Abbott & Costello movies, I wasn't a big Hammer or Amicus watcher as a kid. My childhood was filled with bloody slashers and animal attack films so these British imports appeared tame by comparison. My only exposure to Amicus before the age of ten was those dope Dr. Who movies. However, after seeing their Tales From The Crypt anthology, I began to appreciate what they had to offer.
Young bride Catherine (Stephanie Beacham) becomes embroiled in a family curse once moving into her husband's (Ian Ogilvy) estate.
And Now The Screaming Starts was watchable fare. It has this strange air that makes it appear tame on the surface, but then throws in all these disturbing elements. Do all Amicus pictures have this much rape in them? I liked all of the ghoulish imagery and I can imagine that eyeless dude messing up a lot of kids back in the day. And for '73, those crawling hand effects were pretty awesome, too. I also have to give it up for the sets, which Imdb tells was the often utilized Oakley Court.
|Peter Cushing and Stephanie Beacham in And Now The Screaming Starts|
From my limited knowledge of Amicus, their bread and butter was anthologies and their features, in contrast to Hammer, tended to have more modern settings so ANTSS would appear to be an outlier. I do admit to having watched this in two sittings, as it does crawl along at some points. Cushing doesn't even appear until the third act, at which point I thought, “Oh yeah, I forgot he was in this!” Beacham is solid as the distressed bride. Fresh off her role in 1972 Dracula A.D. (which I just recently saw at Horror-Rama) she is literally busting out of her costume. Again, why didn't watch these movies as a kid?
The Guide didn't seem to think this was anything special - good cast; tired plot. I can get on board with that, only adding that the visuals stand out, as well.
So would I have watched this if it wasn't on a checklist? Probably not. But, that's what lists are for. I imagine this won't be last. Like the next film for instance, the 1940 Boris Karloff starrer The Ape.