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Scream and Scream Again (Special Edition)
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A serial killer who drains his victims' blood is on the loose in London! They hunger for power, thirst for blood—and make each helpless, pleading victim Scream and Scream Again! Horror legends Vincent Price (Tales of Terror), Christopher Lee (House of the Long Shadows) and Peter Cushing (Madhouse) star in this masterwork of style and suspense about a group of sadistic madmen plotting to take over the world—one severed body part at a time. Directed by cult filmmaker Gordon Hessler (The Oblong Box) with a screenplay by Christopher Wicking (Cry of the Banshee) and based on a novel by Peter Saxon (Murder at Site 3). Co-starring Judy Huxtable (The Psychopath). This special edition includes both the original UK and American cuts.
-NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
-Includes both the U.S. and UK cuts
-TRAILERS FROM HELL with Mick Garris
-3 Radio Spots
-Vincent Price Trailers
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For those who are unfamiliar with this movie, it is a very unusual 1970 horror movie made by Amicus Productions. It is quite interesting and stars and co-stars 3 horror icons, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. To give you a brief explanation about the plot would not do this movie justice. You just have to see it to understand how unusual of a movie it is, especially for the time period in which it was made.
WHAT MAKES THIS MOVIE UNUSUAL OR DIFFERENT THAN OTHER HORROR MOVIES?: This movie was made shortly after the ratings system came into effect. Therefore, lots of blood, violence and nudity were now allowed in movies. Those things, of course, do not make this movie different than others. What does differentiate it is the plot structure. There are 3 stories that are taking place simultaneously. One focuses on a serial killer, another is about an Eastern European man trying to take over his country and the third is about a hospital where body parts are being removed from people. This movie also has 3 horror icons in it. This was the first time that Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing all appeared in the same movie. They do not all share screen time together in any particular scene. Though, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price appear together in a scene at the end.
BLU-RAY: The picture is decent but not spectacular. This seems to be the norm with Amicus Blu-Ray editions. It doesn't look like any restoration was done to the transfer. There are some parts that are grainy and unclear. For instance there are parts of the first nightclub scene and a few parts after that that are problematic. This probably has to do with some of the original elements not being available for the entire film. There was probably a decayed reel in there somewhere. There aren't any major flaws but the picture isn't all that sharp. Again, this probably has to do with how the movie was filmed as well as the original elements. It isn't bad, it's just nothing to get excited about. However, if you compare the picture of the U.S. version to the U.K. version then it is a completely different matter. In comparison to the U.K. version in this release, the U.S. version picture is a 10 out of 10. The movie is shown in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I'll give the picture a 6.5 out of 10.
-In addition to the U.S. version of this movie, the U.K. version is provided. The U.K. version is in standard definition and is not restored. The U.K. version is 10 seconds longer.
-There is alternate poster art on the inside cover of the Blu-Ray case. You can see a picture of both covers in the images for this review.
-Audio Commentary with film Historian Tim Lucas - I listened to this and it is a good commentary. It pretty much covers everything you might want to know about the movie. Lucas explains the unusual style of the movie and the reasons for the strange plot and short appearances for the headline actors.
-3 radio spots
-Trailers from Hell with Mick Garris
-Trailers for 6 other movies from Kino Lorber
*****WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW THIS POINT*****
PLOT/SUMMARY: The movie opens with a jogger collapsing on a street in England. He wakes up in a hospital bed only to discover that a leg has been amputated. Each time he wakes up he finds another body part missing.
An Eastern European man named Konratz arrives at his country (unnamed). Once inside he kills an officer merely by grabbing his shoulder. He then does the same thing to the leader, Benedek (Peter Cushing) of the country.
In London, Detective Bellaver is investigating some strange deaths of young women. The bodies are discovered to have the blood drained out of them. The police know that the women are being picked up in a nightclub. They plant a female officer in the nightclub in order to find the killer. She wears a wire. The killer picks her up and brings her to a secluded location. Once there, he begins to suck her blood like a vampire. The police get to the car in time to save the officer but the killer gets away. He seems to have superhuman strength. A long chase ensues in which several officers are badly hurt or killed. At the end of the chase, the killer jumps into a vat of acid out in the barn of a well known doctor named Browning (Vincent Price). The police become very suspicious of the doctor when it turns out that one of the killers victims worked for him. However, they are told to lay off the doctor by the head of Intelligence, Fremont (Christopher Lee).
PRODUCTION: This movie is a joint British-American Production that was made by Amicus Productions and American International Pictures in 1969 but released in the U.S. in 1970.
-Amicus used a strategy of hiring 'name' actors for small parts in their movies and then giving them top billing. This worked well for marketing purposes. It is a strategy used quite often today for low budget movie makers. In this movie, Peter Cushing is barely in the movie and was probably hired for just one day. Christopher Lee appears in just a few scenes. Of the three, Vincent Price has the most screen time.
-The movie was based on a science fiction novel called 'The Disoriented Man' by Peter Saxon. In the novel, the villains are aliens.
-Judy Huxtable, who plays Sylvia, was a well known model in England and was featured on Bacardi Rum ads.
-Reviews at the time were mixed. Some thought it was distasteful despite the fact that you never really see any of the worst violence.
-Vincent Price hated the title of this movie.
-Michael Reeves, the director of 'Witchfinder General', was supposed to direct this movie but unfortunately he passed away at a very young age.
-The scene in Trafalgar Square was filmed silently. The words were recorded afterward and dubbed in.
