4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Peter Cushing Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is a very special day for fans of horror cinema.  It’s Peter Cushing’s birthday!  Peter Cushing was born 107 years ago today, in Surrey.  As an actor, Cushing appeared in a wide variety films but he’s probably destined to be forever remembered for playing Baron Frankenstein and Prof. Van Helsing in several Hammer films.  (He also apparently played a villain in an obscure sci-fi film in the 70s.)

By most accounts, Cushing was the kindest of men and quite a contrast to the villains that he often played.  My favorite Peter Cushing performance is his definitive interpretation of Van Helsing in The Horror of Dracula.  Cushing brought so much authority to the role that he not only made you believe in vampires but he also made you believe that he was the only person who could possibly defeat them.

One final nice note: Cushing and Christopher Lee were often at odds on screen but they were the best of friends in real life.  Lee, in fact, often said that he never recovered emotionally from Cushing’s death in 1994.

In honor of Peter Cushing, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Hamlet (1948, dir by Laurence Olivier)

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957, dir by Terence Fisher)

The Horror of Dracula (1958, dir by Terence Fisher)

Scream and Scream Again (1970, dir by Gordon Hessler)

4 Shots From 4 Peter Cushing Films: Corruption, Scream and Scream Again, Asylum, Shock Waves


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we pay tribute to one of the greatest British film stars with….

4 Shots From 4 Peter Cushing Films

Corruption (1968, dir by Robert Hartford-Davis)

Scream and Scream Again (1970, dir by Gordon Hessler)

Asylum (1972, dir by Roy Ward Baker)

Shock Waves (1977, dir by Ken Wiederhorn)

Horror On TV: Kolchak: The Night Stalker 1.9 “The Spanish Moss Murders” (dir by Gordon Hessler)


Tonight, on Kolchak….

People are turning up dead.  Well, what else is new?  That’s pretty much been the plot of every Kolchak episode so far.  However, this time, they’re turning up dead while covered with Spanish moss!

Oh my God, could it be the Cajuns?

Well, as a matter of fact, it is.  As Kolchak discovers when he investigates, all of the dead people were somehow connected to a comatose Cajun….

Richard Kiel, who played the monster in the previous episode of Kolchak, returns here to play yet another monster.

The episode originally aired on December 6th, 1974!

44 Days of Paranoia #18: Scream and Scream Again (dir by Gordon Hessler)


For today’s entry in the 44 Days of Paranoia, we take a look at one of my favorites of the old school British horror films, 1970’s Scream and Scream Again.

Taking place in the near future, Scream and Scream Again follows three seemingly unconnected stories.

In the first — and, to me, the most disturbing — story, an unnamed London man collapses while out jogging.  When he wakes up, he finds himself in a hospital.  He is tended to by a nurse who refuses to speak to him.  Whenever he falls asleep, his limbs are surgically removed one-by-one.  While we never learn much about the man, his scenes are perhaps the most difficult to watch.  Everything from the starkness of the hospital to the nurse’s lack of concern and empathy for her patient contributes towards making these some of the most genuinely nightmarish scenes that I’ve ever seen.

While the unnamed jogger is being slowly taken apart, the London police are far more interested in solving the “Vampire Killer” case.  Keith (Michael Gothard) is a serial killer who picks up young women in nightclubs and then drinks their blood.  When, after an exciting chase, the police finally do catch him, they attempt to handcuff Keith to a car bumper.  Keith responds by ripping off his own hand and running into the night.  The investigation into Keith eventually leads to an eminent scientist named Dr. Browning (Vincent Price).  However, Fremont (Christopher Lee), the head of the British secret service, orders the police to drop the case because Browning is apparently doing very important work for the government.

Meanwhile, in an unnamed country in Eastern Europe, secret police officer Konratz (Marshall Jones) ruthlessly climbs his way to the top of the service by murdering his superiors (including Peter Cushing).  When a British spy is captured in his country, Konratz contacts Fremont and offers to exchange the spy for all the information that Scotland Yard has gathered about the Vampire Killer case…

Perhaps the best way to describe Scream and Scream Again would be “joyfully chaotic.”  The film’s three separate storylines do all come together during the final ten minutes and the film’s climax does make a lot more sense than it really has any right to but, up until that moment, a lot of the pleasure from Scream and Scream Again comes from seeing just how many different plots and subplots director Gordon Hessler can juggle in one film without losing the audience.  Fortunately,  Scream and Scream Again is a wonderfully entertaining horror/sci-fi/conspiracy hybrid, one that remains compulsively watchable despite the fact that it often doesn’t make much sense.

Of course, one of the main reasons to see Scream and Scream Again is because it features three icons of horror cinema.  Unfortunately, Cushing isn’t on-screen long enough to make much of an impression while Lee basically just has an extended cameo.  Vincent Price doesn’t show up until fairly late into the film but once he does, he wastes no time in making an impression.  Even by the standard of Vincent Price, his performance in this film is a bit over-the-top.

But you know what?

It’s exactly the performance that this film needs.  The film itself is so joyfully chaotic and disjointed that Price fits right in.  The triumph of Scream and Scream Again is that it creates (and makes us believe in) a world where it only makes sense that the final solution would lie with Vincent Price.

Finally, Scream and Scream Again serves as a wonderful time capsule for those of us who may be fascinated by the swinging 60s and 70s but, as a result of being born a few decades too late, will never get a chance to experience them firsthand.  For us, Scream and Scream Again will always be worth it for the scenes of Keith getting his mod on at a London discotheque.  

Scream and Scream Again is a film that everyone should see at least once in their life.  Just don’t go jogging afterwards…

Other Entries In The 44 Days of Paranoia 

  1. Clonus
  2. Executive Action
  3. Winter Kills
  4. Interview With The Assassin
  5. The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald
  6. JFK
  7. Beyond The Doors
  8. Three Days of the Condor
  9. They Saved Hitler’s Brain
  10. The Intruder
  11. Police, Adjective
  12. Burn After Reading
  13. Quiz Show
  14. Flying Blind
  15. God Told Me To
  16. Wag the Dog
  17. Cheaters