail-biting sequences, is very subversive. Having the sweet, innocent heroine perform the stalking and slashing under cuts the criticism from mainstream critics that slasher films are nothing more than scenes of evil men harming helpless women. Christie spills more blood and racks up a higher body count than the three villains.” Retro Slashers

“Think Nancy Drew meets The Stepfather at The Breakfast Club, and you pretty much have the premise of Scream for Help nailed down … It’s one of the most unusual films of the 80s and a laugh riot.  The whole time you’re watching, you are never really sure if it was meant to be taken seriously or satirically.  I’d wager on the latter considering the talent involved, but it’s difficult to tell.” Thrill Me


Scream Factory released Scream for Help on Blu-ray on September 18, 2018.

scream for help michael winner death wish




Main cast and characters:

  • Rachael Kelly … Christie Cromwell
  • Marie Masters … Karen Cromwell Fox
  • David Allen Brooks … Paul Fox (as David Brooks)
  • Lolita Lesheim … Brenda Bohle (as Lolita Lorre)
  • Rocco Sisto … Lacey Bohle
  • Corey Parker … Josh Dealey
  • Sandra Clark … Janey Ralston
  • Tony Sibbald … Bob Dealey

Filming locations:

  • London, England (Christie’s house)
  • New Rochelle, New York

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!

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