The Oblong Box / Scream and Scream Again (Midnite Movies Double Feature)
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Scream and Scream Again is definitely the better of the two movies. It has its flaws: the plot is overly complicated and certain plot lines don't tie together for a long time, if truly ever. The story has something to do with a mad scientist (Price) who is performing mysterious experiments and a serial killer who frequents discos and is seemingly unkillable. Add to all this some intrigue with a East German-country, and you have a mess, but somehow a fun one.
Although billed as starring all three actors, this is misleading. Cushing is in the movie for all of five minutes, Lee not much longer. Only Price has a significant role, and even he's got a relatively small part. On the other hand, both Lee and Price have significant roles in the Oblong Box.
Unfortunately, this movie is pretty weak. Price plays a wealthy gentleman who has just returned from his African plantation, where his brother was hideously deformed as part of a native ritual. The brother, confined to Price's house, fakes his death and is buried alive, only to wind up in the custody of some grave robbers, who sell him to Lee, a doctor who hides him. The brother's quest for revenge occupies the rest of the movie.
The Oblong Box is pretty slow-moving and suspenseless, and even the big payoff, seeing the deformed brother's face at long last, is a disappointment: he's hardly scary or even grotesque.
At best, these are minor horror movies; for big fans of the genre, especially from the 1960s and 1970s, it may be worth watching. Others should find their thrills elsewhere
The book's better, by the way.
The Oblong Box is sloooooooow. Not terribly interesting and the end of the film is telegraphed well in advance. Price isn't at his best and I had the feeling this was one film he wasn't terribly interested in, himself. If you like Price, though, it's worth watching.
Closed Captioning on the DVD is available, though the CC'ing on The Oblong Box is slightly late some of the time. You find yourself looking at someone talking, get about 2 seconds of CC'ing and then the scene will shift to another view, often of someone else and you're still reading the CC'ing. Annoying.
Of course, it's the second film, `Scream & Scream Again', that we have all been waiting for. Subject of one of Tim Lucas' very first Video Watchdog columns before he made it into a magazine, this has until now only been available on home video with a different music score composed by Kendall Schmidt, replacing the original music composed by David Whitaker. Well, the Whitaker score is now back, and its interesting to watch the film having got so used to Schmidt's electronic doodlings, which it turns out actually weren't that bad. In fact sometimes his score is better than Whitaker's own jazz-inspired music, which in places is quite inappropriate to the action taking place on screen.
Some of the reviews on this site have criticized the plotting. Certainly Hessler & Wicking have always maintained that the fragmentary disjointed nature of the story was always intentional. Anyone who has read the original novel `The Disorientated Man' by "Peter Saxon" (a pseudonym for any number of writers working at that particular publishing house at that time) will know that the novel is constructed like that anyway, possibly because multiple writers may have contributed to it. `We took out the blobs from space' said Wicking in an interview, but to be honest they don't seem to have done much else.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is closely based on Peter Saxon's science fiction novel "The Disoriented Man". Worth watching if you love sci-fi, mystery, thriller, crime and horror all rolled... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rainey Dawn
THE OBLONG BOX was the follow-up to the highly successful WITCHFINDER GENERAL which was directed by the highly regarded young director Michael Reeves. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Chip Kaufmann
Pretty exciting chase scene about midway through, but most of the movie was actually pretty boring. Peter Cushing, despite having near-top billing, barely appears at all, and Price... Read morePublished 6 months ago by David T. Jarvis
THE OBLONG BOX(1969) Directed by Gordon Hessler. Produced by Louis M. Heyward. Cinematography by John Coquillon. Blamed on Edgar Allan Poe. Read morePublished 8 months ago by The Mysterious Traveler
Vincent Price is Magnificent in both films. The Oblong box is the best between the 2 films. If you are a true fan of Price, you will want to have The Oblong Box. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Threeleggedwolf
The Oblong Box is your classic Price/Poe gothic horror. Top notch acting/story and beautiful color. This is the better of the two films, it also has that classic Hammer look. Read morePublished 13 months ago by eastrich2015
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