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Double Exposure (1983) - Blu-ray Review

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Double Exposure (1983) - Blu-ray Review

4 beers“Sometimes I dare death to try to catch me.  Grab me.  Ya know what I mean,” confesses a stuntman named B.J. (James Stacy).  B.J., who lost his arm and leg on the left side of his body (along with his wife) after an unfortunate car crash, is just one of the many interesting characters in director William Byron Hillman’s Double Exposure.  Leave it to Vinegar Syndrome then to resurrect this obscure Crown International Pictures slasher from the golden heyday of steely blades.    

Released in 1983, this horror film opens with a stakeout gone wrong as one undercover policeman, dressed as a street walker, gets a blade right through the back of his neck from the killer they’re supposed to be tracking down.  Ouch.   Detectives Fontaine and Buckhold (Pamela Hensley and David Young) rather hilariously blame his unfortunate death on the fact that he didn’t turn around even though hey were the ones on duty.  He should have looked behind him they explain to their boss (Cleavon Little).  Thankfully, he’s having none of it.

Yet, the main thrust of the movie comes from B.J.’s brother, freelance photographer Adrian Wilde (Michael Callan) and his carefree life roaming the hills of California in his mobile home.  He and B.J. are extremely close.  They call each other in times of crisis and, as Adrian isn’t exactly the most stable of people (with regular visits to a psychiatrist played by Seymour Cassel), Double Exposure soon turns tables on its viewers with clever edits, side storylines, and an opening credits sequence with nifty camera effects that will leave you feeling as deranged as the killer.

The film is also stacked with a clever array of b-movie actors who know exactly the type of film they are performing in.  Some of the performances can be hammy, but none of that betrays the internal mechanisms at work thanks to cinematographer R. Michael Stringer.  With lots of T&A and kill scenes involving pool tools, a snake in a bag, and other tools of conveniences, Double Exposure delivers a trippy psychological freak-out involving mirrors and mental breakdowns that is more entertaining than you might expect.

Double Exposure also comes across as a made for television flick.  If it weren’t for all the wild romps in and out the sack, the blow jobs that end with slashed necks, and the paraplegic mudwrestling moment in which B.J. gets ultra fresh with one of the models, it might have had a different sort of life.  But then again, why would we watch?  The film is often so brazenly awkward that it can’t help but be anything but a Crown International Pictures release.  Especially when the killer places his gloved hands around the neck of yet another prostitute and she asks if he’s going to give her a massage.

Newly restored from the original camera negative, Vinegar Syndrome presents Hillman’s darker update of his own The Photographer on blu-ray with stunning results.  Fans of Stringer’s atmospheric eye will be very happy with Double Exposure’s HD debut.

Double Exposure (1983) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: William Byron Hillman
Writer:
William Byron Hillman
Cast:
Michael Callan, Joanna Pettet, James Stacy
Genre
: Comedy | Crime
Tagline:
Smile and say die!
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's a simple relationship. You model, and I photograph."
Theatrical Distributor:
Crown International Pictures
Official Site: http://www.crownintlpictures.com/dgtitles.html
Release Date:
January, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 25, 2017
Synopsis: Michael Callan stars as Adrian Wilde, a prolific photographer whose specialty is shooting nude models for men’s magazines. His life starts to unravel when he begins to experience strange and almost lifelike dreams in which he murders the very women he’s been photographing. What’s more is that he soon discovers that they might not be dreams after all. Has he started to lose touch with reality; is he a calculated killer attempting to create an unbelievable alibi; or is something much more sinister and deadly afoot...

Double Exposure (1983) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- April 25, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Region A

Vinegar Syndrome presents Double Exposure in 1080p HD with a region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative, the film – presented in its proper 2.35.1 scope aspect ratio - looks great.  Colors soak up the screen and details in fabrics and in backgrounds are noticeable.  Black levels are also solid, being inky without running wild all over the place.  Browns are solid and blues are clear.  The camera work is indeed stunning.  The English language Dolby Digital Mono track on the disc is balanced, with clean and clear dialogue.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Provided by Hillman, the commentary is scene specific and solid.

Special Features:

Released with reversible cover artwork by Derek Gabryszak and, shipping with the first 1000 copies of the blu-ray, is a double thick ’embossed title’ limited edition o-card.  Vinegar Syndrome has also dumped Scorpion’s previous supplemental items in favor of NEW supplemental items, including an interview with Stringer and his wife.  It’s a good decision.

  • Exposing Double Exposure: Interview with Cinematographer R. Michael Stringer
  • Staying on Task: Interview with Script Supervisor Sally Stringer
  • Isolated score by Composer Jack Goga
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Promotional still gallery 

Double Exposure (1983) - Blu-ray Review

 

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