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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Scream and Scream Again [Blu-ray]
(Gordon Hessler, 1970)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Twilight Time / Kino
Region: FREE / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:34:32.583 / USA: 1:34:33.918 / UK:1:34:43.469
Disc Size: 32,715,327,189 bytes / 40,999,664,895 bytes
Feature Size: 25,820,399,616 bytes / USA: 19,475,693,568 bytes / UK: 19,170,527,232 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 24.15 Mbps / 23.94 Mbps
Chapters: 24 / 8 / 8
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October, 2015 / April 23rd, 2019
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1080 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1080 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1177 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1177
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2016 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2016 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) /
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles (both for US - none on Kino's UK release):
English (SDH), None
Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan
Gentleman Gothic: Gordon Hessler at AIP (23:22)
An Interview with Uta Levka (8:43)
Isolated Score Track
Radio Spot (1:01)
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:18)
Limited to 3,000 Copies!
NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas (US cut only)
Description: Kind of a horror movie, kind of an espionage film, and in some sense a piece of science fiction, Scream and Scream Again (1970) features turns by three icons of the horror genre: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. All are involved in a wild plot connecting Great Britain to some unnamed totalitarian state where torture, murder, and out-of-control experiments are the order of the day. Directed by Gordon Hessler from a screenplay by Christopher Wicking, with cinematography by the worthy John Coquillon.
Strange and terrible things are afoot and the police are helpless to stop them in this taut, complicated thriller. First a heart attack victim goes to the hospital and awakens to find limbs missing, and later, the body of a rape victim is found with two strange puncture wounds upon her wrist. Meanwhile in Europe, a military officer is murdered by someone with inordinate strength. After another girl is murdered, Inspector Bellaver gets on the case. The trail of clues has many twists and turns and before he is led to the mysterious estate of Dr. Browning, another dies. There he discovers that the insane scientist has engineered a master race of emotionless, mindless beings as part of an international conspiracy. Now Bellaver and his cohorts must somehow stop the doctor and his friends from taking over the world. This marks one of only two features to include all three great horror actors Christopher Lee (as the head of British Intelligence), Peter Cushing (the leader of a fascist government) and Vincent Price (mad Dr. Browning) in the cast. (The second was 1983's House of Long Shadows). Interestingly, except for one brief moment at the end with Lee and Price, the actors never appear in the same scene together hereExcerpt from MRQE located HERE
An impressive if somewhat fragmented horror film in which mad scientist Price uses surgery and organ transplants to create a super race of emotionless creatures, one of which (Gothard) attracts the attentions of the police by going berserk and committing a number of grisly vampiric murders. The underlying narrative thread about the creatures taking over positions of authority is not sufficiently well developed to have any real impact, but individual scenes are conceived to gory and striking effect.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Scream and Scream Again comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in another of their dual-layered, 1080P transfers with a very high bitrate. The film source has some less-frequent scenes of minimal marks, and speckles - mostly frame-specific. It has an inherent softness with a very thick, textured, image. Colors are modest, possibly faded a bit with a touch of orange in the flesh tones. Contrast has some decent layering and overall the image is fairly tight in the HD transfer. It looks, at times, like it could use a good cleaning, but the inconsistent visuals carry the film's charm. Detail is actually quite good in the film's many close-ups. I see no evidence of manipulation or noise. This Blu-ray gives a decent, but - due to the source condition - far from stellar, presentation in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio - likely as good as it will get for this unusual horror-sci-fi espionage with a political undertone.
Kino transfer both US and UK cuts both housed on their new Blu-ray disc package. From IMDb: "British prints of SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN have small differences than AIP's American Theatrical cut, with the American version removing Bellaver clumsily throwing a stone at the speedy cliff-climbing super-human Keith, and a bottle-swigging old drunk peeping at Keith and Sylvia fooling around in the convertible. The final shot of the British print is also different, with the credits scrolling over a long shot of Dr. Browning's lab heard over soundtrack music, rather than on the American print which has the credits being presented over a black screen with The Amen Corner's "Scream and Scream Again" playing. One thing omitted from the American version is a brief but significant dialogue exchange between Vincent Price and Christopher Lee: "But what of the dream?" asks Price. "There is only nightmare" replies Lee.") As evidenced by our screen captures the UK cut show slightly more information in the frame but the quality, notably cooler colors and muddier contrast, are inferior to the US release. The US cut is similar in appearance to the Twilight Time (slightly warmer) although Kino has stated that 'although they did not remaster the film, they did perform extensive digital cleanup' (a weakness we noted on the Twilight Time image - see above.)
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures
The DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel track at 1080 kbps (24-bit) sounds clean with minimal audio effects but a hint of depth in the score by David Whittaker (Vampire Circus) and it seems competent and reasonably clean via the uncompressed. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
While the Twilight Time audio transfer was also DTS-HD Master tracks - they were 24-bit and the Kino are 16-bit. But I wasn't able to note significant differences in the US releases excepting, possibly the Kino had more depth. The UK has some inconsistencies but is generally serviceable with audible dialogue and support for the effects and score. The Kino has optional English subtitles for the US cut, but none for the UK cute and their Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked.
Twilight Time add a new, information-filled, audio commentary with film historians David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan who enthusiastically cover so much of the production including the plots gaps, effects, performers, Hessler and more. As well as how Fritz Lang enjoyed the film and how it is revered in Germany. These guys know their sh*t. There is also a new featurette; Gentleman Gothic: Gordon Hessler at AIP running almost 25-minute - and this is also educational. I enjoyed it. There is a 2000 interview with Uta Levka running just under 9-minutes talking about her career and involvement in Scream and Scream Again. Twilight Time add their usual isolated score track as well as a stills gallery with posters etc., a radio spot and an original theatrical trailer. The package has an 8-page leaflet of liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 copies.
Aside from trailers, TV Spots and the 'Trailers From Hell' segment - the most impressive improvement of the Kino is the inclusion of a new audio commentary by, our favorite, Tim Lucas (on the US cut only). He makes reference after reference related to the production, performers etc. - you could listen multiple times to digest all the information - he digs deep and providing a nice flow with the film. Personally, it is the biggest difference in the two packages - but we are biased.
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Gary appreciated the Twilight Time commentary and I enjoyed both - but lean heavily to the Lucas one. Having the UK cut may also have value for some fans although I only found the differences more of a curiosity than deeply effecting the film experience. Scream and Scream Again is a flawed film effort, with over-the-top gore, but the commentaries encourage appreciation. I think there are plenty of genre aficionados that will enjoy it.
October 29th, 2015
April 20th, 2019
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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