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SCREAM...AND DIE! (or "The house that vanished" (1973))is the unknown piece of horror and sex that the master José Ramón Larraz did in England in the seventees. It's an erotic thriller with psychopatic murderer (Karl Lanchbury) perfomed by a beautiful model called Valerie (terrific Andrea Allan)involved in a haunting mistery and sadistic murders occurred in a isolated manor in the forest at midnights. Scream and die has an excellent and very particular quality in images and atmosferes. The movie is slow, yes, but this thing is normal in Larraz's movies: the story is very slow and predictable, but it's too sexy (the love scenes are really good and erotic) and brutal sometimes, and has the mark from the director of masterpieces as "Vampyres" and "Symptoms", both from 1974. The fog, tne night, the sounds of the killer walking with his black gloves following Valerie, the anguish in her face in her firsts shots, the slowly music give to the film a personal sight. The first murder seen by the hidden Valerie and husband as intimate witnesses and the escape from the manor are a classic composition of horror shots, wonderfully executed by the "voyeurisitic filmmaker" with a rare and genuine talent. It's a really brutal moment of sophisticated murder and "naïve" sex. Scream and die has the very personal "touch" of the catalanian director, all the constants that are in the most part of his baroque, sensual and horrific world (Emma puertas oscuras,La muerte incierta,Vampyres, Symptoms,Estigma,Whirpool, Deviation or Deadly manor) are present in here. The spiral of terror and tension grows very slowly -step by step- describing the world of this sexy model for fashion photographers in a continuated state of danger. Larraz creates a really personal style in a very traditional thriller that must be remembered by the tension,the british locations in Kent in winter,the quiet and dead moments of inusually fascination, the use of the photography, the artistic colors and the incredible dark shots of nights, the typical "english" fog, the horror moments and the clever sex that impressed me a lot in my adolescence. Scream and die has a kind of elegance in the horror genre that others horror thrillers hasn't. All the personal obsessions of José Larraz are here in a fine lesson of cinematography in his best period of his career, the british period. The fans of José Larraz need to know his firsts features, as "Whirpool" (1970) and "Deviation" (1971)-nobody has said anything more specific about these movies? (Please: more information and reviews in IMDB or other places,webs, etc.) and his last contribution tot the terror lately in "Deadly manor"(Savage lust, 1990)produced by his old british friend Brian Smedley-Aston. When the fans of José Ramón Larraz, Brian Smedley-Aston (editor of "Performance" ,etc.), his actresses and his horrific world will have a web or a personal page about the director? Where are the fans of this spanish/british filmmaker?. Goodbye!
'Scream and Die!' is another woefully obscure Jose Ramon Larraz horror excursion from the early 70's that is entirely undeserving of its current position of lost title. All the requisite Larraz traits are in abundance here; libidinous, scantily clad buxom women, creaky, dimly lit houses and some elusive sexually 'unusual' maniac knocking off a series of shrieking, top-heavy females. The basic giallo-esque plot of some black-gloved killer doesn't stray from convention, but where Larraz succeeds and many other similar filmmakers fail is that he always manages to generate a palpably erotic and decadent tone among all the familiar heavy breathing stalk and slash; besides the abundance of candle-lit cleavage he also infuses the admittedly generic premise with oodles of genuinely unsettling Gothic motifs. After reading a few glib, dismissive reviews of 'Scream...and Die' I really wasn't expecting much, but contrary to low expectations the film proved to be entirely entertaining with a series of demonstratively eerie set pieces that managed to evoke a sweaty-palmed Poe-like, sepulchral chill.
Valerie and her boyfriend Terry witness a murder in an old abandoned
house. They had heard the sound of a car arriving and they hid
themselves. A couple had come in. They could only see the girl because
He remained always in the shadow. She undressed herself and sat on his
lap. Suddenly a switchblade flashes out. She's stabbed to death.
Valerie in her panic rushes blindly out of the house. Outside she waits for Terry. He doesn't come. Then she hears footsteps. Again she runs and runs.... Somehow she manages to get home in the morning.
In London Valerie goes back to her routine. She tries to contact Terry, be he's disappeared from sight. And worst of all, when Valerie looks out of her window she sees Terry's car parked in front of her house. The killer knows who she is and where she lives! When Valerie speaks with her friends about it, they advise her to not contact the police. After all Terry is a shady dealer, and she could get involved in a very nasty business. But what happened to Terry? Is he still alive?
The killer is stalking her, and he will strike again...
