For the Love of Price: Scream and Scream Again and The Oblong Box
Hi folks! I have a double feature for you tonight starting with 1970’s Scream and Scream Again, followed by 1969’s The Oblong Box. These films have a couple of things in common. They both star Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, they share opposite sides of a Midnite Madness Double Feature DVD, and they were both directed by Gordon Hessler. Hessler also directed a third film starring Price in 1970 titled Cry of the Banshee. My personal favorite bit of trivia about Hessler is that he directed many episodes of the TV cop action series CHIPS from 1978-1982, and the TV movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Now with all that out of the way, the first of tonight’s features is…
SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN 1970
(Editor: Slight spoilers ahead, but as i sat though this one and couldn't figure it out either, then I don't see how this would effect your viewing experience.) All of the main plot players come together at the end. Why? I don’t know. The ending just makes this film more absurd. Any vague attempts at connecting the dots fell flat and explained nothing. All of the main characters, except Christopher Lee, die. Why? I don’t know. Vincent Price was topped billed in this film, but he only appeared for a few minutes in the first ¾ of the film. He did have a nice big scene at the end. This gave him a chance to bring a little of his magic to the film. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to save the thing. Price did a fine job with what he was given; no performance can save an impossible plot.
I’m rating this film a 1 out of 5, and I think I’m being generous. I awarded ½ a point to an entertaining fight sequence at the end, although I’m not sure why the fight was taking place. I also gave ½ a point for the performances of Price and Lee. I may have given more credit here, if I understood the purpose of their characters. Overall, I hated this movie, and it hurts my soul a little to feel this way about a Vincent Price film. I hope to never, ever, even ever see it again. I can only hope that tonight’s second feature makes up for the cinematic tragedy that is Scream and Scream Again.
THE OBLONG BOX 1969