Exclusive photos/comments: “FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM” Blu-ray bonus contentMovies/TV,News Michael Gingold
FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM, the horror anthology feature that launched director Jeff Burr’s career when it was released in 1987 as THE OFFSPRING, is coming to Blu-ray, and we’ve got an exclusive peek at images from the special features created by Daniel Griffith.
Shout! Factory releases FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM April 28 on its Scream Factory label, and the disc will feature the premieres of two feature-length documentaries created by Griffith and his Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, licensed by Shout! and making their exclusive premieres on the Blu-ray. The first, the two-hour RETURN TO OLDFIELD: MAKING “FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM,” follows the group of young filmmakers who went back to Burr’s Georgia hometown town to raise the money and shoot the film, which stars screen veterans Vincent Price (in his final horror role, pictured in 1st photo below), Clu Gulager (2nd photo), Cameron Mitchell, Terry Kiser (3rd photo with Burr), Rosalind Cash, Harry Caesar, Susan Tyrrell and Martine Beswick. It includes new interviews with director/co-writer Burr, producer/co-writer Darin Scott, co-writer C. Courtney Joyner, actor Gulager, 1st assistant director Mark Hannah, production designer Allen Posten, costume/production designer Cynthia Charette, makeup FX artist Rob Burman, co-writer/production assistant Mike Malone and many others, along with newly discovered behind-the-scenes footage, more than 100 never-before-seen photographs and archival interviews with some of the cast.
The second documentary is the 80-minute A DECADE UNDER THE INNOCENCE: ADVENTURES IN SUPER 8 FILMMAKING IN THE 1970’S, following Burr and his pals as aspiring moviemakers in Dalton, GA, from their middle-school days making horror shorts and James Bond knockoffs, to their more ambitious high-school projects. It features never-before-seen photographs, documentary and rare clips from over 20 childhood films by Burr and others, plus new interviews with Burr, Hannah, Posten, Malone, Tommy Kaye and more.
Griffith, whose previous works include THE FLESH AND THE FURY: X-POSING “TWINS OF EVIL” and AS TIMELESS AS INFINITY: THE “TWILIGHT ZONE” LEGACY, felt a special kinship toward his subject this time out. “Jeff and I are from neighboring towns in northwest Georgia,” he tells Fango. “When I was in elementary school, I learned that a ‘real’ Hollywood production was coming to Dalton—and not only that, it was a horror film! It was FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM, and I begged my father to take me to the set so I could, naively, experience first-hand how thrilling it was to make an actual motion picture. Well, I never made it to Dalton that summer, but crafting the epic behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the movie, 30 years later, was truly the next best thing!
“These documentaries are exhaustive,” he continues. “Not only do they give you insight into the making of an independent horror film in the 1980s, they also tell a much deeper story. Each production is a filmmaker’s odyssey. They reveal how the power of cinema influences some of us at an early age, inspires us to learn the process despite our limitations and keep fighting for the ultimate opportunity to express ourselves through the medium. We see Jeff, with the help of his childhood friends and fellow moviemakers, evolve from 1970s kid with a Super-8 camera to a first-time feature filmmaker realizing the dream. The documentaries are really unique, and I think they will catch horror fans by surprise.”
They’ve already won the approval of Burr, who went on to helm STEPFATHER II, LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III and NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, among others. “What Daniel Griffith has done with this documentary is nirvana for horror-film lovers, myself included,” the director says. “He has excavated the grave of an mostly unknown movie and brought the celluloid bones back to life, in truly cinematic fashion. As an avid watcher of behind-the-scenes features, I don’t know of a more honest and comprehensive documentary on a film of this size. With never-before-seen images of Vincent Price and a host of other horror legends, this documentary is inspiring and one-of-a-kind. Hell, it makes me want to run out and make FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM 2!”
“This is the best documentary on a low-budget film I’ve ever seen,” adds Scott, whose subsequent credits include TALES FROM THE HOOD, MENACE II SOCIETY and, as a director, DARK HOUSE, AMERICAN HORROR HOUSE and SOMETHING WICKED. It’s also very touching, and a fitting tribute!”