Scream and Scream Again (1970) starring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Christopher Matthews
Synopsis of Scream and Scream Again
Scream and Scream Again is a cross between the horror movie and conspiracy genres. It has three different plot lines that don’t seem connected. A jogger collapses in the street, and wakes up in a hospital. There, one by one, his limbs are being amputated. A serial killer drains his victims of their blood. A Communist dictatorship, where people are being killed by what looks like the Vulcan nerve pinch.
Eventually, the plot lines come together — more or less. After the police surround the “vampire” killer, who breaks his own hand off to escape being handcuffed to a police car. Then he destroys himself in a vat of acid. And a police doctor continues to investigate after being told to desist, and visits Dr. Browning (Vincent Price, The Abominable Dr. Phibes) who reveals the secret of the plot. He is a mad scientist who is building better human beings, by harvesting body parts. Which he uses to create new people, ala Frankenstein.
The vampire killer was his first “autonomous” model, and it turns out that Browning and his staff are, themselves “recombinants”. The ending feels rushed, as Christopher Lee (The Curse of Frankenstein) shows up. Lee is another member of this global conspiracy of monster makers, who declares that they’ve made themselves too exposed. He kills them all in the vat of acid, rescuing the doctor and his policewoman compatriot.
Interesting and disappointing
Scream and Scream Again is both interesting and disappointing. There are many loose ends that are never tied up. The three horror stars (Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing) are on screen for a very short time. Cushing for 2 minutes or less. It almost feels like three different movies that were spliced together, and an ending tacked on. It has graphic violence and brief nudity, so I only rate Scream and Scream Again 1.5 stars.
Editorial review of Scream and Scream Again courtesy of Amazon.com
Yes, it’s definitely going to take more than one scream to get through this one. Scream and Scream Again is a truly bizarre late-1960s relic. It is a cheerfully sadistic movie and uses a few tactics that are a bit more disturbing than they’re meant to be, such as a long, ogling pan along a nude corpse. Horror king Vincent Price gets top billing, but in fact the master is saved until the end of the film. In the meantime, we follow three mysterious interweaving plot lines: a series of sexualized murders, a torturer’s monstrous rise to power in an unnamed totalitarian nation, and a hapless captive undergoing a truly horrific medical procedure.
Scream and Scream Again certainly offers the viewer an interesting ride, careening as it does between the effectively chilling and the merely off-putting. There is an engaging chase as the London police try to put everything together, but of course the real treat of the movie is getting to watch Price’s performance. He is calmly, perfectly assured, managing to achieve menacing reserve and full-on creep-out at the same time. A complete pro, Price even did one of his own stunts to ensure a good close-up, submerging himself in goo for the cause. Watch him at work and scream. And then scream again. –Ali Davis