2 More Days Until Halloween, 2012: THE SHOUT (1978)


Two more days til Halloween, and I’m just going all out today and share three more of my favorite supernatural, super awesome, super scary programs from British television. This stuff is my current media OBSESSION, and I might as well share what I’m REALLY into at the moment as opposed to trying to do a survey of eclectic rare horror in the brief time before Halloween. I would go insane.

I have no idea how long this fantastic British TV stuff will be available on the net, so watch it while you can. Things change. Images come and images go. The digital is fragile, it is nothing, and archives are not guaranteed.

THE SHOUT might be one of those films that everyone with taste who knows anything about movies has already seen. Maybe I’m late to the game. Nonetheless, I know a little bit about scary movies and I hadn’t heard much about this one before recently so, though I can’t say it’s a “rare” or “obscure” cult film, it seems to me that PEOPLE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS MOVIE ENOUGH!

Here are just a few talking points:

a) THE SHOUT stars John Hurt, Alan Bates, Tim Curry, and Susannah York. Not a particularly obscure cast…and actors that you couldn’t, or shouldn’t, shake a stick at. That will become evident after watching. 

b) The protagonist in THE SHOUT is a musician who apparently does the sound effects for all the other scary British TV shows/movies, and we get to see him working in his studio, which is good fun. Music and sound is an integral part of the occult inspired narrative, and the soundtrack is done by ex-members of Genesis. Apparently they wanted David Bowie but he wasn’t available. I think they got the right people.

c) The script is co-written and based upon a story written by Robert Graves…THE Robert Graves…the one who wrote a “fictional poetic history” called The White Goddess which was then cribbed and quoted by thousands of pseudo-ignorant neo-pagan Wiccans as if it were fact. This doesn’t reflect badly on him, by the way. He never said it was true…it’s just that he knows SO much about mythology, the occult, etc, that it might as well have been true…THE SHOUT is about magic and the occult, and no one could argue that this isn’t his damned territory…

d) It is beautifully filmed and edited – as if by a slightly more restrained Nicholas Roeg (when he was good), or Donald Cammell (when he was alive) and is crammed with so many little synchronicities, associated visual information clusters, and references, that it needs to be watched closely to be fully appreciated.

e) It features a game of cricket played by insane asylum inmates, a sex scene based on a Francis Bacon painting, and Alan Bates delivering the line, “Does it shock you that I’ve killed all my children?”

f) it was nominated for a Palme d’ Or and actually won the Grand Prix de Jury at Cannes.

THE SHOUT is no longer streaming on YouTube, but please enjoy this clip while you’re hunting for a copy!


This entry was posted in 1970s horror, British Horror and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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