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Scream and Scream Again (1970) - Blu-ray Review

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Scream and Scream Again (1970) - Blu-ray Review

3 beersBelieve it or not, the very first time actors Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing were in the same film together was in 1970 with Scream and Scream Again.  While only two of the three horror icons share screen time together, their appearance in this weird title makes it one for the history books o’ horror.  Oh, yes, this conspiracy-minded flick is absurd but damn, if it isn’t also spot on when it comes to its stark treatment of terror.

If you can ignore all that excitement then, honestly, you should really be impressed with the talent of Alfred Marks, who is on fire with his performance throughout Scream and Scream Again.  He is the “copper” tasked with finding a killer who drains his victims of their blood and delivering him to justice.  Even watching him eat a stale sandwich is a hoot and a half.

Under the direction of Gordon Hessler (The Oblong Box), the three classically-trained hombres of horror star in three separate storylines that all come together in a surprising way in this science fiction espionage thriller.  Scream and Scream Again is a fairly shocking film and a strong cult following has developed in the years since its original release.  A warning, though, as this narrative, while frightening, is a difficult beast to follow.  Without much of an explanation, it jumps from story to story, but sticks the landing with quite a shocking convergence, all thanks to Lee.

Adapted from a novel called The Disorientated Man by Peter Saxon (a pseudo name for a rumored group of established writers), Scream and Scream Again features a fairly significant chase sequence, involving MPS Detective Superintendent Bellaver (Marks) and a handcuffed Keith (Michael Gothard).  The film is also noteworthy for creating a disturbing amount of paranoia in its unveiling of a possible future for all of man(un)kind.

Scream and Scream Again begins innocently enough with a jogger who suffers what appears to be a heart attack.  The recently hospitalized jogger wakes up in a hospital bed only to discover that he’s lost a leg.  Each time a nurse wakes him for his pills, he discovers that another limb has been amputated is how our tale begins.  Like I said, bizarre but it makes for a hell of an opening.   

As most of Scream and Scream Again is shot with a disturbing matter-of-factly style thanks to cinematographer John Coquillon (who would next shoot the acclaimed Straw Dogs for Sam Peckinpah), the film quickly becomes a disturbing tale of madness - considering that Price absolutely revels in his wild performance – tangled within a very disturbing modern world.

The next storyline centers on the totalitarian government where torture is permitted and one of its officers, intelligence operative Konartz (Marshall Jones), need merely touch you in order to silence you forever.  The uniforms are Nazi-like and the actions of the army – running over people trying to flee through the hillsides and cutting off fingers for answers – is truly surreal.   

The third narrative; however, goes for the jugular in its depiction of violence against women.  Attracted to the evening clubs where all the single ladies frequent, this dude is a chick magnet and the women he targets only realize they are in over their head after it is too late.  It is up to Marks to bring him in.

No, Scream and Scream Again is not an anthology.  All these stories fold into the other, making it a treat for narrative detectives to try and figure out.  Complete with a vat of acid hinted at by the classic cover art, this might be a lesser-known title when it comes to cult classics, but it earns its keep with one glance at what all is at the bottom of that vat.  Ouch.

Scream and Scream Again is currently available on blu-ray from Twilight Time, but it is limited to 3000 copies.  Get yours now before it is too late.

Scream and Scream Again (1970) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Gordon Hessler
Writer:
Christopher Wicking
Cast:
Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
He's going to make somebody out of every BODY he meets!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Fastest transition in the world: from human to corpse. It doesn't do to get the two confused, or you'll never be successful."
Theatrical Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 13, 1970
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 13, 2015
Synopsis: Kind of a horror movie, kind of an espionage film, and in some sense a piece of science fiction, Scream and Scream Again (1970) features turns by three icons of the horror genre: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. All are involved in a wild “plot” connecting Great Britain to some unnamed totalitarian state where torture, murder, and out-of-control “experiments” are the order of the day. Directed by Gordon Hessler from a screenplay by Christopher Wicking, with cinematography by the worthy John Coquillon.

Scream and Scream Again (1970) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Twilight Time
Available on Blu-ray
- October 13, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Twilight Time presents Scream and Scream Again on 1080p High-Definition with a limited release.  The transfer hasn’t been scrubbed, but the film grain is not problematic.  Colors are bold with the upgrade and shadow levels are thick.  Lines are good throughout and the occasional dirt or debris, while noticeable, is not that big of an issue.  The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 in a region free disc. The sound is presented here in an English 1.0 DTS-HD MA track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  There is a good commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan that accompanies the film.

Special Features:

Twilight Time provides fans of the movie more reasons to purchase their handling of Scream and Scream Again with a nice collection of supplemental items, including a brief look at Hessler’s work at American International Pictures and a new interview with one of the actresses featured in the movie.  Promotional materials round out the collection. 

  • Isolated Score Track
  • Gentleman Gothic: Gordon Hessler at AIP
  • An Interview with Uta Levka
  • Still Gallery
  • Radio Spot
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Scream and Scream Again (1970) - Blu-ray Review

 

 

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