Play Misty for Me (1971) - Blu-ray ReviewThe obsessed fan/love interest movie is a well-trodden one nowadays, with some truly stellar entries in the sub-genre (Misery, Fatal Attraction) and some truly awful ones; but one, to my surprise, that is rarely brought up is one of the earliest on this subject ...

CoverThe plane shoots out over the Pacific Ocean and angles ever so slightly. I look down. It is dark but you can see that there are piers below; long stretches of wood in man’s attempt to walk on water. The dark green of the ocean reflects upwards; rippling as the waves roll against the endless wall of ...

The Night Walker (1964)

4 Beers

Picture it: composer Vic Mizzy, writer Robert Bloch (Psycho), director William Castle, actress Barbara Stanwyck and actor Robert Taylor; all together in the same film. Already I’m in love with the this thriller from 1964. William Castle’s The Night Stalker is packed with a million reasons why it should be endlessly praised. Just consider its intriguing opening – even before its main cast is introduced – in which a landscape of bizarre and disturbing images splash across the screen. A narrator guides us through it all.  We don't know what to expect from this beginning; we just know it's all going to Hell.

Is she just dreaming, we are asked, or is there another man? This is the troubled concourse of one blind and aging billionaire. His name is Howard Trent (Hayden Rorke) and he suspects his wife, Irene Trent (Stanwyck), of having an affair. She talks in her sleep and it has set him on edge. Who is this man she speaks so highly and so loving of, he wonders?  She must be cheating!

Trent’s become possessive and violent, lashing out at any man more handsome than he. For his personal attorney, Barry Moreland (Taylor), this means that he’s his primary suspect. Except Moreland is having none of it. Or is he? When an explosion rocks the upper parts of the mansion and doors start opening and closing on their own, Irene suddenly discovers the truth behind her secretive dreams. And it all has to do with the upstairs laboratory that inexplicably keeps exploding, leading Irene to wonder where the dreams begin and reality ends.

With insane images of burned bodies filling the evenings and Stanwyck’s bloody screaming filling the house she used to share with her husband, audiences will also be questioning their sanity as she decides to move out of the house and into the salon only to be haunted once again by the man (Lloyd Bochner) in her dreams. He’s darkly handsome, elegant, and hides a secret that tells plenty about murder and madness.

The ever-popular composer Vic Mizzy (The Addams Family, Green Acres, and beyond) creates a dark and repetitive guitar-driven soundtrack that has – alongside an image of mannequins in a wedding – intriguing moments of full throttle terror. The score is as haunting as it is hip; rivaling the work he did for The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and is the perfect accompaniment to Castle’s freaky images as he ventures into the subconscious with a psychological thriller.

The movie, while not considered one of Castle’s best effort, is more restrained than his previous films, making this one immediately more impactful. It's misunderstood.  This flick is smart.  He’s definitely perfected his craft with a movie like this one that is full of echoes and mood. He doesn’t even have a gimmick to sell the movie with. Sad but true, for this release, Castle drops the gimmicks and lets the movie stand on its own. (Of course, there is a gimmick as the movie features the reunion of Stanwyck and Taylor, her real-life ex-husband, in what would be her final appearance in a motion picture.)

Finally available on Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory, The Night Walker and its collection of strange visuals will have you pacing the floor of your own home, day or night, in search of the next nightmare.  Pleasant dreams.

Blu-ray Specifications:

With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mix, the film absolutely blossoms with this new 2K scan of the original film. Using a “fine grain print”, the 1080p transfer of this film looks amazing in the textures it now presents to film buffs. The local landscapes used in the movie are preserved with fine lines and the surreal effects – suggesting a depth to the film that was not financially possible – are items of beauty. There is a new crispness throughout the black-and-white film thanks to the HD upgrade and the lab itself looks impossibly detailed. And the 1.85:1 image from Scream Factory preserves the film’s intended look. The DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio track is fairly strong, delivering the dialogue and dramatic score with nice clarity.

