According to Irish folklore if you hear the scream of a banshee, it means your impending death. Not what you wanted to hear I’m sorry (particularly if you just heard some screaming), but I will progress on with the review nonetheless.
Scream Of The Banshee begins in Limerick City, Ireland, 1188 A.D. A young lady being chased through the forest by some burly knights (The Knights Templar for all you historians out there). All however is not what it seems, as this young lady is in fact a banshee whose scream can kill at will (Think Mariah Carey x 100, and then you will get the general idea). Their mission is to destroy her, as she is a threat to anyone who hears her cries (Some of you are still thinking of Mariah Carey).
How they dispose of the banshee has got to be one of the most amazing ways I’ve ever seen of decapitating a head. It’s ingeniously sealed in a box – the method is nearly worthy of The Dragon’s Den (I’m sure they would raise some finance for this invention)!
We are then transported to modern day America, where Professor Whelan is cataloguing rare artifacts. Unfortunately, one of the said artifacts just happens to include directions to where to find the Banshee’s head. The Professor is intrigued and sends her daughter Shayla to investigate.
During some exploring, Shayla happens upon a false wall and The Professor with Shayla and Otto (an assistant), investigate further, finding a box. Using a gauntlet found by Otto as a key, the box is opened. The Banshee’s head is found and boy is she ugly. This Banshee however means business, and years of being in a box hasn’t affected her voice as she proceeds to scream, causing bleeding ears and major migraines to all (including me).
Then for no reason the banshee’s head spontaneously combusts.
Believe it or not, she manages to come back. But I could not fathom why this happened in the plot of the film, though I did continue to watch to see how the film would progress without a banshee.
Throughout the film The Professor has numberous confrontations with the banshee, but are these meetings in her dreams or are they reality? The only key to solving this puzzle is for her to speak with Broderick Duncan, the professor who originally found the box containing the head. Locating Broderick is not an easy task as various obstacles are put in her path, but upon finding him (played by the uber-talented Lance Henriksen) she has to deal with an apparently insane man who does not wish to have the Banshee returned to him at all (no surprises there).
The first thing I worried about was when I saw that the Syfy Channel was associated with Scream Of The Banshee was that I remembered the pain I had to endure when watching Lake Placid 3. Another such release.
However, Scream Of The Banshee delivers on a few horror promises: It has a great plot, some great scenes of gore, and some scenes which may even scare the more faint hearted among us.
The acting is not Oscar standard, but weakness are made up for in one scene with the sheer amount of blood that was poured on one actress’s face. I think even I would have screamed if I’d been covered in that amount of fake blood.
I was disappointed with Lance Henriksen’s screen time, as he only shows up for about 10 minutes and one would assume that his acting calibre warrants more screen time than any of the other cast?
But this aside, Scream Of The Banshee isn’t a bad effort by writer Anthony C. Ferrante and director Steven C. Miller.
My suggestion to the production team is spend more time finding a more talented cast and in developing script ideas in future. Some parts of the film dragged on like a zombie in a sack!