Theme Song: Although no specific theme song is given, this movie actually has a very good soundtrack with plenty of normal horror music, as well as some good funk-type stuff. I’m sure it was all stock music, but it still works well.
Interesting Dated References: Pants so tight you can see where the scrotum and shaft are.
Best Line: In the final dialogue between Sirgurd and the monster broad, she says “You love me” To which he replies — “l do, but you are an evil monster and you must not go on.”
Social Context: There’s some good stuff here about man versus woman or some such nonsense, but I’m not going to read too much into it. All I know is Sirgurd winds up killing the woman he loves because she morphs into a horrible monster sometimes. You read into that whatever you want.
Summary: In the early 80s there was a gigantic explosion of slasher films. In the ensuing hysteria, many old films were re-marketed, or pulled off the shelves and re-edited to create more of a “crazed lunatic stalking teens” feel. See also: Savage Weekend. During this time period, entire movies were altered to better fit into the gimmicky slasher era. I can’t think of the titles off-hand, but I know there’s a few Beta’s in this collection where they actually went and edited in more nudity to old films. Only, the nudity was shot on video during the 80s, whereas the movie it was edited into was on film stock and from the 70s. Anyway, the main travesty of this era was the re-marketing of older, poorly dubbed foreign horror films as “slasher flicks.”
When The Screaming Stops started out its life as Grasp of the Lorelei in 1974. It was directed by Spanish horror maven Amando de Ossorio, who is better known for his Blind Dead series of films, which were marketed in the US under dozens of different titles. Chances are, if you grew up in the 80s and rented videos, you probably at one point rented one of his movies based on box art and were probably confused by the shitty voice-over work. Now, since de Ossorio was fond of selling off the rights to his films to make money, he of course lost all control of what happened to them. Into the picture comes Lightning Video, who in the 80s released a shit ton (actual statistics) of B-grade Betamax and terribly mismarketed movies. When Lightning Video got their hands on Grasp of the Lorelei they decided to ignore the subtle mood, camerawork, and the fact that the killer in the movie was a giant lizard, and instead cash in on “slasher fever.” That’s right, they gave it a new title, a new box featuring a large kitchen knife, and a confusing gimmick. What’s the gimmick you ask? Well, obviously to make the screen flash red every time someone is about to get killed, duh! So with that confusing back story, I give you When The Screaming Starts.
The movie opens with a hot young bride dressing up the night before her wedding and her drunken fiance throws rocks at her window to say goodnight. Then a giant rubber-lizard-man-in-a-costume attacks the young bride. There is actually a fair amount of blood here. Just when the title screen is about to pop up, the movie cuts and we get a new title screen that reads, When The Screaming Stops in super 8-bit computer type. Then the movie goes back to the normal credits and we’re supposed to not notice this. The next day is the funeral for the now dead bride.
People gather round and some hot 70s chick stares ominously from her carriage. The overdubbing in this movie is hilarious. It’s almost like someone paid your dad and your uncle to do it in their work shed. When the husband starts shoveling the muddy wet dirt onto the casket, the sound effects guys just shook a box full of nuts and bolts over and over.
Look at this mud, there’s clearly no rocks. Well, I understand there could be, but it’s raining out and looks super muddy. There’s certainly no nuts and bolts in it. After the funeral, everyone gets drunk at a bar and speculates about the death of the girl in front of the family.
This blind hippie proceeds to tell the crowd about The Lorelei of The Rhine River, which is some type of monster that will kill young girls and take the form of a hot chick to then kill men. Suddenly we see the hot teacher who runs a girls dormitory and needs protection.
Not only are there a bunch of hot 70s chicks in this movie, but they’re wearing those nice bathing suits from the 70s. The girls are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Sirgurd their bodyguard. When he shows up, he’s dressed like Elvis and has on the tightest pants I’ve ever seen. He proceeds to put the venue on lockdown. As he walks around at night, a bunch of chicks try to seduce him from their windows, but he is too powerful or his pants ar too tight. Meanwhile, back in town another chick gets killed, complete with red flash on the screen and some good gore.
You have to fucking see how this hunter/protector dude Sirgurd is dressed. This is his second outfit. In his first outfit he showed up in tight-ass white polyester pants. So a girl in town dies and has funeral. While there Sirgurd sees the same mysterious woman who was at the other funeral and asks about her. No one seems to know who she is. Then he goes back to leering at women late at night as he patrols the grounds. The blind hippie gets killed, but that’s what he gets for only having a sheet for a front door.
Look at those pants! Look at his gigantic crotch area! Alright, so while Sirgurd goes swimming, he stumbles upon a beautiful maiden who also happens to be the mystery woman from the funeral(s). She runs off, though. Then he finds a scientist hiding in some bushes who tells him more about the legend of Lorelie. The scientist takes him to his lab where he shows him an experiment in which he makes a disembodied human hand turn into a lizard hand.
Uh oh, red screen flash! The bride-to-be guy gets killed. Then the scientist gets killed, then Sirgurd tries to bang the hot chick who was at the funeral and identifies herself as Lorelei.
Somehow Sirgurd finds his way to an underground cave, confronts Lorelei, then gets hypnotized and all these other hot chicks rub on him. Then they get into a cat fight and he escapes.
Sirgurd escapes just in time to stab Lorelie in lizard form as she attacks the dorm girls. Then she dies in his arms and says something about Valhalla, like she’s in a Manowar song.h is is an acceptable movie and it’s worth a look. Just don’t go into it expecting a slasher flick.
Poster and Box Art: The cover for When The Screaming Stops sucks. Not only does it have nothing to do with the film, it’s stupid in general. And just to clarify, there aren’t any large kitchen knives in this movie at all. As for images from Grasp of The Lorelei, I could only find this poster.
Availability: The movie is available on semi-bootleg public domain dvd as The Lorely’s Grasp for purchase from Amazon. It is the original version in English language before it was repackaged as When The Screaming Stops so it probably doesn’t have the really cool red flashes.
Lightning Video was so hardcore misrepresenting this movie that they actually made vomit bags to give away when the movie was rented. This is totally ridiculous and I bet a lot of people were upset when they got this tape home, but the vomit bag is pretty cool.