By the description, you could think that "Scream and Die" is a very suspenseful thriller. But you would be wrong.
"Scream and Die" (the title is misleading) should be seen by those that like a weird atmosphere: the thick fog that envelops the house when Terry and Valerie arrive there, Valerie's friends and neighbors, the early 70s mood, the subtle and effective soundtrack, and the bizarre! Most viewers will guess from the beginning who the killer is. But that's not really important. I enjoy "Scream and Die" because it's atmospheric and feels natural (characters and environment), but it is at the same time dreamy, and sometimes surreal. The beautiful and delicate Andrea Allan is Valerie. She is a joy to behold!
If you like the films of Larraz this is another one to add to your collection
THE HOUSE THAT VANISHED (a stupid title!) is pretty good atmospheric psychological thriller. I had very little hope for it when I started watching this Larraz film. To make matters worse, the video transfer is very dark, grainy and the sound had some weird looping technical glitch. I quickly thought then that the movie flatlined from the get go, certainly during the scene with the woman undressing in front of the killer, which was a tad ridiculous. But when the movie ended, to my surprise, I actually enjoyed it. The film is not the greatest ever made and there are a lot of faults to it (pacing is one of them) but the atmosphere is very good and the story is more about the intertwining aspects of location and identity than horror or violence. THE HOUSE THAT VANISHED reminded me a lot of Mario Bava's HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON. It's like a twisted soap opera. This film deserves a better title. And a better transfer as well, on video or DVD, than the one that's for sale on eBay (from Media), which I bought for 50 cents!!!
For the want of a better plot, this slow-paced vintage horror flick has
lovely Airhead Playmate Andrea Allan as its main attraction, and she's
convincing enough as a pretty face to rest your eyes on.
There's a lot of eerie 70s atmosphere, but that's just about it.
A summary: Airhead follows her sordid boyfriend to a deserted house in order for him to break an entry. No reason is given for his choice of burglary object. In fact, he has a hard time finding the location. He even resorts to using a map! Well, they get there by nightfall, and while he's searching the premises, a couple enters of which the male party gets down to killing the female, not knowing that Airhead and Burglar are hiding out watching them. Airhead runs for the car but has lost the ignition key so she flees through the woods to a car junkyard, with the murderer in her tracks.
She escapes, and then basically nothing happens for a good hour.
The viewer would perhaps be expecting the deserted house to mysteriously disappear as the title does indicate a story of a vanished house. However, no quest of the house ever takes place, so the movie isn't really about a vanished house but something else (that unravels in the very last five minutes).
Airhead is totally unmoved by watching murders and corpses; rather a far cry from the American Scream Queens.
Lots of nudity and sex, with compliments to the director: he's from Barcelona!
I really wanted to like this film, but what a yawn-fest! It had an interesting concept with the beautiful girl and her boyfriend, but the story just staggered. The characters were so unrealistic, and came across as having their head in the clouds most of the time. It was playing in a double-feature after Ship of Zombies playing at the New Beverly and it seemed worthwhile to check out. I gave this film a two, because it was executed well and had some fun shocking moments. The extremely slow pacing however, was where this film suffered. I would recommend this film, but to people who could stomach something very slow. If anything, the House that Vanished is a great title.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ah, the house that vanished This oddball (alternate) title alone was more than enough reason for me to purchase a copy of this obscure and relatively unknown horror flick. But unfortunately, and as the case with too many 70's horror efforts, the title is by far the most exciting aspect about the entire production. This is an unbelievably dull film, stuffed with all the annoying genre-clichés and predictable plot-twist you can possibly think of. During the opening sequences, we follow a young couple a photo model and her petty thief lover as they break into an isolated house during a foggy night. There they witness a murder and only the girl manages to escape into the woods surrounding the house. And, in case you wonder, the title is really accurate! When the girl Valerie wants to show some of her friends where the murder took place, she can't locate the house anymore! Like it vanished into thin air! Anyway, life goes on and Valerie falls in love with a strangely introvert boy who has a peculiar affair with his aunt and classical music plays whenever he's on screen. The murderer hasn't forgotten about Valerie yet and all kind of sinister happenings lead her back to the murder-house. The plot sounds sensational on paper, and I'm convinced it could have been really great, but the elaboration is very poor and way too slow. The only things to admire during the tedious middle section of the film are main actress Andrea Allan's good looks and her smoking HOT body. Yes, I am aware this is a shallow remark to make, but her spontaneous stripteases truly are the only moments that hold your attention. Director José Ramón Larrez seems to realize this too, since the amount of sleaze and nudity gradually increases as the film reaches towards its climax. There's very little suspense and the few murder scenes are tame and as good as bloodless. The more than obvious denouement is almost like an insult to trained horror fans.
