BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Astrologer (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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The Astrologer

Calling all fans of 1970s cinema!  Severin Films has got your ticket to ride with what has to be one of the strangest science fiction offerings, The Astrologer.  Slow-moving and centered around a covert government agency which monitors astrological signs to see if a person is good or bad, this film will leave you so baffled that you might just convince yourself that time doesn’t exist . . . even as you stare at the passing minute hand of a clock.

"yet another freaky side to the world of 1970s cinema offerings."


 

Who knew that scientists were interested in investigating the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?  I mean, the previous visit worked out so well for the righteous dude that it's a wonder he’d even pack his bags for another trip.  But writer/director James Glickenhaus (The Exterminator, The Soldier, The Protector, Shakedown) offers the possibility that scientists are indeed interested in Christ’s return to Earth in his 1975 debut, The Astrologer.

Now, calm yourself, this movie - with the whole Christ-angle as a subplot - is not an action-oriented grindhouse flick.  It’s very, very, VERY much situated around a whole lot of talking heads with - as a bonus to our viewing dedication - some crazy scenes of cults doing what they do best.  With a good number of stock footage included, The Astrologer rolls out like a disturbing shockumentary at times and the images of real corpses - much like a Mondo-styled documentary film - will cause you discomfort.

Starring Bob Byrd, Mark Buntzman (also the film’s producer), Monica Tidwell, and Ivy White, the film's constant talkiness (especially in the first 30-minutes) will turn off a lot of potential viewers as a super secret organization, called InterZod, takes center stage.  Alexi, the scientist mentioned in the beginning, is our primary contact as he lets us know that this super secret organization looks toward the stars in order to determine a person's Zodiacal potential.  And, right now, InterZod is concerned with a potential Suicidal Cult which they believe is headed by an antichrist figure.. {googleads}

Led by a dangerous and powerfully enigmatic man named Kajerste (Buntzman), this cult is under his hypnotic influence and the followers are willing to do anything to serve him.  Alexi, who can't bring himself to sleep with his hot wife, is far too calm as he finds himself looking into mass suicides as bodies are found floating in the rivers of India.

Based on a 1972 novel by John Cameron, there are many, many, many thoughts and ideas running through The Astrologer’s running time. There are, in fact, too many.  This film is sheer insanity as a narrator is utilized in the beginning minutes of the film to let us know that astrology, thanks to the brilliance of Alexi, is now a science.  Wait. Whaaaaaat?  And then there’s the chance that Alexi’s wife - who has a guy on the side - might just be the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary!The Astrologer

I will give this crazy-ass flick 1 Beer for its sheer insanity - some of the scenes involving a Satan worshiping cult are downright disturbing - and another beer for the peek-a-boo looks at Monica Tidwell, who was all of 19 at the time of her November 1973 Playboy shoot, and the final beer is awarded due to its dedication to its source material, a book so thick with ideas that it needs no binding in order to keep it closed.  This is a film loaded with a lot of bizarro ideas and it doesn’t ever shy away from explaining them, even at its own cost.

The Astrologer is yet another freaky side to the world of 1970s cinema offerings.  This is yet another hoot and a half.  Just try to survive the sheer lunacy of the rescue mission without dying of laughter!  You are double dog dared, my fellow freaks and geeks of the sticky-floored cinema!

Are you astrologically privileged?  Find out - if you dare - in The Astrologer, now on blu-ray thanks to Severin Films.

3/5 stars

The Astrologer

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray
- February 25, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Before he became NYC's favorite '80s action auteur with hits like The Exterminator, The Protector, and Shakedown, as well as executive producer of grindhouse classics that included Maniac Cop, Frankenhooker, and Basket Case 2 & 3, writer/director James Glickenhaus made his feature debut with this bizarre tale of government skullduggery, satanic killings, zodiacal mayhem and messianic horror. Also known as Suicide Cult and a one-time U.K. Section 3 'Video Nasty', The Astrologer is based on the acclaimed novel by John Cameron. Now featuring a 4k scan from the director's personal answer print and loaded with all-new Special Features, Severin Films is proud to present The Astrologer in all its nutty glory.

Video:

Thanks to a 4k scan from the director's personal answer print, The Astrologer comes back into our consciousness with stronger colors and inky black levels.  Edges are crisp and clean and while the new 4K attention reveals the film’s shoestring budget (with new depth to some of the interiors), the film has simply never looked better than it does now.  Skin tones are porous and wrinkles are visible.  There is a nice clarity to some of the outdoor camp and cult scenes, which add nice shadow details to the entire feel of the film.  The 1080p presentation is framed in the original 1.85:1 widescreen.

Audio:

A basic English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono with Optional English subtitles brings viewers the spacey soundtrack from Brad Fiedel, who famously brought The Terminator and Fright Night to life with iconic scores.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Fans who pick up this forgotten film get an interview with Glickenhaus discussing the film, an interview with Tidwell, interviews with filmmakers Brendan Faulkner and Frank M. Farsel, a look at the various locations used in the film today and a reversible cover with “Suicide Cult” as the film’s title.

  • Sign of the Times
  • Monica and THE ASTROLOGER
  • Tales from the Set
  • Zodiacal Locations

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

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The Astrologer

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
96 mins
Director
: James Glickenhaus
Writer:
John Cameron
Cast:
Bob Byrd, Mark Buntzman, James Glickenhaus
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
He's the gypsy king of the carnival men! To be famous he lies, cheats, steals, even sometimes kills!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Do you really know your true sun sign?"
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site: https://severin-films.com/shop/astrologer-blu/
Release Date:
December, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 25, 2020.
Synopsis: A scientist who works for a secret government agency that studies zodiac signs finds himself against a dangerous Indian cult lead by a powerful enigmatic man.

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The Astrologer

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