SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN
On the other hand, neither does Scream and Scream Again contain enough to call it an undiscovered masterpiece. Gordon Hesslers direction is at best workmanlike. Some of the usually cited gems of imagery like when artificial man Michael Gothard escapes by leaving his hand inside a handcuff that is attached to a police car grille and then kills himself by jumping into the vat of acid are routinely directed and would not have seemed that wild had not genre reviewers drawn attention to them. On the other hand, the image that works best is the nightmare-like one of the man who wakes up in a hospital bed, each time finding that another of his limbs has been surgically removed.
Scream and Scream Again is certainly an ambitious film in the number of genres it tries to straddle at once it is trying to appeal to then the fad for Anglo-horror with its vampire-like killer and particularly its big name horror cast Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price; it is also trying to be a spy film with its cutaways to shadowy goings on in Whitehall and foreign countries; it is trying to be a swinging 60s London film; and finally it unveils itself as a paranoid science-fiction thriller that hearkens back to Quatermass 2/The Enemy from Space (1957) with its alien takeover of British bureaucracy. Ultimately, despite its modern surroundings and paranoia politics, Scream and Scream Again is squarely an old-fashioned mad scientist film. The films one moment of megalomaniac glory is Vincent Price arrogantly claiming: God is dying all over the world. Man invented Him, but Man doesnt need Him anymore. Man is God now as a matter of fact he always was. Disappointing usage is made of the name horror cast, particularly Peter Cushing who gets to appear for only a single scene before being killed off.
Director Gordon Hessler made a number of films during the Anglo-horror cycle and after, including The Oblong Box (1969), Cry of the Banshee (1970), Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971), the classic fantasy film The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), the tv movie Scream Pretty Peggy (1973), the tv movie The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver (1977), Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park/Kiss in the Attack of the Phantom (1978) and the ghost story The Girl in a Swing (1988).
Screenwriter Christopher Wicking also developed a modest career in the British horror film, writing the scripts for Gordon Hesslers The Oblong Box, Cry of the Banshee and Murders in the Rue Morgue, as well as other Anglo-horror efforts such as Venom (1971) and Dream Demon (1988), and the Hammer films Blood from the Mummys Tomb (1971), Demons of the Mind (1972) and To the Devil a Daughter (1976).