This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
convincing characterization. Fawcett is able to convey the naiveté of her character (an inno- cent who has never been to Earth and embraces the isolation of her duties), but the CHARLIE’S AN- GELS star (at the tail end of a failed bid at a big screen career) is thoroughly unpersuasive as a scientist. The idea of an intelli- gent machine sexually obsessed with a human female was ex- plored more effectively in DE- MON SEED (1977) and neither is Adam and Alex’s May-Decem- ber romance believably devel- oped. In the asset column are some impressive futuristic sets (designed by a debuting Stuart Craig, who went on to design the


Harry Potter films) and the ro- bot (with its tiny head, metal


skeleton and extruding multi-col- ored veins) is an effectively men- acing creation. There is also a striking score by Elmer Bernstein, one of the few this gifted veteran ever did in the science fiction genre.


While the feature is a mixed bag at best, we have no com- plaints about Scream Factory’s 1080p 1.85:1 presentation, which boasts excellent detail and color, and the DTS-HD 5.1 & 2.0 Mas- ter Audio options are quite sat- isfying. SATURN 3 expert Greg Moss and writer Dave Bradley discuss the film’s troubled shoot on a commentary track. The project was conceived as the directorial debut of veteran pro- duction designer John Barry (not to be confused with the like- named composer) who was fired after two weeks due to conflicts with Douglas and falling behind schedule. (He then went to work on the effects team for THE EM- PIRE STRIKES BACK, only to die of meningitis soon afterward.) The project’s producer, celebrated di- rector Stanley Donen (SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS), took over


but ran into similar delays caused by the often malfunctioning Hec- tor prop. Other discussion touches upon such topics as the original choices for the leads (Sean Connery as Adam and Michael Caine as Benson, which certainly would have made been an odd reunion for the MAN WHO WOULD BE KING stars), some sequences that were shot but dropped from the theatrical re- lease, and how severe cost over- runs on the same company’s RAISE THE TITANIC (1980) im- pacted this picture’s special ef- fects budget. We also are told that the film’s screenwriter, novelist Martin Amis, later penned the highly-praised novel MONEY, which included a similarly dis- tressed movie production and an arrogant, unhelpful character clearly patterned after Douglas. The pair’s comments become somewhat sparser in the final third, but it is an informative and worthwhile supplement. Addi- tional extras include interviews with Dotrice (who completed the dubbing in a single morning and wonders why Keitel’s performance was erased, considering that Dou- glas and Fawcett also sounded American) and special effects su- pervisor Colin Chilvers, and there is an extended, but still incomplete version of the “Blue Dreamers” drug trip scene (which does in- clude the widely distributed shot of Fawcett in a black S&M outfit not otherwise seen). Those famil- iar with the longer US network TV version will be happy to know that those extra sequences are here as well, derived from an off-air VHS recording. The theatrical trailer and a pair of TV spots (also vin- tage recordings), a photo gallery, and English captions for the hear- ing impaired are also offered, but there is no sign of the screenwriter interview promised on the pack- aging. The DVD is encoded with the same content.


THE SOUL OF A MONSTER


1944, Sony Choice, 61m 35s, $20,95, DVD-R1 By Michael Barrett


The benefit of having obscuri- ties like this Columbia B-film available on demand is that we no longer need depend on stan- dard judgments like the “Bomb” rating in Leonard Maltin’s guide. Cult actress Rose Hobart (LILIOM, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, THE MAD GHOUL) deserves to be as famous for this as anything else. A montage of heavy-handed exposition conveys that the city eagerly follows headlines about a saintly doctor, George Winson (a pre-GILDA George Macready), who lies dying at his home. His prospective widow Ann (Jeanne Bates) engages in the kind of bit- ter, blasphemous dialogue you wouldn’t hear in an A picture, an- nouncing that she’s turning her back on God and praying to the Devil. Staring into the licking flames of the fireplace, she begs any forces, “good or evil, man or devil,” to save her husband. On the instant, the impassive, beautiful Lilyan (Hobart) materi- alizes from the dark, oblivious to every threat of death. The cam- era tilts, the chiaroscuro is stark, and Hobart’s initial shot is in negative. She orders everyone out of the room and revives Winson by methods we can only imagine, but he’s now a literally cold bas- tard who leaves his wife for the new woman.


This is material from the dark- est hours of a nation at war, a plea for faith amid human and mechanical cruelty. Lilyan is a fierce creation. Her harsh, brittle, blunt, tyrannical demeanor em- bodies evil (or the triumph of heartless intellect) as well as any- one before or since; her “unfemi- nine” style feels unusual and frightening.


67


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87