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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > > Supernatural > Gothic > And Now The Screaming Starts! (Dark Sky Films)

And Now The Screaming Starts!  (Dark Sky Films)


Picture: B-     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Film: C+



A few years ago, Image Entertainment issued and quickly withdrew their DVD of Roy Ward Baker’s And Now The Screaming Starts! (1972) without explanation.  Was it a rights issue or a defect?  Either way, the film is back in an expanded version from Dark Sky Films and they have done a nice job in a solid edition that is absolutely defect-free and in print.


In 1795, the newlywed Fengriffens (Ian Ogilvy and Stephanie Beacham) have arrived at his mansion to settle in.  However, Catherine (Beacham) immediately starts to feel uneasy and starts having delusions, or so it seems.  When she seems to have been sexually violated by a mysterious force, she becomes even more confused and horrified.  Charles (Ogilvy) calls in his favorite medical doctor (Patrick Magee) to no avail.  They agree to call in a doctor (Peter Cushing) in the new science of the mind to see if she is mentally ill.  Soon, it is apparent no science is going to be able to solve the problem and the place is haunted.


The Roger Marshall/David Case screenplay is very smart and solid, but the film has dated and was even deemed a bit tame when it came out in the face of The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby and their imitators, but considering Amicus did not have a studio like Hammer and this could go a few rounds with similar Hammer product anytime, it is most impressive indeed.  The cast is great, Baker knows what to do with the script and the film always takes itself seriously enough to be effective.  Also look for Herbert Lom as a crazy sadist related to Ogilvy.  Fans of this type of storytelling and setting will especially enjoy it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image was shot by the great British cinematographer Denys Coop, B.S.C., and is one of his last feature works.  He quit features in 1975, but did do special camerawork for the first two Christopher Reeve/Superman films.  Though detail can be an issue, the color and depth are decent and all look good for a low-budget film.  Though Technicolor processed the film, it may have only come out in England in three-strip dye-transfer prints.  Either way, the source (said to be from 35mm vault materials, which is very convincing) is nice and the transfer delivers well enough.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is clean and clear for its age, including Douglas Gamley’s decent score.


Extras include a paper foldout with an essay, stills, trailers for this and a few other Dark Sky releases and two terrific audio commentaries.  One is from the previous DVD release with Ian Ogilvy, while a second commentary brings together Beacham and director Baker.  Both are must-hears for fans and film fans should never miss any commentary with Ogilvy or Baker.  Those tracks alone are a great reason to get this DVD, even if you have already seen the film and may not be a fan.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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