Commentary:

The feature length commentary for this release is masterfully provided by author and film historian Steve Haberman. It is quite good and damn interesting.  

Special Features:

The film's trailer and promotional spots are included.

Original Theatrical Trailer

Radio Spot

Still Gallery

Connected: Echosythetic FestImagine it.  Close your eyes and set the scene.  You are alone on the highway.  Maybe this is a highway through a glorious city of neon lights.  Maybe it is a desert highway with only dunes and starry skies above.  Regardless, you are solo on this night and the destination ...

Sling Blade (1996) - Blu-ray ReviewIt is a sad fact that talent doesn’t necessarily equate to a career of note or at all in Hollywood. There are literally hundreds of thousands of talented people out there that will never get their shot in the spotlight. Every so often, however, someone manages to bridge this gap from  ...

Threads - Blu-ray Review

Out of the fire and into the meltdown! Threads finally makes its HD debut! Attack warning: RED! Attack warning: RED! Start the sirens. The bombs have been launched. You know it’s serious when classic works in our collective art history starts getting moved into ...

greyskull logo

The boy wakes up. His hair is a mess that no comb will be able to contain.  Dirk the Daring, the best knight in the kingdom of King Ethelred, stares back at him from his wall.  The kid, a little pudgy around the middle, flexes in the mirror before slipping on his shirt.  He goes down the stairs.  His Big Dog ...

 

Kindergarten Cop (1990 - Bluray ReviewPretty harshly assessed by critics of the day, Kindergarten Cop, the follow up collaboration between the 'Austrian Oak' and director Ivan Reitman, was still a massive financial success back in 1990 when it took over 200 million on a (now) paltry budget of around 15 million. ...

Eaten Alive (1980) - Blu-ray ReviewCannibalism! Purification! And really shitty southern accents! Keep on giving us the EuroSleeze, Severin Films!  Banned in 38 countries for the dick slicing, women raping, and snake eating scenes of tasteless trash, Eaten Alive! finally gets a proper HD release.  And I couldn't ...

omnitech coverart

Without a doubt, OniTECH sounds as if it – in cassette form – was found clutched in the fingers of a well-dressed corpse that washes ashore some ashen beach on the east coast.  This release is a dark and disturbing thread of truth that hints at a bigger mystery  ...

 

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight - Blu-ray ReviewThe Elseworld has arrived, DC fans! There is a shadow that stalks the corners of the alleyways in Gotham City.  Another one – separate but just as severe – darkens the very top of roofs.  His shadow looms larger.  One of those threatening shadows carries a long, steely ...

Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend - Blu-ray ReviewWhen in the jungle, it would be wise of happily married (and still sexually active) couples to actually keep the noises of their lovemaking down. It might attract all kinds of beasts once thought extinct…like the brontosaurus family at the center of Baby: Secret of ...

Computronic's Even the Score

 Insert coin.  Push play.  Wrap your hands around the joystick and let Computronic’s Even The Score tale you back to the glory days of playing Atari for hours on end.  Whether at the local skating rink or at home in front of the Atari 2600, the hours spent there never seem wasted.  They are, as one song on this cycle suggests, etched “forever in my mind” ...

 

 

mother! - Movie ReviewSome people enjoy playing with Rubik's cubes. Others, like me, don't know how to solve them and wind up wanting to throw the cubes against the wall in frustration. I had that same chucking-a-Rubik's-cube feeling many times while watching Darren Aronofsky's latest  ...

Slaughterhouse Rock (1988) Blu-ray ReviewTruthfully, New Wave would be nothing without certain bands. When I say DEVO you say what, ghouls and boils? The outfits? The music? Or is it the realization that Mark Mothersbaugh, DEVO’s lead singer and untiring Hollywood composer, is a certified genius? Because Mothersbaugh ...

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video DVD/Blu-ray
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes