The reason I sought out this hard to locate film (until I found it on YouTube) was that a I am a big fan of the Hammer films as you might have seen on my blog. The dream team of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing was just to hard to pass up. But when I finally sat down and watched it, the movie was a non-event.
First of all the movie is a thriller not a horror film. You have a unorthodox medical doctor/scientist (Price), a police inspector (Alfred Marks) chasing a serial killer (Michael Gothard) and finally the behind the scenes of a Eastern European fascist government.
The storylines eventually converge but it is extremely hard to get to that point in the film. If you do the last thirty minutes redeem the movie on some levels. There is a really interesting twist.
The historic team-up of Price, Lee and Cushing is kind of major letdown from the way the film is staged. Cushing’s part is a mere cameo. And Lee is in the film but hardly a strong presence.
The best of the three is Price who plays the mad scientist in the film. Price’s speeches and talking about science is all vintage Price.
The best acting in the film doesn’t come from the performances from the three dynamic leads but from little known actor Michael Gothard who plays the serial killer in the film. Gothard is probably best known for the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only” or the ensemble adventure-comedy “The Three Musketeers” with Richard Chamberlain.
His performance is countered by the extremely wooden Alfred Marks who plays the detective chasing him. Why didn’t Peter Cushing play the role of the detective? Now that would have been a film worth these three actors.
“Scream and Scream Again” is another example of a 60s/70s/80s thriller that is spoiled by the music choice. “The French Connection” was a multiple Oscar winner in it’s day but I can’t stand to watch the film again because of the really awful music. When the music of the era throws off the scene and takes you out of the film it is really hard to get reattached. And that isn’t any more evident than in this film.
3 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer