SCREAMPLAY (1985) Reviews and overview

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‘ …writing a killer script can be grisly murder!’

Screamplay is a 1985 American low-budget horror film directed by Rufus Butler Seder, who also stars, from a screenplay co-written with Ed Greenberg. It also stars Eugene Seder, Katy Bolger, Basil J. Bova and Ed Callahan. Underground filmmaker George Kuchar has a cameo role.

Aspiring screenwriter Edgar Allen (Rufus B. Seder) arrives in Hollywood carrying his most valuable possessions: a battered suitcase and a typewriter. Edgar Allen’s best attribute is his wild imagination. He imagines scenes so vividly for the murder mystery he is writing that they seem to come to life… and they do!

Edgar taste for classic horror is heightened when he attends attends a triple horror feature of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror; The Golem: How He Came Into the World and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

As mysterious gruesome murders pile up, Edgar must confront aging actresses, rock stars and the police in a bleak setting of broken dreams and hideously broken bodies in Hollywood. As the line between reality and imagination becomes more blurred, Edgar, convinced the only way to be a real writer is to suffer, is driven slowly mad…


“I drew comparisons to the early Sam Raimi oddity ‘Crimewave (1985)’, as they both adopt the stylings of a classic era of film, with the similar over-the-top caricature characters and set pieces, dialogue and filmmaking techniques. However, they use them in such a way that hasn’t been done before, to create darkly comic horror films ripe with manic energy and 80’s violence.” Attack of the Coach Potato


“With its hand-wringing performances, gloomy music, bizarrely perverse screenplay, neo Underground attitudes and a modicum of sickly snide satire, Screamplay is genuinely unusual.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“It’s a film that is easy to get affection for since it seems to have heart and effort put into it, but it sadly isn’t that entertaining and except the look of the film, the rest isn’t done very well which is probably due to lack of experience and budget. I’m gonna guess that Troma picked this up because they loved what they were trying to do…” Cinema Terror

“Director Seder, like any creative filmmaker hamstrung with a tiny budget, employs such tried-and-true effects as rear-screen projection, forced perspective, and multiple exposures to create a unique and vivid cinematic universe, somewhat overcoming the tired story and lacklustre acting.” TV Guide

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