Die Screaming Marianne (1982) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Brainscan

Most sources which list this film want to clean up the grammar and add the comma that should be in the title. But the comma isn't there. The title listed above is the film's official title. Maybe it's in German. No, I think that would have to be "Die screamingte Marianne".

From this annoying grammatical error to the films misleading marketing as a horror film, to the choppy editing, to the strange acting styles, to the incomprehensible plot, to the decidedly unmenacing menace, this movie is as irritating as it is unpleasant. I suppose I could bore you with the loopholes in the incredible plot, but why bother? Let's move on to other topics.

Like how to do a film in exotic foreign locales without leaving the room.

  • The scenes in England: a room with paneled walls.
  • In Spain: a room with paneled walls covered by bullfighting posters.
  • In Finland: wooden benches added to the paneled room, so it looks like a sauna.

Voila! Instant David Lean film!

Die Screaming Marianne isn't a horror film at all, although director Pete Walker ("Frightmare") would go on to become a sort of watered down UK version of the American goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Walker is probably best known to North Americans, if at all, for "House of the Long Shadows", which was Vincent Price's swan song. That film also features John Carradine, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Unfortunately, all four of those noted horror players were in small roles, and the star was Desi Arnaz, Jr.



Susan George is seen in some bikini underwear and bathing suits.

Getting back to  Die Screaming Marianne, it is a story about a family maneuvering around each other for possession of the family inheritance, with some family members relatively innocent, and some outsiders also in on the game.

The "horror" is more like Hitchcock stuff - severed brake cords causing cars to speed uncontrollably down mountain roads. You know the drill. Come to think of it, tampering with the brakes has to be the oldest cliché in this type of movie. The evil guys must thank heaven that these people all live on mountaintops. Tampering with the brakes doesn't matter much in Florida, except maybe that you run over a turtle when you try to stop.

I have to admit that I didn't pay as much attention to this film as I might to a real movie, but I still don't know whether Susan George's husband was in on the scheming, or if perhaps he really loved her for herself. He seemed to be a good guy, but the film ended with an oblique reference to him, accompanied by a mysterious birthday card he wrote to Big Sue before he met his maker prematurely.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen

  • no features

Anyway, the point is that you should avoid this movie.

It's boring. Certain things in the plot don't seem to make sense, and they never explain them. The acting is stiff. And I don't even know what the ending is supposed to mean.

Did I mention boring?


Die Screaming Marianne (1971) stars Susan George as Marianne and was made the same year she starred in Straw Dogs. So, I was sorta kinda hoping, ya know, that she would, how you say?, get naked. Yep, that's what I was hoping.

Movies have a way of telling you whether one's expectations of bare goodies is going to pan out. Often the movie takes its own sweet time letting you in on that fact, but Marianne comes right and makes it clear in the first scene. Susan George is feigning sleep as the guy she picked up the night before... a sailor!... slips out the door. And then assured she is alone, she rises, holds the covers to her chest and, without letting go of them, quickly slips on a very short dress. Let me repeat: she knows she is alone and still she takes great pains to hide her assets. It's then you know you are SOL.

A later scene just adds an exclamation point to it all. There is Susan in the tub with bubbles and something else white hiding the goodies. A close-up shows the something else is the bra she was wearing in a scene just preceding. And the DP failed to block the scene so that the undies remain off camera. Nary a doubt about Susan's nudity or the crafts-persons' competence after this scene.

Bottom line: don't watch Die Screaming for any Susan George exposure. Or any other babe's exposure.

So should you watch is for the art and drama? Well, let me put it this way. In Die Screaming Marianne, the protagonist neither dies nor screams. It's not a horror film or mystery film or period drama or anything else that I recognized as cinema. Only if it had been filmed in a nudist colony and Ms. George had played one of the residents and she participated in an exercise class and a volleyball game would it have been worth the money I spent renting this...thing..

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 2.9.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D.

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