A young model and her petty thief boyfriend find their way through the
English fog to a backwoods manor in hopes of looting it.
What they find instead is murder, and when the model attempts to find the house again, her efforts come to naught.
They've changed the title to Scream and Die for some reason. The other title was so much better.
Doesn't make the movie any better. It's very slow and very dark. Could barely see the characters. It's not a good movie at all. Bad acting. Dumb storyline. Horrible print.
Don't bother with it. Unless you want to be bored to tears
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a great fan of British Horror cinema I have seen my fair share of films, and I can honestly say that "Scream... And Die!" of 1973 is arguably THE most boring British Horror production I ever laid eyes on. It is not necessarily the absolute worst of all British Horror films I've seen, but it is possibly the most tiresome, which is even more disappointing since the name of director José Ramón Larraz raises high expectations, regarding his mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful "Vampyres" of 1974. Anyhow, Larraz obviously went a long way in the one year in-between "Scream... And Die!" and "Vampyres", as while the latter is a fascinating film, this one is a complete mess filled with clichés that offend the intelligence of every viewer who has seen more than 10 Horror films. This is not yet my main complaint, however. While the film has a decent (but by no means memorable) start, and catches up a little towards the end, there is a approximately 50-minute period of hardly endurable boredom in-between. Admittedly, the film has its positive aspects, but I still find it hard to believe that half of the reviews on this are actually positive. There are some nicely eerie settings, and several bits of weirdness, but that is no excuse for two thirds of the film being tiresome beyond belief. The only true saving grace is the ravishing leading actress Andrea Allan, a stunning beauty who has the habit of taking her clothes off for no reason occasionally. Except for the charming Miss Allen and the decent settings, however, there is little positive to say about "Scream... And Die". The idea of a mask-making 20-something weirdo, who looks like he's 14 and who likes to go beyond cuddling with his 50-something auntie, may make the film a bit more worthwhile, but even less original (Norman Bates-wannabe #153.278.997 hooray!). Also it is not quite understandable why a ravishing model like Valerie (the character played by Andrea Allen) would, out of all people, fall for a lunatic mask-maker who looks like a little boy and is still living with auntie. Overall, "Scream... And Die!" does have its moments but the middle is insufferably boring. I sat through the whole film, but, in case one does wanna watch this, it is highly recommendable to fast-forward from the 20th to the 70th minute, and reduce the film to the part that is worthwhile (approximately 35 minutes in total). My recommendation, however, is to skip this yawner, and to go for director Larraz' great following film, the astonishing lesbian Vampire flick "Vampyres".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the fourth film of Joseph (the Anglicized version of Jose'
Ramon) Larraz I'm watching and possibly the most conventional and least
rewarding so far. For the record, the film shares its screenwriter
Derek Ford (who later became an exploitation director himself) with a
film I've also just watched for the first time during this Halloween
challenge Peter Sykes' VENOM (1971; see above).
The heroine is a gorgeous blonde played by Andrea Allan: thankfully, 1970s British genre cinema was virtually a haven for such starlets, even if only a handful ever made it to the top (while the greater majority were hardly ever heard of again)! Like VAMPYRES (1974), nudity here is bountiful (in all senses of the word) including a surprisingly steamy encounter between the disturbed sculptor/murderer (Karl Lanchbury, who also appeared in Larraz's subsequent erotic vampire flick) and his mentor/aunt(!) although the ever iconoclastic Luis Bunuel would go one better the following year in THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY by showing a young man sleeping with his own grandmother!!
Incidentally, it seemed silly to me to have the heroine here jumping straight into a romantic attachment with a complete to say nothing of wimpish stranger (who, conveniently, turns out to be the killer!) after having not just witnessed a cold-blooded murder but also having had her unreliable boyfriend disappear on her for good! The expected 'red herring' character is here supplied courtesy of Peter Forbes-Robertson's eccentric birdwatcher neighbor.
Incidentally, the photographic models milieu is extremely typical of such European thriller fare and the film's bland treatment of it certainly adds nothing new to the formula. Also quite inevitably, the film went through various title changes: the original one was SCREAM AND DIE! but, apart from the one I watched it under which is listed above, it was further hyperbolically dubbed PSYCHO SEX FIEND.
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