The Silence of the Hams

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The Silence of the Hams
The silence of the hams poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Ezio Greggio
Produced by Julie Corman
Ezio Greggio
Written by Ezio Greggio
Starring Ezio Greggio
Dom DeLuise
Billy Zane
Joanna Pacuła
Charlene Tilton
Martin Balsam
Narrated by Ezio Greggio
Music by Parmer Fuller
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Edited by Robert Barrere
Andy Horvitch
Silvio Berlusconi Productions
30th Century Wolf
Distributed by October Films
Release date(s) March 11, 1994
Running time 81 minutes
Country Italy / United States
Language English
Budget $3,000,000

The Silence of the Hams (Italian: Il Silenzio dei Prosciutti) is a 1994 parody film directed and written by Italian comedian Ezio Greggio. It is a parody of many popular thriller and horror films, notably The Silence of the Lambs and Alfred's Hitchcock's Psycho.

The comedy, like many of its contemporaries (including The Naked Gun), is largely driven by word-play, sight gags, running jokes,[1] and multiple references to popular culture of the time, like Michael Jackson's Thriller, and tongue-in-cheek references to the then-current state of American politics (like a fight scene between Presidents George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton). As a curiosity, there is a Mel Brooks cameo in this film, who made a number of well regarded parodies (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs).


The film follows rookie detective Jo Dee Fostar (Billy Zane), on his first case. The case involves a serial killer, wanted for over 120 murders. In order to find the killer, he must enlist the help of convicted murderer Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza (Dom Deluise). However, during the investigation, his girlfriend, Jane Wine (Charlene Tilton), is asked by her boss to take a large sum of money to the bank. Instead of doing this, she leaves town with the money. While hiding, she decides to rest at the Cemetery Motel, which is later revealed to be a cemetery named Motel after its owner, Antonio Motel. Jo must then enlist the help of Det. Balsam (Martin Balsam, who played the private investigator in the original Psycho film) and Dr. Pizza to not only find the murderer, but his missing girlfriend as well. All of this takes the cast on many adventures at the Cemetery Motel. In the final confrontation, most characters are revealed to be somebody else in disguise.


Critical Response[edit]

The Silence of the Hams has a 0% "rotten" rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on eight reviews.[2]

Time Out London called it a "wholly redundant exercise",[3] while Empire criticised it for "a script staggeringly bereft of humour or invention, and a clumsy, amateurish direction that seems largely concerned with focusing on Charlene Tilton's breasts".[1]


  1. ^ a b Darren Bignell, "Silence of the Hams", Empire Online,
  2. ^ "Il Silenzio dei prosciutti (The Silence of the Hams) (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed February 29, 2012
  3. ^ "The Silence of the Hams". Time Out Film Guide website.

External links[edit]