Plot: What’s it about?
After the death of her mother, Marianne (Susan George) is in line to collect her inheritance and that could mean some serious gains. In addition to a lot of cold, hard cash, she also stands to pick up some documents, which contain information that could land people in trouble. You see, her father is still alive and inside those documents are some papers, which contain incriminating evidence against him. He is no clean man either, as he is very corrupt and in truth, he would rather see Marianne dead than face the consequences for his actions. As if his involvement wasn’t enough, Marianne’s sister also wants to have a hand in the deal, as she wants the funds from the inheritance. Now Marianne finds herself in the middle of a widespread chase, as she runs for her life from her own flesh and blood. Can Marianne find somewhere to hide, someone to trust, or any paths to lead her out of this madness?
This is a very offbeat, confusing, and unique horror film, but don’t let the strange nature of it all keep you away from this one. I admit it doesn’t always make sense, but Die Screaming Marianne is fun to watch and has some classic moments, which is more than enough to make this worthwhile. I like a lot of horror movies and I don’t need narrative in all of them, sometimes the more confusing the better, if you ask me. But if you’re into more mainstream horror or the more recent teen aimed slasher flicks, then this won’t be one you’re interested in. Susan George offers little in terms of classical acting, but looks excellent and that proves to be enough, at least in this case. This one has some nice chases, a couple decent action sequences, and of course, a lot of suspense and potential bloodshed. I know this film won’t be of interest to most, but if you’re at all interested, by all means check this out, as I think fans of 1970s horror will find a lot to like here.
The driving force behind this film is Susan George, who ensures we’re all eyes and paying attention to her every move. I won’t claim her skills are up there with the best of them, but she manages to do well enough, as her looks handle the bulk of the burden. She looks better than ever here, with her blonde hair, tan skin, and gorgeous body showcased to sheer perfection. In this film, she switches between various outfits, all designed to please the eyes of the audience. This is always a good thing in a film such as this, where visuals take the front over traditional narrative. Although she lacked superior classical skills and never became a massive star, I think George managed to bring across the assets she did have, which made all the difference. Other films with George include Straw Dogs, The Jigsaw Man, Enter The Ninja, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Venom, and The House Where Evil Dwells. The rest of the cast includes Leo Genn (Ten Little Indians, Frightmare), Barry Evans (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), and Judy Huxtable (The Touchables, Up The Chastity Belt).
Video: How does it look?
Die Screaming Marianne is presented in a full frame transfer, which seems to be an open matte edition. The print used shows frequent, although usually minor damage and debris, which is a let down. But I didn’t expect a pristine source print either, so I was prepared to a certain extent and that makes it easier to take. The colors look bright and well rendered, with natural flesh tones and no signs of smears in the least. No complaints with the contrast either, as detail looks terrific and black levels are well balanced at all times. I do wish this was anamorphic widescreen and restored a little, but this is still a decent presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not much to discuss here, as the included mono track is adequate, but little more. I did detect some slight hiss at times, but nothing to be too concerned with and I think this is an acceptable track in the end. No issues with the music, which comes across in fine form and the sound effects are well presented also, without much distortion at all. Of course, a few times the track shows some age signs, but again, nothing to worry much over. I found the dialogue to be clean and well done, with sharp vocals and no volume problems. This is not a dynamic audio mix, but it handles the material, which is what counts.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.