The Silence of the Hams

The Silence of the Hams (Italian: Il Silenzio dei Prosciutti) is a 1994 comedy thriller film written by, 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. Along with Greggio, it features an ensemble cast of Dom DeLuise, Billy Zane, Joanna Pacuła, Charlene Tilton and Martin Balsam.

The Silence of the Hams
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEzio Greggio
Written byEzio Greggio
Produced by
Narrated byEzio Greggio
CinematographyJacques Haitkin
Edited by
  • Robert Barrere
  • Andy Horvitch
Music byParmer Fuller
  • Silvio Berlusconi Productions
  • 30th Century Wolf
Distributed byOctober Films
Release date
  • March 11, 1994 (1994-03-11)
Running time
81 minutes[1]
  • Italy
  • United States
Budget$3 million

Like many of its contemporary satires (including The Naked Gun), it is largely driven by wordplay, sight gags, running jokes,[2] and references to popular culture of the time (such as Michael Jackson's Thriller) and tongue-in-cheek references to then-current American politics (such as a fight scene between Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton). Mel Brooks, who made a number of well regarded parodies (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs), makes a cameo appearance.



The film follows rookie detective Jo Dee Fostar on his first case: apprehending a serial killer wanted for over 120 murders. To find the killer, Fostar enlists the help of convicted murderer Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza. During the investigation, Fostar's girlfriend, Jane Wine is asked by her boss to take a large sum of money to the bank; instead, she leaves town with the money. She decides to hide out at the Cemetery Motel, which is revealed to be a cemetery named Motel after its owner, Antonio Motel. Jo must then enlist the help of Det. Balsam and Dr. Pizza to find not only the murderer, but his missing girlfriend. This takes the cast on many adventures at the Cemetery Motel. In the final confrontation, most of the characters are revealed to be other people in disguise.



Critical response


The Silence of the Hams has widely received negative reviews from 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. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Bignell, Darren (January 1, 2000). "Silence of the Hams". Empire. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  3. ^ "Il Silenzio dei prosciutti (The Silence of the Hams) (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. 1994. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Silence of the Hams". Time Out. September 10, 2012.