‘… no-one ever returns from this phantom town of terror!’
Scream – also known as The Outing – is a 1980 slasher horror feature film written, directed and co-produced by Byron Quisenberry. The movie stars Pepper Martin, Hank Worden, John Ethan Wayne (John Wayne’s son), Ann Bronston, Julie Marine and Woody Strode (Kingdom of the Spiders).
A group of twelve friends on a river camping trip decide to spend the night in an old ghost town. Unfortunately, an unseen killer begins to dispatch them one by one. On the first night at the stroke of midnight, three of the group are killed in rapid succession. Allen is found hung; his friends Rod and John both hacked by a cleaver. In the morning, the nine survivors try to leave, but find their three rubber rafts slashed apart by someone (or something) forcing them to spend another night at the ghost town…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
‘ …Scream was just too slow for even my forgiving tastes. If the action between the downtime was even remotely interesting, I’d find reasons to praise the film. But again, the film’s major flaw is its attempts to be mysterious. What/who is the phantom thing at the end? What is the meaning of the clock and statues at the beginning? What is the meaning behind the painting? Precious time…perhaps a minute to two minutes… is spent lingering on these images. Surely they mean something? Maybe? Maybe not.’ Oh, the Horror!
‘More often than not, we see a weapon or other implement hanging on a wall, we see an unseen hand begin to remove it, and then we see a dead body — that’s it. The bloody weapon might get hung back up. We might see some smoke in the darkness. We might see a long-distance shot of the corpse. And then again, we might not see any of that. One thing we definitely don’t see much of, though, is the person actually getting killed.’ Trash Film Guru
‘Unfortunately, this low-budget bore is a stultifying exercise in tedium … one of the first slasher movies to have a supernatural angle, and one of the only slashers not to have any female victims.’ J.A. Kerswell, Teenage Wasteland: The Slasher Movie Uncut
‘If you actually can get through the seemingly-endless scenic and nighttime shots (of which there are many), you may find yourself bouncing on the couch in a laughter fit. One character stares out a window for what seems like hours (the camera pans outside and spends about 3 minutes of screen time fading from one outdoor shot to another) only to finally turn towards the camera and state that he needs a beer.’ Retro Slashers
‘ …with the pacing of a snail, this follows uninteresting, never-developed hikers to a deserted Western town where a killer strikes with a hatchet and an ax. Minimal gore scenes and hardly any explanation about the killer is given … One long series of dull panning shots with people who act contrary to human nature.’ John Stanley, Creature Features
‘So where does Scream go wrong? Minus those 10 minutes of creepiness, the entire film is a bore and a chore to sit through. All the kills happen off camera and when you have films like Friday the 13th and company showing explicit gore, this film seems very underwhelming.The acting is mediocre to okay. The only stand out performer is veteran actor Woody Strode who has a rather awkward dialog sequence that attempts to explain the plot.’ The Cinema Sideshow
‘It’s frequently too dark and is very slow going. The director was a stuntman.’ Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide
“Stop! Please stop, haven’t we had enough pain?”
Lake Piru, California
The film, which had the working title Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, was released on 1st January 1981 by Cal-Com. In the US, it was issued on VHS by Vestron Video. Media Blasters released a DVD of the film in 2010 under its Shriek Show label. The release included a widescreen transfer, an audio commentary by Byron Quisenberry, a TV spot, and a theatrical trailer. Code Red also distributed the film on DVD, as a double feature with The Barn of the Naked Dead.
Image credits: The Cinema Sideshow