Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scream and Scream Again

Jeez, where to begin? Um, someone's abducting people and amputating their limbs. And also there's a foppish serial killer on the loose, killing women that he picks up at a nightclub. And also there's this weird, apparently well-funded neo-Nazi type group up to no good. And a big guy going around killing people with the Vulcan nerve pinch. And don't forget the oddball scientist who claims he's just doing medical research, but happens to keep a giant pit of acid in his backyard.

I've developed something of a taste for the British horror films of the 60's and 70's, but I had a bad feeling about this one when I started it up, and instead of an orchestral score it was some obnoxious jazz fusion nonsense. I knew what this meant: instead of a classy, elegant production a la one of the better Hammer Dracula movies, this was going to be one of those offbeat cheapies, complete with sloppy handheld camera work, a dull color palette, and bad sound.

The bad news is I was right. The good news was that, though it wasn't any good, Scream and Scream Again was completely fucking crazy and that's better than nothing. As you can tell from the above description, it has enough plot for probably 5 bad horror movies, attempting to make up for quality with quantity. It took a little too long me to realize this, but about halfway in it dawned on me that this was probably supposed to be something of a horror/comedy. Certainly no one could have made something this ludicrous, thinking it was a serious film.

Even with all the stories vying for attention, this one is kinda slow and has a few too many dull stretches. More disappointing: Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee all get top billing, but their roles are little more than cameos. (Price, at least, factors significantly into the finale).

So, not very good, but not a waste of my time either. And it has at least one completely awesome subplot that I wish had gotten more screentime/been dragged out more: a man wakes up in the hospital, and finds that his leg has been amputated. And every time he wakes up, another limb is missing. That is some hilariously horrifying shit, and I wish more of the film had been in that vein.

Grade: C

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