A very bizarre movie, SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN attempts to juggle the many loose strands of Christopher Wicking's ambitious screenplay, but Gordon Hessler's disappointing direction simply isn't up to it. A man out jogging has a heart attack and wakes up in a hospital to find his leg
amputated, then the other, then both arms. A girl is raped and murdered, and her body contains two mysterious puncture wounds on her wrist. In an unnamed European country sporting Nazi-like regalia, one of the military officials is murdered by another with a simple squeeze to the neck. After a
second girl is murdered, police inspector Bellaver (Alfred Marks) enlists the aid of a policewoman to go undercover and entrap the killer, who frequents nightclubs. Picked up by a young man in a purple silk shirt (Michael Gothard), the policewoman is taken to a remote area where she is strangled
before the cops can intervene. As the police close in they see the young man sucking the blood out of her wrist, and when they try to arrest him, he simply shrugs them off with incredible strength and gets away in his sports car. A lengthy chase ensues, and the man is eventually captured and
handcuffed to a squad car. Incredibly, he escapes again, this time severing his own hand to be free of the handcuff. The cops chase him to the estate of Dr. Browning (Vincent Price), where the fugitive jumps into a vat of acid kept by the doctor. Under questioning, Browning pleads ignorance of any
knowledge of the mysterious killer, but it is later revealed that he in fact created the man--who was an android made from a mixture of both synthetic materials and human flesh. Apparently, there is a worldwide conspiracy of androids, which includes the leader of the Nazi-like government (Peter
Cushing) and the head of British intelligence (Christopher Lee).
With its ambitious structure, intriguing premise, and prevailing sense of paranoia, SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN is a fascinating, but frustratingly flawed film. While it is the only movie to boast Price, Lee, and Cushing all in the same cast, the actors actually never appear together, with the
exception of Lee and Price during the last minute of the movie (shades of their "duet" in THE OBLONG BOX). Cushing is in only one scene, Lee in about three, and Price has most of the strange climax to himself. Although the complicated plot is mysterious enough to retain interest, by the time all
the narrative strands dovetail, the climax seems rather perfunctory and is a bit disappointing. Director Fritz Lang, however, thought the film marvelous, because its political paranoia echoed his own "Dr. Mabuse" films.
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- Rating: PG
- Review: A very bizarre movie, SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN attempts to juggle the many loose strands of Christopher Wicking's ambitious screenplay, but Gordon Hessler's disappointing direction simply isn't up to it. A man out jogging has a heart attack and wakes up in… (more)