The Silence of the Hams

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The Silence of the Hams
The silence of the hams poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ezio Greggio
Produced by
Written by Ezio Greggio
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
  • March 11, 1994 (1994-03-11)
Running time
81 minutes[1]
  • Italy
  • United States
Language English
Budget $3 million

The Silence of the Hams (Italian: Il Silenzio dei Prosciutti) is a 1994 Italian-American satirical comedy film written, directed by, and starring Italian comedian Ezio Greggio. It is a parody of many popular thriller and horror films, notably The Silence of the Lambs and Psycho. Alongside Greggio, the film features an ensemble cast featuring Dom DeLuise, Billy Zane, Joanna Pacuła, Charlene Tilton, and Martin Balsam.

The comedy, like many of its contemporaries (including The Naked Gun), is largely driven by word-play, sight gags, running jokes,[2] 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 (such as a fight scene between Presidents George H. W. Bush 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) and Dr. Pizza to not only find the murderer, but his missing girlfriend. 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 was widely panned by critics and has a 0% "rotten" rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on eight reviews.[3]

Time Out London called it a "wholly redundant exercise",[4] 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".[2]


  1. ^ "Silence of the Hams (15)". British Board of Film Classification. March 8, 1996. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Bignell, Darren (January 1, 2000). "Silence of the Hams". Empire. 
  3. ^ "Il Silenzio dei prosciutti (The Silence of the Hams) (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. 1994. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Silence of the Hams". Time Out. 

External links[edit]