And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)

Based on the 1970 novella Fengriffen by David Case, this Ray Ward Baker (AsylumA Night to RememberThe Vault of Horror) is a rare non-anthology Amicus film.

After moving to her fiancé Charles Fengriffen’s family estate, Catherine (Stephanie Beacham, Dynasty) keeps seeing an undead man with a birthmarked face, no eyes and a severed right hand. In fact, a spirit goes so far as to assault her on her wedding night. So imagine how she feels when she meets a woodsman who lives on the grounds. He has the same birthmark as her horrible dreams.

Anyone that answers her questions about all of these strange happenings is killed immediately — by axe, by severed hand, by throwing down the stairs, bye bye.

Charles believes that his wife is mentally ill, but since she is with his child, he calls for Dr. Pope (Peter Cushing), who gets close to the truth before the hand shows up again and kills his witness. That’s when Charles reveals that his grandfather (Herbert Lom!) once assaulted his servant Silas’ wife and sliced off that man’s hand as punishment for trying to get revenge. The child grew up to be the woodsman, whose father Silas cursed the Fengriffen family. The next virgin bride to enter their home — Catherine — would be attacked by a ghost, her decency taken and her child possessed. Anyone who tries to help her will die.

The end of this movie is completely deranged. The baby is born looking exactly like Catherine’s vision — no eyes, the birthmark and missing a hand — so Charles shoots the woodsman in both eyes before digging up Silas and tearing his corpse apart.

This film was shot in Oakley Court, which you may recognize from several Hammer films and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Today, it’s a luxury hotel.

One more fact: producer Max Rosenberg attempted to use the title I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, which is a Harlan Ellison book. How quickly do you think Harlan ran to court to stop him?

You have so many options to watch this! It’s on Tubi, Shudder and available from Severin.

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