15
Jun
13

And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)

Let’s be honest: movies with exclamation points in their title are pretty darn hit or miss, no? Luckily, And Now the Screaming Starts! has enough heaving breasts, disembodied hands and mystery-shrouded family history to make it a good one.

The perpetually frightened Catherine

The perpetually frightened Catherine

Catherine (Stephanie Beacham, whom you might recognize from one of my super-faves, Troop Beverly Hills) has just married Charles Fengriffen (Ian Ogilvy). The two have moved to his family’s estate, a creepy old house in the country. Much about the estate makes Catherine uncomfortable: the painting of Charles’ grandfather, Henry, the self-opening windows, the creepy woodsman who lives on the grounds, and, perhaps most of all, the disembodied hand that haunts her dreams.

...I guess she's got reason to be scared of this woodsman guy...

…I guess she’s got reason to be scared of this woodsman guy…

Catherine is often left alone, screaming and wondering why everyone seems to be hiding something. When folks attempt to tell her some deep, dark family secret, they end up dying. Screams later, and with the help of the wonderful Doctor Pope (Peter Cushing), Catherine finally finds out the sins of Henry Fengriffen have cast a horrible curse on the Fengriffen family, of which she is now regrettably a part. Will the screaming ever end?

Attacked by a phantom hand!

Attacked by a phantom hand!

This movie probably won’t be number one on anyone’s top ten list, but it’s still a delightfully silly way to pass the time. I knew before we started watching all these Amicus films that I was going to enjoy the hell out of them, and so far, so good. I guess great style and an obsession with gothic tropes will get you pretty far.

Can Doctor Pope help, or is Catherine just insane?

Can Doctor Pope help, or is Catherine just insane?

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