It’s a cavalcade of cult films from Imprint Films this month, from body horror, possession and paranormal powers, to forgotten gems from Sam Raimi and Kevin Bacon.
Based on the novel by genre great Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) and adapted for the screen by writer-director David Koepp (Jurassic Park), Stir of Echoes (1999) is a cracking supernatural thriller in the tradition of The Sixth Sense. It’s also a great starring vehicle for Kevin Bacon, playing an everyman who is hypnotised at a party and subsequently experiences nightmarish visions that point to an unsolved crime. This atmospheric ’90s gem is now ready for rediscovery on Blu-ray in an extras-packed edition that includes an audio commentary and new interview with David Koepp; interviews with cast and crew, including a new ones with actress Kathryn Erbe and production designer Nelson Coates; five featurettes; deleted scenes; screen tests and more.
Body Parts (1991) is a Frankenstein-like tale of medical horror directed by Eric Red (who wrote the genre classics The Hitcher and Near Dark). Jeff Fahey plays a guy who loses his arm in an accident and receives a transplanted limb with a violent life of its own. When things get, err, out of hand, his attempts to discover the identity of the donor takes a grisly turn. Featuring a strong supporting cast including Brad Dourif (Exorcist III) and Lindsay Duncan (A Discovery of Witches), this ’90s cult favourite makes a welcome return to local shelves in HD, loaded with bonus features. Extras include audio commentaries by Eric Red and film historian Lee Gambin; interviews with Red, editor Anthony Redman, and actors Paul Ben-Victor and Peter Murnik; plus deleted footage (with optional commentary by Red).
Directed by Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead), The Gift (2000) is a moody and suspenseful slice of Southern Gothic starring Cate Blanchett as a clairvoyant in a redneck town, who is enlisted by the local sheriff to find a missing socialite. An intriguing murder mystery with lashings of the supernatural, it’s tautly directed by Raimi from a screenplay co-written by Billy Bob Thornton, with Blanchett supported by a quality ensemble cast including Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear and Hilary Swank. Extras include a new audio commentary with film historians Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth; new interview with composer Christopher Young; three behind the scenes featurettes; promotional interviews with Raimi and cast; and more.
Long unseen British thriller The Medusa Touch (1978) hit theatres in the wake of telekinesis flicks Carrie and The Fury. The esteemed Richard Burton brings gravitas to the role of the protagonist afflicted with the title condition: the power to create catastrophe (including an horrific plane crash sequence), while Lee Remick (The Omen) adds further star power as his psychiatrist. This fondly remembered cult movie still holds up well today and makes a most welcome arrival on Blu-ray featuring a new audio commentary with film historian Lee Gambin and author Kat Ellinger, alongside commentary by director Jack Gold with authors Kim Newman and Stephen Jones; a new video essay on Richard Burton and interview with art director Peter Mullins; and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) is another cult favourite making its local debut on Blu-ray this month. Zohra Lampert stars as the recently institutionalised Jessica, who relocates from New York to rural Connecticut to recover, only to experience ghostly visions involving a local tragedy. Is the haunting all in her mind, or is someone – or something – out to get her? This eerie ’70s horror gets the Imprint treatment with three audio commentaries; an appreciation by film historian Kim Newman; interview with composer Orville Stoeber; Then and Now location featurette; trailer and promo spots.
Shirley MacLaine headlines The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972), as a Manhattan socialite who suspects her brother (Perry King, in his film debut) has been possessed by a serial killer. Pre-dating The Exorcist and packing some genuinely shocking moments, this rarely seen flick makes its Blu-ray debut in an uncut, newly restored presentation featuring new video essays; new audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin; Shirley MacLaine documentary Kicking Up Her Heels; and a new interview with Perry King. Available Dec 15.
Just as obscure is Tam Lin (1970), the sole directorial effort of actor Roddy McDowell. It’s a psychedelic trip starring Ava Gardner as a seductress who holds a bunch of young thrill-seekers spellbound. Extras include two new audio commentaries; new interviews with stars Ian McShane, Stephanie Beacham, Delia Lindsay and Kiffer Weisselberg (aka David Whitman); new interviews with 1st assistant editor Peter Boyle and Roddy McDowall biographer David Del Valle; new visual essay by film historian Kat Ellinger; Roddy McDowall remembers Ava Gardner and Tam Lin (1998); and more. Available Dec 15.