Scream and Scream Again (1969)

Article #1780 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-28-2006
Posting Date: 6-27-2006
Directed by Gordon Hessler
Featuring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

A serial killer is on the loose. This is somehow connected to a man who finds his limbs being amputated in a hospital and a murderous official in a foreign country.

On a certain level, I admire this horror / science fiction thriller for what it’s trying to do. It’s really rather ambitious in structure, juggling several story threads before winding them all together in the end. I just don’t think it does it very well. For the most part, the movie comes across as a confusing mess. One of the problems is that it becomes difficult to figure out who the main characters are. The presence of three horror stars should have made this easier, but Vincent Price has only two brief cameos before the climax of the movie, Peter Cushing has one scene in the middle, and Christoper Lee’s entire performance consists of about three cameo appearances. The best scene of the movie is probably the pursuit of the serial killer by the police (and it features the most memorable moment, which involves a man handcuffed to the bumper of a car), but part of the reason this is so is that it’s the first time the movie ever dwells on one thread long enough for the movie to gather some momentum. Fortunately, this thread is also the one most worth following if you want to keep track of the story. Still, I find the movie generally a disappointment; the ending in particular feels is a bit of a letdown, despite the fact that it features the only scene in which two of the horror stars interact. Still, I think this is the best of the Gordon Hessler horror movies I’ve seen so far.

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