Of the several horror B-movies starring Cushing that Amicus Productions churned out during the '70s, this is one of the most enjoyable. I have no idea why a studio with a firmly sexless policy pertaining to the content of their productions chose to adapt a novel (David Case's Fengriffen) that involves two rapes as pivotal plot points, especially considering that the first of these is depicted with extreme ambiguity. That said, -- And Now the Screaming Starts! (also known under the equally outrageous title I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream) is about as fun as low-budget period horror gets, with the slender old lead portraying a psychiatrist in the late classical period who investigates a case involving no small amount of lurid, ghostly activity and bad blood.
Cushing doesn't actually appear in the film until halfway through, but never mind - his subdued, carefully rendered performance elevates this whole silly affair above and beyond what it might have otherwise been. The quality of the performances are mixed but the other veterans of the cast (Lom, Magee) present themselves capably, as does the lovely female lead, Stephanie Beacham. It's a shame that Mrs. Beacham had too much self-respect to continue making horror pictures, as she has a set of pipes that could qualify her as a verifiable scream queen!
If you're keen on cheesy British horror typical of other Amicus or Hammer movies, or just enjoy the fine work of the distinguished Mr. Cushing, this is for you. Otherwise, stay away from it.
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