(1983/Columbia/Sony/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/13 Eerie (2012/E1 DVD)
B-/C Sound: B-/C+ Extras: B-/C Films: C+/C-
NOTE: The Christine
Blu-ray was limited to 3,000 copies, is now sold out and is going for seriously
high money, but other great limited editions are available exclusively at the
Screen Archives website which can be reached at the link at the end of this
complained about how Horror films have not been as good as they used to be. Here are two examples of films on the track
to be good, yet both got derailed in their own ways.
Carpenter was just coming off of the mixed success of his underrated 1982
remake of The Thing (1982, reviewed
elsewhere on this site) when he decided to take on a new project. Stephen King’s Christine was just going around as an unpublished manuscript when
the feature film that would arrive in 1983 hit theaters. Carpenter was looking for something safer in
the genre and found it with this tale of a 1957 Plymouth Fury that might just
have an evil life of its own.
a few years after a cycle of “Devil Car” movies that included The Car and The Hearse, it was either going to be the peak of them, a revival
of them or the end of them. It was the end
after the end, though the film still has some interesting moments, it is not a
great film and was the beginning of Carpenter becoming more commercial, as well
as another King adaptation that missed working, though this one more narrowly
(De Palma’s Dressed To Kill,
reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) plays another nerd, Arnie, who has
a good friend in a high school jock (John Stockwell) and a bad combination of
emotionally unavailable parents and a few bullies at school to bother him circa
1978. One day, the duo stop to see an
old Fury that is rusted out and a wreck, but Arnie sees possibilities and buys
it for next to nothing. Then he is
determined to restore it and even finds an old car garage with a junkyard that
helps him do so. Suddenly, the car is
reborn and he uses its name given by its previous owner, Christine.
interesting film at times, which now has a cult following and did some business
at the time, it also has many problems.
Arnie personal changes lack convincing exposition, there is a lack of
suspense, the retro humor of King’s approach does not match Carpenter’s modern
approach with dialogue leaving the characters talking at each other thanks in
part to contradictory approaches that do not often work, too many of the
characters are underdeveloped and become cartoonish (made worse by a fine Harry
Dean Stanton performance, playing a detective here), the car’s evil is never
fully flushed out and the result is just not up to King or Carpenter despite the
ambition of the makers and actors.
Blu-ray edition from Twilight Time is a Limited Edition release (surprising
some) and only 3,000 discs were pressed, selling out by street date, so the
fans are out there. As of this posting,
copies were going for anywhere from $130.00 to $300.00 and this does have more
than a few extras, but is it worth it?
Only if you are a big fan, of course.
extras include an isolated DTS-MA lossless music score by Carpenter that shows
the music audio is not warped by that Carpenter wanted it to sound warped and
off-kilter, three featurettes from the DVD (Fast
& Furious, Finish Line, Ignition) by Laurent Bouzereau are
repeated here in all their analog video glory, we get some Deleted Scenes
(parts of which should have stayed), a vintage audio commentary track with
Carpenter and Gordon worth hearing and another fine illustrated booklet with
text info and a great essay by Julie Kirgo is included inside the Blu-ray
case. Even non-fans will be impressed.
Dean’s 13 Eerie (2012) also had the
potential to be a good Horror outing, but it eventually collapses as the group
of young forensic undergrads (CSI Jrs.?) go out to a remote island and find
killer zombies! This had some potential,
including in the casing down to the underrated Brendan Fletcher, but it sadly,
quickly becomes a make-up/gorefest with no point, everything we have seen
before and no point after possibly having one.
also goes out the window as the first bloodbath kicks in and oh, the zombies are
dead killer convicts! Yawn!!
the makers did not try to concentrate and make something memorable, but this
becomes another formula schlock package deal and wastes 87 minutes of our
time. This could have been good, but the
zombie angle is so played out, maybe they were doomed off camera.
include a Photo Gallery, Audio Commentary Track with Director and Producer and Making Of Featurettes.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Christine is as good as the film has ever looked on home video, but
it is from an older HD master as the dark scenes show depth limits, crushed
Video Black and grain that makes this real 35mm Panavision shoot look weaker
than it should. At its best, especially
in many daylight shots, color and definition are terrific and you might even
get a few demo shots here and there. It
is better than that awful Blu-ray for Halloween,
but not quiet as good as The Thing
Blu-ray (same transfer as the out of print HD-DVD) or even the Dark Star Blu-ray, so it is on par with
the Assault on Precinct 13 Blu-ray
(all reviewed elsewhere on this site) so it is still good, if not great.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Eerie
is far softer than it should be, even with stylizing considered, adding to my disappointment
with its potential squandered.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Christine can be towards the front speakers as this was a film
originally issued in Dolby A-type noise reduction, their old analog noise
reduction system and you can hear slight distortion throughout as a result, but
Carpenter’s music score holds up and sounds the best since it was apparently
sourced form the master tapes like the isolated music score so this is as good
as the film will ever sound. The lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 on Eerie is poorer
because it is practically stereo-only in parts and never has a consistent,
above, you can find a solid series of limited editions from Twilight Time like Christine while supplies last at:
- Nicholas Sheffo