‘Triple distilled horror… as powerful as a vat of acid!’
Scream and Scream Again is a 1969 (released January 1970) conspiracy-thriller / horror /sci-fi film adapted from Peter Saxon‘s book The Disorientated Man. It marks the second teaming of actors Vincent Price and Christopher Lee.
Director Gordon Hessler had previously made The Oblong Box with the two horror stars. Price and Lee only share a brief scene in this films’ climax, however. Third-billed Peter Cushing plays an unidentified official in an unidentified Eastern European country.
The film’s title, and association with stars Price, Lee and Peter Cushing have given it an undeserved reputation as a straight horror film, but the violence is mostly understated and/or off-screen, while the plot owes more to films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and anticipates 1970’s era ‘conspiracy thrillers’ such as The Parallax View.
A serial killer, who drains his victims for blood is on the loose in London. The frantic police pursue him to a house owned by an eccentric scientist…
“If you want a slightly mad, fast-paced mystery with outbursts of violent horror and a screeching car chase, here it is. You’ll even see that most cliched of sexual symbolism, the suggestive fondling of the sportscar gearstick…” Mark Hodgson, Black Hole DVD Reviews
‘ … it doesn’t really matter that much of it is nonsense, since it moves at a brisk pace and there are all those grand performances. The music is rather interesting, from the funky opening theme to the generic chase music, to the Amen Corner’s extended jams in the Busted Pot, to the climax where the variety of tunes come together with a bewildering swiftness … If stoned plot development and structure are not an impediment , the Scream and Scream Again is worthy of the highest accolades.’ Wendell McKay, The Shrieking Sixties: British Horror Films 1960 – 1969
“Even though the central story is fairly straightforward, Christopher Wicking’s screenplay can grow quite confusing. Gordon Hessler’s direction … doesn’t hold up that well either. Everything features too many complications and needless detail. At the end of the day, Scream and Scream Again is a mad scientist tale with a few twists; trying to add too many plot devices takes away from the thrills. One should watch the movie for Price’s devilish turn, Cushing’s fine acting and Lee’s presence … that’s about it.” John Soltes, Hollwood Soap Box
“The film moves along at a rollicking pace. The jazzy score alerts the viewer when Something Important is happening. Though a potentially suspenseful car chase scene is almost ruined by some of the worst day-for-night cinematography ever seen. I mean, c’mon this is worse than the day-for-night shot that appears towards the end of Count Yorga, Vampire.” Jay Daniel Thompson, Video Shop Daze
Director Gordon Hessler talks to George Reis for DVD Drive-In
Cast and characters:
- Vincent Price as Dr. Browning
- Christopher Lee as Fremont
- Peter Cushing as Major Heinrich Benedek
- Judy Huxtable as Sylvia
- Alfred Marks as Detective Superintendent Bellaver
- Michael Gothard as Keith
- Anthony Newlands as Ludwig
- Peter Sallis as Schweitz
- Uta Levka as Jane
- Christopher Matthews as Dr. David Sorel
- Judy Bloom as Helen Bradford
- Clifford Earl as Detective Sergeant Jimmy Joyce
- Kenneth Benda as Professor Kingsmill
- Marshall Jones as Konratz
- Amen Corner as themselves
- Yutte Stensgaard as Erika
- Julian Holloway as Detective Constable Griffin
- Nigel Lambert as Ken Sparten
Thanks to Jonny Sambuca from the Amicus, Tyburn, Tigon Film Lovers Facebook group for the Columbia Tristar VHS sleeve image, Museu do VHS for the Brazilian video sleeve image and OriginalPosters.co.uk for the British poster image.