Scream and Scream Again (1969)

UK, 1969
95m
35mm film, “photographed in Eastman Color”, 1.85:1
mono, English

A British science fiction/horror film directed by Gordon Hessler.

Plot Summary

Police detective Bellaver investigates a series of brutal sex murders. His investigations lead him to scientist Dr Browning who is creating race of artificial humans who have already taken over an East European country as a prelude to world domination. But one of Browning’s early experiments, Keith, has escaped and is the serial killer that Bellaver is hunting…

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Gordon Hessler
© MCMLXIX by American International Productions (England) Ltd.
An American International picture
Executive Producer: Louis M. Heyward
Produced by: Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky
Screenplay by: Christopher Wicking
From Press Editorial Services’ novel ‘The Disorientated Man‘ by Peter Saxon
Lighting Cameraman: John Coquillon
Editor: Peter Elliott
Music Composed and Conducted by: David Whitaker
Sound Mixer: Bert Ross
Wardrobe: Evelyn Gibbs
Make-Up: Jimmy Evans
Hairdresser: Betty Sherriff
Production Designer: Bill Constable

Cast
Vincent Price (Dr Browning)
Christopher Lee (Fremont)
Peter Cushing as Benedek
Alfred Marks as Detective Superintendant Bellaver
Christopher Matthews (David Sorel)
Judy Huxtable (Sylvia)
Anthony Newlands (Ludwig)
Kenneth Benda (Professor Kingsmill)
Marshall Jones (Konratz)
Uta Levka (Jane)
Yutte Stensgaard (Erika)
Julian Holloway (Griffin)
Judi Bloom (Helen Bradford)
Peter Sallis (Schweitz)
Clifford Earl (Detective Sergeant Jimmy Joyce)
Nigel Lambert (Ken Sparten)
The Amen Corner (themselves)
Michael Gothard (Keith)
David Lodge (Det. Insp. Strickland) 1David Lodge is listed in the film’s credits but doesn’t appear in the film]
Kay Adrian [nurse – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

La carrera de la muerte – Spain
Doctor Diabolic – France (video)
Huuto yössä – Finland
Lâchez les monstres – France
Die Lebenden Leichen des Dr Mabuse – Germany
Screamer
Skriiik… och skriiik… igen!
– Sweden
Terrore e terrore – Italy

Production Notes

The film was given a trade show, as was required under the terms of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 at the Studio 1 in London on 20 January 1970.

Press

1970
Today’s Cinema no.9773 23 January 1970 p.9
There are many gruesome touches, but crisp editing and the director’s skilful changes of mood prevent these from becoming repulsive; and the thrown away comedy introduced by Alfred Marks provides the release from tension that is so necessary if repeated shocks are not to blunt the edge of audience anticipation. The plot is confusing and I never fully understood what the super baddy was up to in that unnamed foreign country. But I didn’t care, and I don’t suppose anybody else will. […] A first-rate horror thriller with shock piling on shock in rapid succession and adroitly punctuated with humour. A real treat for the fans. – from a review (Marjorie Bilbow on the new films) by Marjorie Bilbow

Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3250 (24 January 1970) p.10
This farrago of horrific nonsense is a bit too complicated and mysterious to make a big impression, but the cast has some fine, marquee names. […] [T]he killings do generate excitement and there is a very well-handled car chase. The stars are used sparingly, Vincent Price hardly has to pull out any of his famous, melodramatic stops […]; Christopher Lee is positively normal as a high-up in the British secret service and leaves all the vampiring to a supporting player. Peter Cushing makes a very brief appearance in a role that could have been played by almost anyone; and Alfred Marks does what he can with the part of Supt. Bellaver, written as a travesty of the real thing. – from a review (Reviews) by Graham Clarke

Variety 11 February 1970 p.16
Take equal pinches of sci-fi, Jack-the-Ripper, Dracula, super spy saga, Scotland Yard, and Dr. Frankenstein, stir well in a vat of fresh blood and boiling acid, throw in a handful of dismembered limbs and lovely but dead nude females and cut up and serve in portions that keep the audience guessing how it all fits together until the last five minutes. If you can bring it in for under $500,000 on location in England starring Vincent Price, you have a highly profitable programmer and very probably a modest bonanza. American International Pictures did, and has. The logic of Christopher Wicking’s screenplay, based on the novel by John Saxon [sic], has almost as many holes in it as the assorted victims of the action. However, such criticism is completely irrelevant to the film’s gripping momentum of horror. Director Gordon Hessler is a low-budget, sado-masochistic Hitchcock. Long after Scream and Scream Again has emitted its last shrill screech disquieting nightmare images remain. – from a review by Rick

