In London, a jogger runs toward the camera and collapses. He wakes up in a hospital bed while a nurse tends to him. When she leaves, he pulls down the sheet to discover one of his legs has been amputated. In some unnamed fascist county, a soldier named Konartz (Marshall Jones) gives the old death grip to what appears to be his superior officer. Back in London, DS Bellaver (Alfred Marks) investigates a series of brutal sex murders where women are being killed and drained of their blood. One of the girls worked for Dr. Browning (Vincent Price), a mad scientist type who claims he knows nothing about the girl’s personal life or what could have happened to her. The police think he’s lying because he acts strangely. The audience knows he is because he’s Vincent Price in a 1960s horror movie.
But before the film seems to care about Price or the dead girl or anything reallym we are back in the Fascist country where a man and a woman are being shot out by SS-looking dudes. The guy is killed but the girl is taken to a castle to be tortured. Another quick cut and we are back at the hospital where the jogger awakes to find yet another leg missing.
Confused yet? Yeah, me too. It is now a good 30 minutes into the film’s 90-minute runtime and absolutely nothing makes sense. It keeps cutting back and forth between these three stories: jogger in hospital, fascist country up to no good, sex murder investigation, but it never stays in one place to give anybody any sense of what is going on.
Eventually, the film slows down a bit to pay attention to the murder case. We watch the murderer pick up a girl in a dance club, all of which was part of a sting operation by the cops. The killer flees, the cops follow, and we are given a long car chase through the streets of some village and into the countryside. They eventually catch him, hand-cuff him to the bumper of a car and then ignore him completely while discussing…something. While they magnificently don’t watch this crazed killer whom they just chased halfway across the country, he rips his own hand off of his arm and runs to Dr. Browning’s home where he promptly throws himself into a vat of acid.
Christopher Lee shows up at some point as the head of British intelligence. He makes some kind of deal with Konratz to bring some pilot back from the fascist country in return for all of their evidence about the vampire killer. Or something. By this point in the film, I was so thoroughly confused I couldn’t quite figure out what anybody was doing.
The film was heavily billed as the first movie in which Price, Lee, and Peter Cushing – huge horror movie stars at the time – have roles. They do all appear in it, with Price getting a decent amount of screen time and Lee at least getting in a few scenes. Cushing appears in what could generously be called a cameo. He’s some kind of fascist general who complains to Konratz about all the torture his people are up to so naturally Konratz immediately kills him. The three of them do not appear together at all, and Price and Lee only come together for one brief scene. The real star of the film is Alfred Marks who plays Bellaver as a crabby old copper to perfection.
It isn’t until the final scene that we get any kind of explanation for any of the plot. Price chews a long monologue up giving us tons of info that more or less explains the film to the audience but is way too late for anybody to actually care.
Kino Lorber presents Scream and Scream Again in a 1.85:1 ratio with a 1080p transfer. It should be noted that there are numerous scratches and other debris present throughout the film. Extras include an informative commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, plus the usual trailers and some radio spots. Both the U.S. and UK cuts are available (the UK cut has a couple of slightly longer scenes, but the differences are minuscule).
If you are interested in Scream and Scream Again due to the three horror icons plastered all over the cover art, you may want to skip this one as none of the actors are in the film for that much screen time and they certainly aren’t playing off of each other. But if you enjoy goofy late ’60s/early ’70s British horror films that don’t make a lick of sense, then I’d definitely give this one a try.