Sunday, June 19, 2016

John Carpenter's Village of the Damned (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

I have to admit that I was not a fan of the John Carpenter remake of Village of the Damned the first time I saw it. It's generally regarded pretty poorly even though the might JC was in the director's chair. I can tell you precisely what it was that made me dislike it. The casting. Hands down I couldn't get around seeing Superman and the Kirstie Alley in a Horror movie. In the case of Reeve, Superman was the only thing I had ever seen him in. He would forever be Superman. There was no way out of it for me. Kirstie Alley on the other hand... I had a huge star crush on her solely based on her role in Madhouse opposite John Larroquette. Sure I enjoyed Look Who's Talking, but when she popped her red blouse open to reveal a white bra with wild 80's hair, I discovered manhood. That's really all it took to completely put me off the movie.

Does that opinion hold up though?

I had watched it during the Dead Air John Carpenter Retrospective series some years back, and it remained one of my least favorite JC movies. I found little to enjoy, and the casting still stuck out... oh and that damn brick wall scene toward the end (not spoiling it mind you). Could this rewatch give me new perspective or help me appreciate the movie more? Yes.

What I came to find was that this watching allowed me to free myself of that casting issue. I always enjoyed the premise, enjoyed the original movie and even the performance of the children. The effects work and kills actually had an impact on me now. Maybe it's because I was being less judgmental. Hell it could even be that I'm a dad now and some of the sequences involving the normal kids got under my skin. When people ask me what kind of movies actually scare me it's home invasion flicks and movie where kids are the victims. Village of the Damned got the chance to get to me because my life had changed somewhat since the last time I had watched it. I think that's a strong vote for keeping your mind open when it comes to giving Horror movies you originally didn't enjoy a second chance.

It's not like my opinion completely changed mind you. I still didn't exactly enjoy the performances by Alley or Reeve, but I could look past them. I could see things I was unable to see before. Some of the violent scenes are very effective. The brick wall thing still pisses me off, but by that point in the movie I had already found a few other little things to enjoy. I won't give Village of the Damned rave review in terms of content.

Where this edition shines is in the extra package and newly created cover art. It's always nice hearing Peter Jason speak, and there's a new extra where he talks about John Carpenter. There's a new interview reel with a bunch of folk from the movie including John Carpenter. Best of all, there's a Horror Hallowed Grounds episode! Even though I truly don't care about the locations in this movie, Sean Clark is always entertaining and informative. That's just the new stuff for this release. There's a Greg Nicotero interview as well as vintage interviews with the entire cast. Fans of Village of the Damned are going to be happy. I love the new artwork, but if you don't the reverse has the traditional cover.

I know Village of the Damned has an audience that truly loves it. This is a release for those guys. Maybe I didn't feel this particular movie deserved this kind of undertaking by Scream Factory. I would have rather seen them spend more time on a new double feature release than this picture, but then I got to thinking about how important John Carpenter is to Horror. His Horror works should always be celebrated like this with hefty releases fully of things that will give us a better understanding of how he makes us scared.

You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:

From the master of suspense, John Carpenter, comes a chilling new version of the sci-fi classic. Something is terribly wrong in the tiny village of Midwich. After an unseen force invades a quiet coastal town, ten women mysteriously find themselves pregnant. Local physician Dr. Alan Chaffee (Christopher Reeve) and government scientist Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley) join forces when the women simultaneously give birth... and the reign of supernatural terror begins. In what The New York Times calls "one scarifying trip," the people of Midwich must try to find a way to stop the unstoppable in the Village of the Damned.

Bonus Features

NEW It Takes A Village: The Making Of Village Of The Damned Featuring Interviews With Director John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King, Actors Michael Paré, Peter Jason, Karen Kahn, Meredith Salenger, Thomas Dekker, Cody Dorkin, Lindsey Haun, Danielle Wiener-Keaton And Make-up Effects Artist Greg Nicotero
NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film
NEW The Go To Guy: Peter Jason On John Carpenter
Vintage Interviews Featuring John Carpenter, Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Mark Hamill And Wolf Rilla (Director Of The Original VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED)
Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Theatrical Trailer
Behind-The-Scenes Still Gallery

No comments:

Post a Comment