And Now The Screaming Starts! (Dark Sky
B- Sound: C+ Extras: B- Film: C+
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.
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.
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.
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.
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