BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Chosen (1977) - Blu-ray Review

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The Chosen (2019)

It’s the big BANG, baby!

We all know this wonderful existence ends.  But how?  Will we blow ourselves up in a nuclear war or will we drain the earth of its resources and go out slowly?  Will the end arrive with the zombie apocalypse or will it be a haunted affair?  Somehow all of this – the little you and the little me – will fade out and die. 

"Think Gregory Peck in The Omen and you sort of get where this Italian horror film is headed"


 

The Chosen, also known as Holocaust 2000 and Rain of Fire, thinks it has the answer to these questions.  Forged by a British-Italian coalition, The Chosen, operating as a suspenseful thriller, has a cast of recognizable (but largely less than dazzling) character actors – Anthony Quayle, Massimo Foschi – all conversating (and convulsing) toward the arrival of the Antichrist. 

And the end arrives courtesy of Kirk Douglas as Robert Caine who discovers, upon the building of a nuclear power plant in the middle east, that his son, Angel (Simon Ward), is the antichrist. His target?  Building in a sacred cave, but as Caine plows the earth in reach for total global domination, he begins to notice some really eerie things about the project – especially as it connects with some ancient biblical prophecies and whatnot.

Of course the film makes little sense.  That’s one of the key ingredients in Italian horror flicks, but there are some fantastic images and there’s also a very naked Kirk Douglas standing in some swirling sands, if that’s your thing.  Thing is that if it weren’t for this demonic imagery then the film would be a total bust.  The political tension goes nowhere fast, so what we have in director Alberto De Martino’s warning is little more than a tale of devils and dust.

Cult filmmaker De Martino, who also directed The Antichrist, Blood Link, and Strange Shadows In An Empty Room) knows the supernatural territory well.  It shows with a confidence in throwing images upon images at us to see what will stick best.  The cinematography from Erico Menczer helps elevate this film above typical Italian fair and the haunting (yet familiar) score from Ennio Morricone is a lush treat for cinephiles. The Chosen (2019)

Think Gregory Peck in The Omen and you sort of get where this Italian horror film is headed.  It’s a knockoff, of course, but it does manage to startle with some of its surreal shenanigans.  Of course, Douglas isn’t to be outdone by Peck (in The Omen) and gets to share a nice nude scene with the beauty that is Agostina Belli, playing a sweet natured reporter who wants to help disarm and inform the world about the dangers of thermonuclear power. 

The film, newly transferred by Scream Factory, doesn’t pack any surprises but it is all about Armageddon it to the break of dawn.  It’s the end of the world and Kirk Douglas feels fine. 

The Chosen is now available on blu-ray.

3/5 beers

The Chosen (2019)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- May 14, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English; English SDH; Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Shout Factory presents this 1970s-era end of the world flick with a touch of care.  Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, The Chosen is all about grit and sand.  Black levels are unwavering and the images are intense, crisp and crackling with details.  The film is dominated with reds and cool blues that absolutely burst with color.  The clothes are detailed and the backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.  Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Fans of this flick will certainly be pleased to know that this release has both the international and the U.S. cut of the flick (with an alternate ending).

  • Original International Cut Of The Film, Known As Holocaust 2000 (HD)
  • Rare U.S. Cut Of The Film With Alternate Ending, Known As The Chosen (HD)
  • Theatrical Trailers

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

The Chosen (2019)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
105 mins
Director
: Alberto De Martino
Writer:
Sergio Donati, Alberto De Martino
Cast:
Kirk Douglas, Simon Ward, Agostina Belli
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The world will be destroyed in a rain of fire. It is written.
Memorable Movie Quote: "And we will solve it by building this thermo-nuclear plant over which we are flying now."
Theatrical Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 15, 1978
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 14, 2019
Synopsis: Kirk Douglas (The Fury) stars as industrialist Robert Caine, who with his son Angel (Simon Ward, Supergirl) is finally about to realize his biggest dream: a massive nuclear power plant in the Holy Land. But soon, Caine's dream becomes a horrific nightmare as person after person associated with the project meets a violent, gruesome death. When clues to this inexplicable turn of events point to the devil, Caine comes to the terrible realization that he might be linked to the Antichrist ... perhaps even through his unborn child.

The Chosen (2019)

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