Friday, October 12, 2018

'70s Trash?: --And Now The Screaming Starts! (1973)

Those wacky Ghosts are at it again!  Today's Film is --And Now the Screaming Starts, a 1973 Film by Amicus.  The Plot involves a young newlywed couple, some strange happenings in the Manor and a family secret that may ruin their lives.  It was Directed by Roy Ward Baker, a Director with numerous credits that include Asylum, Scars of Dracula and The Monster Club.  As for the Production Company, Amicus has always been in this weird spot.  They aren't as famous as Universal or Hammer, but very 'in the know' with true Horror Buffs.  This Film is certainly an interesting one to highlight of their as it seems to hit all of the points- good and bad.  When a couple finally get married in the man's Manor, strange things start to happen...just only to the wife.  People think she's crazy before people start to die in mysterious 'accidents.'  Can a Doctor save them both or is this too much for even him?  To find out, read on...
An engaged Couple return to the man's lovely Manor.  Something about the portrait of his Grandfather gives her pause though.
Once they get married, weird stuff starts to happen.  For example, this ghostly hand.
That night, the hand and a limbless figure attack her in bed!  When the Husband arrives, she's alone.
I'd probably move out if I saw this ONCE in my House...
As the Wife begins to look into what's happening, everyone that tries to help her dies.
When things keep happening, nobody believes her AND she finds out that she's pregnant, the Title makes sense...
Peter Cushing finally shows up (despite his top-billing, he appears at the 45 minute mark) and looks into things.

He finally gets a story out of the Husband.  It involves his Grandfather (Herbert Lom, showing up 1 hour in) raping the wife of the Woodsman and chopping his hand off.
When the child is born, the Husband sees it and freaks out.  He goes to the Woodsman's house and kills him John Woo-style.
As Cushing calls the authorities (FYI it's 1795), the Wife sees that the baby has the Woodsman's birthmark and is missing a hand.  She...just kind of freezes up.  The End.
A strange, slow-burn of a Gothic Thriller.  It's not long before you know that something is up here- it's just a matter of what.  To the Film's credit, they keep things interesting- if vague- throughout.  You get the weird faces, mysteriously-opening windows and the hand.  The Film is never boring.  It can get a bit repetitive, however, as you keep seeing either her getting scared or random people dying.  The deaths have some variety, but often just come down to people being choked by the ghostly hand.  The answer to what is happening is certainly the most interesting part, as you suddenly get a mini-movie in the middle of the main feature.  Lom is great as just a pure evil bastard and his actions are in no way justified.  It would be nice to see more of him in the Film somehow though.  Speaking of which, Cushing takes *forever* to show up.  Him and Lom were the star attractions here, so their billing makes sense.  It's just disappointing when you realize that you're only getting him for half of the movie and that it is mostly him discovering what we mostly-already know.  The Film goes very dark and never looks back- you may or may not like that.  All in all, --And Now is a good, solid Film that just lacks some variety and could do with more of the Stars.  On the plus side, I get to see a young Guy Rolfe of Puppet Master fame...
Next time, a return to Japan and a familiar face.  The face, however, is less familiar in this form.  Stay tuned...

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