Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Scream And Scream Again (1970)

"Smells like cheese, looks like ham...Oh, no problem: it's chicken." - Bellaver

"Fastest transition in the world: from human to corpse. It doesn't do to get the two confused, or you'll never be successful." - Professor Kingsmill

"She has never really existed yet, you see she's been assembled piece by piece, organ by organ. She's a composite, like Keith... You remember, the so-called 'vampire killer'." - Dr. Browning

Ah, who doesn't love a good old Vincent Price movie! And a groovy one from just after the "summer of love"! This was one of my favorite flicks to push on people way back when I worked at a video store. I don't even remember why I picked up all those years ago. I just wanted to get into some weird old horror that I had never heard of and I stumbled onto this gem. Also starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing (Gran Moff Tarkin from STAR WARS)- and another guy I didn't really know, but who probably should have been top billed is Alfred Marks- I present to you Vincent Price in SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN!!!

Ok, before we get started here, realize now that this is a super hard to understand movie. I'm not sure if I ever figured out what was going on and I've seen it like ten times. The plot is like three different stories slapped together that KIND OF come together at the end. They never really tell you what, or why, I guess you're just supposed to take hints and figure it out yourself. The first scene while the credits are playing show this gun running his ass off across (we'll say) London. When the credits end, he has a heart attack and collapses. Throughout the movie, they keep coming back to him and he's waking up dazed in a hospital bed, and he's pleading to a mute nurse who ignores him. And when he turns down the covers he realizes one of his legs has been taken, and - he screams. 

Then we're taken to a club and there's this Frankenstein version of Mick Jagger who keeps taking chicks and banging them sometimes against there will and then he sucks their blood out and leaves them for dead. The coppers are hot on his trail and they plant one of the female cops in there to try and lure him. It works and he whisks her off in his tiny Miata and begins sucking her wrist. The coppers move in and he's almost passed out from drinking blood, they smack him awake and he beats the shit out of five cops like it was nothing and speeds away in his Miata. Unlucky for him, they had a tracer in her shoe that was left in the car. And so begins the centerpiece of the whole movie and really my reason for liking it in the first place. We are treated to a 15 plus minute car/foot chase through England where this hulking monster evades the bobbies any way he can. He gets caught in a quarry and he runs up to the top and falls hilariously right to the bottom at their feet. Amazingly he's only stunned, and they handcuff him to the back of one of the cars. They go to call in that they've caught him and the bastard RIPS HIS OWN HAND OFF TO GET AWAY!! Then he leads them to the house that they had just been to days before to research the disappearance of a worker. He goes into a shed and jumps into a vat of acid! 

A third storyline running through the flick is of this unnamed European country that is supposed to be Germany (I'm only guessing because of their Nazi-like uniforms and insignia) that has a spy who has either stolen or some secrets or either way knows too much. When called out on it he kills his superior and assumes command of this army, commander by commander. He visits each one who is reaming him for his unorthodox ways or is suspicious of him for his quick rise in rank and puts this mean Vulcan death grip on them and they die instantly. He seems to have superhuman strength, kind of like the Frankenstein Jagger. I GUESS that's a connection. Ok, so flash back to the runner in the hospital, same deal, mute nurse, wakes back up, pushes down the bed covers and reveals- they've taken another leg. AND HE SCREAMS AGAIN! (get it?) 

Ok, so the whole time, there's been this Dr. Browning (Price) who has played dumb about everything and there's this young mortician/police autopsy/graduate assistant kid who's been poking his nose where he shouldn't. The mute nurse comes to steal the missing hand, and it turns out she's a frankenstein too. The kid takes the chick cop to the house where the frankenstein jumped in the acid, but now the acid is gone. But he goes back to find the chick cop missing. So he sneaks in the house and the Dr reveals that he's making "composites" and that his work is very tedious. Somehow and for some reason, Christopher Lee is involved and he's (I think) on the English's side, but working in cahoots with the Bad Euro Frankenstein killer. The Bad Euro Frankie Killer busts into the house and comes in and kills all the composites and tries to fight the Dr who ends up being a compostie too. He says the doctor has fucked up by letting his composites run wild in England, and that their shenanigans have made the papers even in his country. But the Euro Frankie gets killed by the Doc. Then Christopher Lee busts in and the Doc pleads with him that he HAD to kill Euro Frankie because he was trying to stop his work and said it was out of hand. And Christopher Lee says, "It is.", and bullies the Doc into lowering himself into the acid. Lee goes out and the kid asks, "is it over?", to which Lee responds, "Its only just begun." WAH-WAH. Should you watch this? Well, for cinematography alone the chase is amazing. You can watch that part or the whole thing on Youtube. Up to you, but don't expect to understand all of it. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gerald Abernethy