Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980)

dont answer the phone poster 1980 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

Over-the-top, so-bad-it-is-good acting

Exploitive and shot in a dull method

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Don’t Answer the Phone!

Studio:  Crown International Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  February 29, 1980

MPAA Rating:  R


Is this going to cost me extra or do I get “the insane serial killer” rate?

A serial killer (Nicholas Worth) is stalking Los Angeles…strangling and raping his victims.  The police pursue him led by Lt. Chris McCabe (James Westmoreland) while a radio psychiatrist named Dr. Lindsay Gale (Flo Lawrence) argues that he needs to be helped.  When the killer becomes obsessed with the psychiatrist, the killings begin to get closer and closer to Gale, and Gale is now his target.

Directed by Roger Hammer, Don’t Answer the Phone! is a low budget horror-detective thriller.  The low budget film did make a decent profit and was criticized for its violence and over acting.  It is often available on DVD in cheap combo packs.


Oh Porky…you’re here to bust those kids who wrecked your establishment. Nope, you’re looking at porn…

Don’t Answer the Phone! isn’t much a horror movie nor is it much of a thriller.  The movie follows the search for a killer…who is particularly vicious.  The movie feels like a boring episode of Law & Order…with an insane killer and nudity.

The movie’s story isn’t a mystery.  You know off the bat who the killer is so it becomes a story of cat and mouse (with a lame romance between the detective and the psychiatrist thrown in).  The killer will just pick victims and strangle them in bizarre ways.  The plot seems really incidental and it all about the shock; the dialogue on all fronts is awful (“He don’t look like a porno photographer to me…he doesn’t even have a “Blow-Me-Up Suck Me Susie” doll” and a great last line “Adios, creep” ).


Good time to try to “reason” with a serial killer by bring up his dog…since serial killers seem to always kill their pets first

The movie does have the advantage of having a great serial killer in Nicholas Worth.  It isn’t that he’s a good actor (he’s actually quite bad).  What makes the movie work at all is that he is so over-the-top and given monologue scenes (which includes one where he imitates an African-American pimp he attacked).  They are so bad, that they are funny.

The movie looks like a cheap film.  There is no style to the film.  It looks like a textbook definition on lighting and shooting with no variety or anything that makes it stand out…if the movie had been rather extreme or stylized, it might have crossed over to a better film.  They go for a first person perspective near the end of the film that does vary up the shots a bit, .

Don’t Answer the Phone! isn’t a good film, but it does have a bit of a cult following due to the campy nature of the acting.  Nicholas Worth makes the movie with his over-acting.  The film is cheesy and not very classy.  Don’t Answer the Phone! is what it is…don’t expect more…don’t!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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