Murder by Phone

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Murder by Phone
Murder by Phone.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Anderson
StarringRichard Chamberlain
John Houseman
Music byJohn Barry
Distributed byNew World Pictures[1]
Release date
  • October 8, 1982 (1982-10-08)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States

Murder by Phone is (also known as Bells and The Calling)[2] is a 1982 American-Canadian science fiction slasher film directed by Michael Anderson. Its plot follows a series of murders committed by a disgruntled phone company employee who designs a device that kills victims when they answer their telephones.



Murder by Phone was filmed in 1980 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[3]

The score by John Barry is electronic, played entirely with synthesisers. This was a rarity for Barry. Whilst he composed and conducted the score, it was performed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen. Elias later went on to work with Barry on the scores for Jagged Edge and A View to a Kill.


Murder by Phone was released in the United States on October 8, 1982.[a]

Critical response[edit]

Leonard Maltin noted the film's cast and direction as being legitimately "talented," but deemed the film a "hoary horror exercise."[5]

Home media[edit]

Murder by Phone was released on VHS by Warner Home Video in 1984.[6] The VHS was reissued in 1998.[7]


  1. ^ The earliest newspaper sources displaying showtimes for the film are dated for the weekend of October 8—10, 1982.[4]


  1. ^ Muir 2011, pp. 116–117.
  2. ^ Hunter, Rob (June 26, 2017). "That Ringing In Your Ears? It's 'Murder By Phone' Calling". Film School Rejects. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Fischer 2011, p. 50.
  4. ^ "Midnite Movie Express". The Tampa Tribune. Tampa, Florida. October 8, 1982. p. 23 – via open access
  5. ^ Maltin 2009, p. 946.
  6. ^ Murder by Phone (VHS)|format= requires |url= (help). Warner Home Video. 1984 [1982]. 24005.
  7. ^ Murder by Phone (VHS)|format= requires |url= (help). Warner Home Video. 1998 [1982]. ASIN 6300271919.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]