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    Scream Kings

    Posted by Mike Finnegan on

    Scream and Scream Again (1970) seems like a rather “normal” genre moniker for the loopy and shockingly violent movie that bears it. But attention must be paid to a movie boasting horror royalty trio Vincent Price as a rather transgressive surgeon, Christopher Lee as a mysteriously imperious investigator and (quickly) Peter Cushing as a ruthlessly fascistic military man. Reviewers who judged the film, directed by Gordon Hessler and adapted from Peter Saxon’s novel The Disoriented Man by Christopher Wicking, to be disjointed and confusing also confessed that a good deal of what was on screen intrigued them. It does take some effort, but the way events involving a hospitalized jogger, the chase for a killer who drains his victims’ blood and brutal militaristic government interrogations of political prisoners are tied together resulted in a payoff that became the stuff of horror aficionado nightmares. Fritz Lang, director of M, Metropolis and Spies (notice the territory we’re in), admired the film for its conspiratorial “police-state” political content. Guide for the Film Fanatic author Danny Peary called the film “fascinating” and Hessler’s direction “clever,” adding: “Most interesting is that this picture, earlier than Alien or Android, advances the spooky notion that egocentric scientists will someday create ‘synthetic’ scientists.” Have we got sufficient grounds for screaming yet? Twilight Time’s upcoming release of Scream and Scream Again includes an Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan, a new featurette exploring Hessler’s extensive work in horror cinema, an interview with co-star Uta Levka and a Gallery of Rare Production Stills. Scream and Scream Again comes to hi-def Blu-ray from TT on October 13; pre-orders open on September 30.