Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 8th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: UK, 1973
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Writer: Roger Marshall
Cast: Stephanie Beacham, Ian Ogilvy, Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee
DVD released: July 25th, 2006
Approximate running time: 90 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
DVD Release: Dark Sky Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: Shortly after arriving at her husbands’ ancestral home, a bride named Catherine is raped by a ghost. And with each subsequent night, she is haunted by visions that further fracture her state of mind. Things are further complicated, after Catherine unexpectedly discovers that she is pregnant and that her husband is not the child’s father.
And Now the Screaming Starts! is a departure from Amicus’s previous horror films. Where the majority of their films where set in the present, this film is set in the past. This film’s main location Oakley Court has been featured in many films.
Without a doubt, the most impressive part of this film is its production design. It this low budget affair a more polished look. Structurally, And Now the Screaming Starts! is one of the few times that Amicus made a feature length story instead of their typical anthology releases.
And Now The Screaming Starts! was directed by Roy Ward Baker whose other notable films include, Don’t Bother to Knock, A Night to Remember, “The Avengers”, Quatermass and the Pit, The Vampire Lovers, Asylum and The Monster Club. His direction keeps things interesting, despite the films slow moving plot. The scares in this film lean more towards creepy then frightening.
Performance wise, the cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Stephanie Beacham (The Nightcomers, Dracula A.D. 1972) in the role of Catherine, the bride who is impregnated by a supernatural entity. Other performances of note include, the ever-reliable Peter Cushing (The Hound of the Baskervilles, Corruption) and Herbert Lom (99 Women, Mark of the Devil) in the role of one of Catherine’s husband’s descendants.
Though, the plot is not without its flaws, like how Catherine recovers from being raped on her wedding night, only to jump into bed with her husband right away. This film far more positives, than negatives. With it’s best scenes being the with Herbert Lom’s character. Needless to say, he steals every moment he is in with his maniacal flair. Overall And Now the Screaming Starts! is an entertaining and underrated film that should be held in the same regard as Hammers classic Gothic horror films.
And Now the Screaming Starts! is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors look vivid and nicely saturated throughout. Black levels remain solid and details are sharp through out. Outside of some minor instances of grain this transfer is in excellent shape.
This release comes with one audio option the films original English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or any other sounds defects. Dialog is crisp and the music and effects sound evenly balanced as they never overpower the rest of the mix. Removable English subtitles have also been included.
Extras include trailers for And Now the Screaming Starts!, The Beast Must Die and Asylum, a still gallery, text bios for cast and crew members. The main extras for this release are two audio commentaries. The first audio commentary is with Roy Ward Baker (director), Stephanie Beacham (actress) and this track is moderated by Marcus Hearn. The second commentary is with Ian Ogilvy (actor) and this track is moderated by Darren Gross. The first audio commentary is the livelier of the two while the second one with Ian Ogilvy tends to drag as he tends to not remembered much about this film. This release also comes with a DVD insert that includes liner notes about And Now the Screaming Starts! written by Chris Gullo.
And Now the Screaming Starts! had been previous released in the region 1 via Image Entertainment and in the UK as part of Anchor Bay’s Amicus Collection. And Dark Sky Films release carries over all the extras included from the Image and UK releases. Overall Dark Sky Films gives And Now the Screaming Starts! its long overdue special edition DVD in region 1.