Thursday, April 9, 2009

And Now the Screaming Starts!

I found it humorously ironic that while Kristy was in labor with Eli our Tivo recorded a movie titled And Now the Screaming Starts!

I finally got around to watching it. The film was released in 1973. It stars both Peter Cushing and Patrick Magee. Magee is one of those underrated actors of yesteryear I love to see in the cast of old films. I was also initially excited to see that this was an Amicus film. One of my favorite Patrick Magee performances was in Amicus's Tales from the Crypt (1972). In that film he had deliciously creepy role as a vengeful blind man. This time around, both Magee and Cushing aren't given a lot to work with. Magee is in the first half of the film and is gone shortly after Cushing's character arrives in the second half.

And Now the Screaming Starts! isn't great but it is entertaining. The movie (which is set in the 19th Century) tells the tale of a young married couple suffering from an old curse placed on the groom's family. The Bride and the family's servants find themselves being assaulted by a spectral severed hand and an eyeless phantom with a bloody stump at the end of one arm. Some of the FX is pretty remarkable for the time period, and the remaining FX is charmingly cheap and cheesy. The makeup on the ghost was well done, but unfortunately the actor in the role kept his wrist on the stump arm flopped down while his arm is pointed up. Since the hand was supposed to be cut off below the wrist, apparently the ghost must have had an extra joint in his arm.

If the thought of ghostly severed hands, over-flowing bodices and screaming servants meeting unfortunate ends appeals to you, AMC will be airing the movie again in early May.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

I have to confess, I watched these all through my teens... and it was definitely the lure of the overflowing bodices. The rest, the cheesy FX, the silly plots, the dark and somber scenes (all of them seem set in either the 18th or 19th centuries, too) was just filler.