|Excuse me, is that a Fruit Roll-Up on your face?|
Ah, good ol' Amicus Productions delivered once more. This time with And Now the Screaming Starts! (sometimes with an exclamation mark, sometimes not).
Last night, the Scoobies and I at the Tates Creek Public Library Classic Horror Film Club (try putting that on a business card) watched this great little departure from Amicus's usual anthology format and traveled to 1795 England. Sort of entering Hammer Film Productions territory with the period sets and the characters wearing drapery.
Young Catherine (poor woman doesn't even get a last name), marries Charles Fengriffen, lord and master of Castle Fengriffen. Unfortunately for Catherine, she gets handed some extra Fengriffen baggage in the form of a family curse, a ghost, and a Rosemary's Baby-style pregnancy. Of course, no one believes any of her protestations, even after a visit from the family doctor. It's not until Dr. Pope (played perfectly properly and British-ly by Peter Cushing) comes visiting that the ectoplasm really hits the fan.
Great cast gives this fun screamer a big thumbs up. Just one thumbs up, on the left hand, as it's the disembodied right hand that's crawling around in the film. Oh, did I forget to mention the crawling hand sequences?
Stephanie Beacham plays the unfortunate Catherine. She's been in everything from Dracula A.D. 1972 to Coronation Street.
Ian Ogilvy was Charles Fengriffen. Ian I best remember for his role as Simon Templar in the TV series in the late 70s, Return of the Saint.
Herbert Lom played Henry Fengriffen, Charles's evil grandfather, the one who got the whole curse thing started. Wonderfully wicked performance.
As I mentioned, Peter Cushing was excellent as Dr. Pope. Mr. Cushing has been all over the map. Always love Peter Cushing in anything.
And then there was Patrick Magee (not Patrick Macnee -- that's John Steed of The Avengers) as Dr. Whittle, giving his usual spot-on performance. We saw he, Herbert Lom, and Peter Cushing recently in another Amicus title, Asylum, also an excellent film.
Some fun effects with hands bursting through paintings and ghosts with no eyes. And the ending, well... that would be telling, now, wouldn't it.
Be seeing you.
Keep writing, friends.