BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Premonition (1976) - Blu-ray Review

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Premonition (1976) - Blu-ray Review

3 beersThe damn doll at the center of this tale of kidnapping and insanity is an unsettling looking toy indeed.  The curly-haired plastic child is always with the disturbed mother who is trying to get her daughter returned to her by any means necessary and, as the toy is oversized, it looks rather awkward in her thin arms.  Thank the maker that the plastic fucker doesn’t talk.

But none of that stops the mother from screaming and screaming and screaming about the unfairness of losing her child at such an early age.  It’s taken her five years to track her daughter down and, thanks to the psychically-linked insanity that plagues almost everyone in this tale of terror, the truth might always just boil down to your perspective on the matter of adoptions and so on.

Not all horror films are for teenagers.  That’s the takeaway from director Robert Allen Schnitzer’s The Premonition.  This well acted psychological tale of terror concerns itself with one unstable mother’s plan – with the help of a carnival clown played by Richard Lynch – to kidnap her daughter from her adopted family and start a new life far, far away from the world at large.  

And, yes, the movie really does concern itself with a premonition that rivals any hallucinatory experience.  Thankfully, it also has a couple of cleverly shot sequences that provide more of a puzzle that deserves to be unpacked and discussed. 

Written by Schnitzer and writer Anthony Mohan, The Premonition is hybrid horror at best.  Way too much of this narrative feels shoehorned in for the sake of giving audience members a solid buzz.  There’s a lot going on as Sheri Bennett (Sharon Farrell) begins to have a series of dreams concerning the safety of her adopted daughter, Janie (Danielle Brisebois), after an unsettling run-in with a mysterious brunette, who – as we already know – is Janey’s real mother, Andrea (Ellen Barber). 

But then the movie shifts focus to delve into parapsychology as we follow Professor Miles Bennett (Edward Bell), Janie’s adoptive father, to work where he listens to a co-worker’s theory about the interconnectedness of dreams and telekinesis.  Soon, he is canceling dinner plans with the wife to spend more and more time with his colleague and leaving both his wife and Janie alone to fend off the intruders hell-bent on getting Janie back to her mother. 

The law be damned, this is my kid!  While never as silly as that line might suggest, there are inherent problems with The Premonition that stem from the rather piecemealed quality to far too much of the movie.  This is a low budgeted affair and its striking use of visuals and camera angles work wonders to convince that there might have been money behind the project at one point.  But, no, that is not the case.  The filmmakers just got the most out of their Mississippian locations and their actors, with Lynch stealing the show and the thunder.  And now, thanks to the efforts of American Horror Project and Arrow Video, The Premonition arrives on blu-ray thanks to a 2k restoration from the original film elements. 

But, truthfully, there is nothing as disturbing as walking into your baby’s room and seeing a strange woman rocking it to sleep.  Excuse me?!  The situation, after Sheri finally believes that she might be just paranoid about the safety of their adopted child is quite the slap in the face and it happens here.  As clunky as the end result is, it doesn’t halt this scene from being an effectively creepy one.

Especially when Sheri steals a doll instead of her daughter.  All aboard! Hahaha!  Crazy, but that’s how it goes….

Premonition (1976) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Robert Allen Schnitzer
Writer:
Anthony Mahon
Cast:
Sharon Farrell, Edward Bell, Danielle Brisebois
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The Premonition.
Memorable Movie Quote: "She is miiiiiine! She will always be mine."
Theatrical Distributor:
Embassy Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 19, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 5, 2017
Synopsis: Mother Sheri Bennett (Sharon Farrell, Night of the Comet, Sweet Sixteen) is assailed by terrifying visions in which a strange woman attempts to steal away her five-year-old daughter Janie. Are these bizarre occurrences the result of some sort of mental disturbance, or is something much more sinister afoot?.

Premonition (1976) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Video
Available on Blu-ray
- December 5, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The Premonition is presented with a crisp 1080p that has been cleaned and scanned with a nice 2k scrub of a 35mm print.  It has an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and sports a LPCM Mono soundtrack.  Colors, while never bold, are bright and clear.  Shadows are strong and refined, keeping their edges.  The quilted camerawork looks all kinds of new again with this transfer.  The print used for the transfer has been cleaned of hundreds of instances of dirt and debris during scanning.  Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, light scratches and other forms of film damage were removed or improved through a combination of digital restoration tools.  It looks gorgeous. 

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The interesting commentary features writer/producer/director Robert Allen Schnitzer, who talks about the struggles in bringing the movie to the screen.  Fans of the movie will dig it.

Special Features:

Complete with an introduction from Stephen Thrower, curator of this new series from Arrow Video, the disc comes loaded with solid supplemental materials.  There is a 21-minute making-of featurette with interviews from the cast and the crew, an archival interview with Schnitzer, three short films, and adverts for the movie.

  • Stephen Thrower Introduction (3 min)
  • Pictures from a Premonition (21 min)
  • Robert Allen Schnitzer Interview (6 min)
  • Short Film:Terminal Point (40 min)
  • Short Film: Vernal Equinox (30 min)
  • Shiort Film: A Rumbling in the Land (11 min)
  • Peace Spots (4 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2 min)
  • TV Spots (3 min)

Premonition (1976) - Blu-ray Review

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