The Comeback (1978, aka The Day the Screaming Stopped)

The Comeback (1978, aka The Day the Screaming Stopped)

Synopsis:

Real-life crooner Jack Jones (Airplane II: The Sequel) plays Nick Cooper, an American singer who stopped performing after he got married. When Cooper’s marriage collapses, he decides to restart his career. Cooper travels to England so he can work on a new album, and unbeknownst to him the musician’s ex-wife (Holly Palance, The Omen) is brutally murdered. Suddenly, Cooper begins having bizarre “dreams.” The pandemonium continues, and the crimes seem to be connected to Cooper’s nightmares.

Reaction & Thoughts:

The Comeback (1978, aka The Day the Screaming Stopped), written by Murray Smith, is an entertaining British chiller by cult filmmaker Pete Walker (House of Whipcord and Schizo).

The film’s title could be interpreted in various ways. It alludes to both the singer’s “comeback” and the idea of the past coming back to affect the present. I’m sure that there are other interpretations too. This is the kind of film that is in no rush to get anywhere. The slow-burn narrative held my interest because director Walker knows precisely when to insert violence.

The Comeback starts off with a terrific murder set-piece that lingers in your mind for a long time. The killer wears a wonderfully scary costume. It’s similar to the one used in the American slasher Terror Train (1980) and Canadian chiller Curtains (1983). I also loved how Walker combines the real with the supernatural. It’s essentially an old-school slasher with paranormal elements. Smith’s script contains delightfully quirky touches too; he adds a welcome touch of black humor to the mayhem.

Sheila Keith, a member of Walker’s stock company, is fun as the passive-aggressive Mrs. B. David Doyle (Bosley in TV’s Charlie’s Angels) gives an excellent performance as a music producer. With Richard Johnson (The Devil Within Her), and June Chadwick (This Is Spinal Tap).

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

The Comeback is a fun little horror movie. A must-see British chiller for Pete Walker fans. Color, 100 minutes, Rated R.

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