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.434 (March 1970) pp.58-59
[The] plot has been crudely put together with the incongruously clearcut and matter-of-fact tone of a crime thriller (and many of the trimmings: a police man-hunt, an extended car chase, etc.), and the three personalities slotted in at the appropriate places. To justify two of the stars, the theme of vampirism slides, ominously and unnecessarily, in and out of the film, and the creation of a whole race of man-made monsters is now accomplished by a more advanced science than Dr. Frankenstein’s, in league with modem tyranny in the form of Konratz’s non-welfare state. Vincent Price, hypersensitive recluse and dabbler in the occult, is the menacingly affable director of the clinic where events, and the new supermen, all begin. Not surprisingly, the triumvirate have little room to manoeuvre inside the tight fit of their functional cliches: Peter Cushing has the least opportunity (little more than a bit part), while Christopher Lee disappears into a greying nonentity of a civil servant, failing to emerge even with the final revelation of masked depravity. Vincent Price inimitably delivers the most banal dialogue with a disconcerting relish, though the giveaway decadence of Dr. Browning’s living quarters, keyed to a pretty shade of pastel pink, would have provoked a creeping horror in Roderick Usher. – from an uncredited review

1988
Fangoria vol.8 no.71 (February 1988) p.33
This enjoyably nasty film throws in so many plots and subplots that you need a scorecard to keep track. To this day, co-star Christopher Lee insists that it’s about aliens, though there’s absolutely no mention of extraterrestrials. […] Several images, especially the slow off-screen dismemberment of a hospitalized jogger and Gothard leaving behind his handcuffed hand, will stick with you for a long time. And though they don’t have any scene together, the film unites Price, Lee and Peter Cushing (a brief cameo) for the first time. – from a video review (The Video Eye of Dr. Cyclops) by Dr Cyclops

References

Periodicals

  • Board of Trade Journal vol.198 no.3803 (4 February 1970) p.295 – note (Registrations of British and foreign films)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.17 pp.6, 7
  • Cinema Retro vol.16 no.48 (2020) pp.10-13 – illustrated interview with Christopher Matthews (Horror’s leading man: An interview with Christopher Matthews by Mark Cerulli)
  • The Dark Side no.206 (2019) pp.42-48 – illustrated article (The Wicking man by Christopher Koetting)
  • Fangoria vol.8 no.71 (February 1988) p.33 – video review (The Video Eye of Dr. Cyclops by Dr Cyclops)
  • Films and Filming vol.16 no.7 (April 1970) p.54 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.206 no.10 (23 May 1969) p.10 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.209 no.41 (10 February 1970) p.7 – credits, review
  • Interzone no.247 (July/August 2013) p.90 – review (by Tony Lee)
  • Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3250 (24 January 1970) p.10 – review (Reviews edited by Graham Clarke)
  • Kine Weekly vol.633 no.3257 (14 March 1970) p.26 – note (Promotion: ‘Scream’ needs first aid at the ready by David Jerome)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.434 (March 1970) pp.58-59 – credits, review
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.9 (September 1993) p.62 – video review
  • Today’s Cinema no.9668 (5 May 1969) p.9 – credits
  • Today’s Cinema no.9769 (9 January 1970) p.14 – note (Trade shows)
  • Today’s Cinema no.9771 (16 January 1970) p.11 – notes (Trade shows)
  • Today’s Cinema no.9772 (20 January 1970) p.11 – note (General releases)
  • Today’s Cinema no.9773 (23 January 1970) p.9 – credits, review (Marjorie Bilbow on the new films by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • Variety 11 February 1970 p.16 – credits, review (by Rick)
  • Video Watchdog no.183 (May/June 2016) pp.65-67 – illustrated review

Books

  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig  pp.326-327
  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson pp.196-197 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed) p.211 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.286 – illustrated credits, review
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Darrell Buxton p.unpaginated
  • Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Horror Cinema: A Filmography of Their 22 Collaborations by Mark A. Miller pp.206-226 – illustrated credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.144, 190-92, 191, 203, 247
  • The Espionage Filmography: United States Releases, 1898 through 1999 by Paul Mavis p.274 – credits
  • Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures by Mark Thomas McGee pp.279; 322
  • Feature films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.401 – credits
  • Film Review 1970-71 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.231
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle Jr and Douglas C. Hart pp.135-137 – credits, review
  • The Films of Vincent Price by Iain F. McAsh pp.26; 45
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.67-70 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The International Spy Guide 002 by Richard Rhys Davies p.809 – illustrated credits, note
  • Kine & TV Year Book 1971 p.114 – credits
  • Merchant of Menace: The Life and Films of Vincent Price by Denis Meikle pp.262-269; 372-373
  • Peter Cushing: The Gentle Man of Horror and His 91 Films by Deborah Del Vecchio and Tom Johnson pp.229-234 – illustrated credits, review
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.422 – credits
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Monsters: The American International Story by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.229-230; 292
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.192-193
  • Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) pp.336-339 – illustrated review (by Peter Fuller)
  • Vincent Price: The Art of Fear by Denis Meikle pp.159-164; 229-230
  • Vincent Price Unmasked by James Robert Parish and Steven Whitney pp.127-128; 236-237
  • Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price by Jonathan Malcolm Lampley pp.139-146; 192