Sounds confusing? Believe me it is. Until the very end when all is “revealed” I almost expected the conclusion to make some sense, in fact I just assumed it would. Being fair on the film it does sort of make sense, there’s still a few un answered questions (how were the original composites made if they make the other composites?) and although we know by the end that there is some sort of mysterious organisation of scientists that’s working towards a master race, their motives for actions seen throughout the film remain unclear. For example we follow an entire subplot about an official slowly gaining control in an Eastern European country only for him to be killed for becoming obsessed with power. If he is one of the organisation then why does he seemingly work against Christopher Lee? Is this something I missed or is this a plot hole? The whole reason why the killer drinks blood as well, is this something to do with the fact that he’s made out of other people? Does he need a constant supply of other people’s blood? You see if these things we’re made clearer I wouldn’t be asking these questions.
Confusing plot aside though Scream and Scream again is pretty well made. The cast delivers enjoyable performances and although Christopher Mathew’s performance has much to be desired, everyone else is on top form. I have single out Alfred Marks for particular attention as Detective Superintendant Bellaver. Police inspectors in horror movies are a pretty common thing and usually they are nothing to shout about, the role simply being for someone to have a reason to investigate the mysterious goings on. Marks however makes the role his own, his Detective delivers some great lines and indeed is one of the main attractions of Scream and Scream Again. It’s a shame really that his character is replaced by Mathews as I’m sure the climax would have been much more interesting had Bellaver not been killed off. I feel like I must defend Mathews somewhat as I have been rather harsh on who I am sure is a very fine actor, indeed in Scars of Dracula (1970) he delivers a very good performance. The problem is that the character is simply too bland and poor Mathews has nothing to expand upon meaning he pales in comparison to the rather colourful police characters he acts against. He is simply the “Young male lead” and not a very interesting one at that!
Surprisingly despite the somewhat confusing plot holes in places, Scream and Scream again is also very good at holding its viewers attention. There’s a chase sequence that goes on for a good fifteen minutes but is so well paced that it doesn’t appear dull or boring at all. The narratives constant switching between the various plots prevents any boredom and the whole thing is infused with a sort of camp mania. The ridiculously over the top 70’s jazz score doesn’t help matters but it does help the sheer enjoyability of the whole thing. Whilst the lack of action from Price, lee and Cushing is disappointing their scenes are fun and each actor delivers to the best of his ability.
Scream and Scream again is admittedly something of a disappointment. However I’m sure that on maybe second or third viewing it appears much better. It’s not a bad movie by any means it’s simply not a very good one which it’s sad as the potential is almost certainly there. I’m a big fan of Thriller/Spy movies and it was interesting to see a horror film experiment with that genre, but sadly it’s almost as if the sheer amount of different sub-plots and separate scenes were the films downfall. British horror fans might get a kick out of this one but otherwise I’d stay away, there are much better British horrors from the same period out there.