And Now The Screaming Starts! DVD Review

Reviewed by Peter West

DVD released by Dark Sky Films

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Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Written by David Case (novel) Roger Marshall (screenplay)

Peter Cushing as Dr. Pope
Herbert Lom as Henry Fengriffen
Patrick Magee as Dr. Whittle
Stephanie Beacham as Catherine Fengriffen
Ian Ogilvy as Charles Fengriffen
Geoffrey Whitehead as Silas (woodsman)
Guy Rolfe as Maitland
Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs. Luke
Gillian Lind as Aunt Edith
Sally Harrison as Sarah
Janet Key as Bridget
John Sharp as Henry's friend
Norman Mitchell as Constable
Lloyd Lamble as Sir John Westcliff

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Movie (From Product Description):

Set in 1795 England, And Now the Screaming Starts! tells the tale of blissful newlyweds Catherine (Stephanie Beacham) and Charles Fengriffen (Ian Ogilvy) who move into his ancestral family mansion. On their wedding night, Catherine is raped by a malevolent spirit. She is further plagued by a series of haunting visions involving an eyeless woodsman and a murderous disembodied hand. Can a savage act of depravity and violence committed by one of Charles’ ancestors be to blame? Charles fears that his bride is going insane and calls for Doctor Whittle (Patrick Magee). Unable to help Catherine overcome her visions, Dr. Whittle calls for assistance from a fellow practitioner, Dr. Pope (Peter Cushing), who uses reason and logic to combat what he assumes is a mental disorder. In time, Dr. Pope finds himself fighting a losing battle against the forces of the supernatural carrying out a bloody family curse. Directed by Roy Ward Baker (Asylum, The Vault of Horror, The Monster Club) and produced by Amicus stalwarts Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky, And Now the Screaming Starts! has been mastered in High Definition from 35mm vault materials.

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For many years Amicus Studios and Hammer Films competed at the top of the "classic" horror genre. Hammer was better known to US fans, but Amicus did and still has it's cult following. Unfortunately the 70s were not kind to the British film industry and these gems were the beginning of the end of stylish gothic horror films. Sadly And Now The Screaming Starts! is one of those films that was made during the final years and suffered because of that

While the performances of the cast are pretty solid (have you ever seen Peter Cushing give a bad one?), the adaptation of the David Case story really doesn't translate well to film. The crawling bloody hand is not nearly as creepy as it was 30+ years ago, heck I can't remember how scary it was back then either. So while I heartily recommend the film to classic horror fans, I can't expect the younger moviegoer to really enjoy this one as I do.

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Video and Audio:

The previous versions of this film left much to be desired. I have the older "EuroShock Collection" version and this DVD from Dark Sky Films simply blows the older one away. Finally And Now The Screaming Starts! receives a 16x9 widescreen presentation in all of its glorious color. While it may not compare to modern films quality wise, for a film from the early '70s this is incredible!

While only having a Dolby mono 2.0 soundtrack, the DVD is quite adequate. Compared to the previous version on DVD, the track is far more stable and it free of hiss or distortion. We can't expect every film to get a 5.1 mix...or should we?

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Special Features:

What do you expect in extras from a 1972 British horror flick? Usually we are lucky if we get a trailer... And Now The Screaming Starts! not only has one commentary, it has two! Director Roy Ward Baker and Stephanie Beacham are on the first and star Ian Oglivy is on the second. Both give a nostalgia look at the period that older horror fans call "the last classic horror films". Another extra included has lately been on the endangered list with most studios, there are biographical liner notes, combine that with trailers and a photo gallery, Dark Sky has done it again!

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Movie: Threeandahalfstars And Now The Screaming Starts Amazon Us
Video: Fourstars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars


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