WHY SUCH STRANGE BEHAVIOR FROM COMPOSITE PEOPLE?: You might wonder why people being made from other body parts might become 'vampire-like' and rapists. The answer lies in the book in which the movie was based. In the book, the composites malfunction. That is the reason why they might become rapists. The need for blood can be attributed to their need for some sort of nutrition since they don't have normal functioning bodies.
VULCAN DEATH GRIP: Yes, you read that correctly. Konratz uses the Vulcan death grip to kill his victims. This movie was filmed in 1969, shortly after the 'Star Trek' series ended. Mr. Spock made his 'grip' famous and the director of this film, Gordon Hessler was obviously very familiar with the show. Konratz one ups Spock by squeezing so hard that blood comes out of his victims mouths.
-I like that this movie has several subplots that develop separately. You know that the plots have to merge at some point but you are never really sure how or why, at least not until the very end.
-At first, I thought the chase scene went on for too long but then after thinking about it, I sort of changed my mind. Normally, I'd say they were doing this to pad a movie with a weak plot. I can't really say that for this movie. While the chase was very much extended, each part of the chase revealed something new. First we find out that the killer is a vampire, then we find out he has super human strength, then it is revealed that he can rip off body parts and has very little blood and finally, he deliberately destroys himself.
-The jogger who gets his limbs amputated is supposed to be an Olympic runner. It makes you wonder why they would abduct him. Somebody of note is bound to attract a lot more attention than an average 'Joe'.
-It is unclear as to what happens at the end of the movie. Christopher Lee says something about it being "the beginning" and our heroes smile and laugh but nobody really knows what that means. None of the actors ever really understood the movie and said so in interviews in later years.
CONCLUSIONS: As I stated at the top of this review, this movie is both very unusual and very interesting. You never really figure out where it is going until you get to the very end. For those reasons, I rate this movie very highly. It's great when you get a movie that deviates far from the norm the way this one does.
RATINGS: I'm giving this release 5 stars because I like the unusual nature of the movie. It is interesting until the very end. The picture is decent, though not great. There are a few problems with the transfer but I'm going to overlook that.You get a commentary track which is always a nice positive.
Recommended for fans of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Recommended for 60's horror fans.
And there are misssteps galore. [MORE SPOILERS] 1. A dynamic and likeable character is killed off summarily, and the movie's focus shifts to a characterless and charmless young intern. It's as big a mistake as when that Godzilla movie killed off Walter White halfway through and we had to spend the rest of the movie with his charmless son. 2. It's never quite clear what Price is creating; cyborgs? Frankenstein monsters? 3. Our hero's escape from the mad science lab is pretty farfetched. 4. Peter Cushing appears, and although his considerable charm could have helped make this movie more appealing, he's gone in a flash. 5. And what the heck is Christopher Lee's character doing?
It is easy to watch, though, with typical Amicus good craftsmanship, and plenty of to-ing and fro-ing to keep you amused.
produced by American int' pictures back in 1970
the whole film is set in modern day U.K. somewhere i think it's London 1970
even thou the plot is fragmented most of the film is based on Vincent price who plays mad doctor
who's clinic specializes in Limb & organ transplantation from mudered London citizens
but the limbs & organs are somehow tranferred into Super human form
Vincent price's character is a super human person with amazing strength
i don't know it's confusing
but some of the scenes from the film have the local police try to capture a serial killer terrorizing London's club scene
this particular serial killer played by british Actor Michael Gothard acts as a super human monster with amazing strength
in one scene he's able to tear his hand off from the hand cuffs that was cuffed to him
and continues to run off the police are confused so the pursuit continues
finally Keith played by Michael Gothard is trapped in falls into an Acid bath
anyway TWILIGHT TIME got the rights to the film from MGM are released it on blu-ray for the first time ever
tragically the HD transfer that TT did for the film is terrible, the transfer is suppose to be 1080p much higher quality than dvd
but instead looks more like dvd transfer to me there's still lots of Grain and Dirt in the picture pretty pathetic effort by TT
the sound quality is no different the sound is Mono sound, hasn't been boosted at all to 2.0 master stereo mix how pathetic
looks like the only effort TT did was give new extras for this blu-ray release
a new retrospective featurette has been added, this 23mins featurette is about Gordon Hessler & AIP
there's new interviews with Film Historians Steve Haberman, Director Jeff burr & other Film Historians
who studied Gordon Hessler's career with AIP, interesting featurette worth watching
there's also a interview with German actress Uta Levka who played Vincent price's assistant nurse in the film
who also had super human strength in the film
the interview is archive interview from 2000 filmed in Germany by German cameraman
even thou Uta speaks excellent English her interview is German with English subtitles
even when she's speaking English there's subtitles anyway
the interview goes for about 8mins which she talks alot about here acting jobs with AIP basically
and one of them was playing the super human nurse in Scream/scream again
she admits she can't remember her role in the film specifically
she's also very unaware/surprised that the film has become a cult film with many fans in the U.K & U.S.
there's also a new commentary track by Film Historians David del valle & Tim sullivan who work for TT
they've given other commentaries for other TT blu-ray reissues aswell
the other one was Count yorga vampire
there's also booklet included aswell
so is this blu-ray reissue worth buying, well for the new extras it's worth buying but the so called new HD transfer is terrible
TT & screen archives website are still selling it for $30 which i think is ripoff price considering the picture quality is terrible
so it's still available to buy from Twilight time or screen archives website that's for sure
about 2-3stars for this new blu-ray reissue based on new extras but terrible picture & sound quality
Top international reviews
DVD Scream and scream again arrives at my address.
DVD is perfect, new, This movie with Vincent Price is very interesting, i like it.
Thank you very much to you for this movie.