Category Archives: Film

“ALICE SWEET ALICE”— A Horror Film

“Alice, Sweet Alice”

A Horror Film

Amos Lassen

 “Alice, Sweet Alice” came out in the mid-seventies  to reasonable acclaim but never quite gained the ongoing momentum of some of its peers. Director Alfred Sole introduces us to Alice (Paula Sheppard) is an unpleasant 12-year-old girl who taunts and threatens her younger sister Karen (Brooke Shields in her debut film role), an overly perfect little dear to their separated parents. During her first communion, Karen is brutally murdered and many see Alice as the culprit. especially those of the audience who are the only witnesses to the crime. The girl’s parents (Linda Miller & Niles McMaster) refuse to believe that their precious daughter could do such a thing though and her mother hides away from the truth while  the father decides to do some investigating of his own.

Young girls make creepy and disturbing villains as we see here. Sheppard does an excellent job of creating a  nasty child on the brink of becoming a teenager with an added dark edge.  which helps you accept what she could be capable of. We meet the grotesquely overweight landlord Alphonso (Alphonso DeNoble) who shows hints of being a child molester and Aunt Annie (Jane Lowry), who is openly cruel to most of those around her, especially Alice. Alice’s mother isn’t perfect either and this makes for quite a disturbing experience. Sole keeps his actors interesting and always watchable.

The film is very stylish with some well composed imagery and the slick use of movement and space. There’s a big twist about an hour into the film which totally turns the film on its head. Things are tied up very effectively and although I didn’t care for the choice of turn the film made, the final act is still well handled so I can’t complain too much.

 

Set in Paterson, New Jersey where Alice Spages is a rebellious and mentally disturbed young girl who has strange habits like dressing up in a yellow raincoat and mask in order to terrorize her angelic sister Karen. While most of Alice’s actions amount to nothing more than ghoulish pranks, Karen winds up being strangled to death at the local Roman Catholic church by an assailant wearing the same raincoat and mask. There are no witnesses to the murder itself. However, when Alice is seen wearing her veil at the communion which her sister was due to take part in, the police believe that she was the perpetrator.

Their mother Catherine (Linda Miller) refuses to believe that her disturbed daughter could carry out such an act. Her busybody sister Annie (Jane Lowry), on the other hand, can’t stand the mischievous girl and is more than willing to believe this theory. When the latter gets attacked in the tenement stairwell by the same masked murderer, she tells the police that Alice was responsible – resulting in her being committed to a mental institution. Catherine’s estranged husband Dom (Niles McMaster), meanwhile, tries to get to the bottom of whoever is carrying out these violent acts.

While it’s not the horror classic that it has been made out to be in some quarters, it’s certainly an interesting and distinctive effort. There’s a lot of emphasis placed on the close-knit Roman Catholic religious milieu. The film has a sympathetic priest character in the form of Father Tom (Rudolph Willrich). However, it does certainly point out that things can go horribly wrong in an environment so infused with ritual and unquestioning faith.

The stalking and slashing sequences are effectively orchestrated here, with inventive use made of POV camerawork. There’s a realistically messy quality to some scenes that makes them quite shocking, especially the attack on Annie which features a succession of knife blows to her legs and feet. She’s reduced to crawling her way out of the front door of her tenement, leaving a trail of blood for rain to wash away.

Director Sole knows how to generate suspense while developing interesting, unusual characters. Lovers of 70’s films, horror titles in particular, should definitely check out this lesser known film. It has a lot going for it and deserves more attention than it has received.

“MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE”— Meet Marianne

“MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE”

Meet Marianne

Amos Lassen

On the back cover of Leonard Cohen’s  album “Songs from a Room”, there is a photograph of Marianne Ihlen, wrapped in a white towel with her fingers poised on Cohen’s typewriter and she is grinning. In the room where she is sitting, windows are shuttered but there’s a feeling of light, warmth, and breeze in the room. Ihlen who we learn is Leonard Cohen’s muse/partner lived with Cohen in the mid-1960s on the Greek island Hydra, where they met. She eventually traveled to join him in Montreal and New York and was the inspiration for many of his songs, including “Bird on the Wire,” which she suggested to him after seeing birds sitting on a telephone wire like musical notes. In “So Long Marianne,” Cohen sings: 

I’m standing on a ledge and your fine spider web
Is fastening my ankle to a stone.

Nick Broomfield’s “Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love” highlights the role of Ihlen in Cohen’s life and is also a documentary about Cohen’s journey reminding us of the early support of Judy Collins, the chaotic Isle of Wight concert in 1970, a drug-fueled show in Israel where Cohen shaved his beard mid-show, his time in the monastery, losing all his money, the  album for Phil Spector. There is really nothing new here. Broomfield knew Ihlen (they were “lovers”), and, as with Cohen, Ihlen championed Broomfield’s early work, encouraging him to start making films. Broomfield says he “became intoxicated by the beauty of [Cohen and Ihlen’s] relationship.” 

Ihlen herself doesn’t really emerge into specificity, and some of the footage – particularly footage of her on her death-bed  was for me like an invasion of privacy. She had been dogged for years by reporters, even after her relationship with Cohen ended. She tried to live quietly but it was hard to avoid publicity, though, when Cohen continued to reference her on stages around the world. “Marianne and Leonard” gives the sense that the rest of her life was an “aftermath” to that powerful relationship. On tape recordings of Ihlen speaking, we hear her pain at having to let Cohen go is still raw in her voice, decades later. There are recordings of Cohen surrounding him with Marianne’s love and comfort. His memories of her remain extremely specific, even after years of separation, and this is part of Cohen’s appeal to his fans: The women in his songs are not generalized, like in so many songs. They sound like real people, complex women whom Cohen knew well.  

The strongest aspect of “Marianne and Leonard” has nothing to do with Ihlen or Cohen, but what we see of the 1960s counterculture, particularly its manifestation on Hydra. Everything was a party until the party ended with a crash. People found Hydra to be a haven but the survivors remember the drugs and alcohol, the broken marriages, parents ignoring their responsibilities, children growing up too fast. The list of Hydra people now lost to suicides, overdoses and insanity, is long. Many were “irreparably damaged” by their time there. Broomfield really knows what he is doing in these sequences, getting fantastic interviews from people who were there. The most vivid character in Marianne and Leonard is the 1960s. Cohen flourished. Others were not so lucky.

“Poets do not make splendid husbands,” and. “Open marriage was the thing then. Whatever the hell that was”. It was sometimes a tormented relationship between Ihlen and Cohen. Cohen was not built for monogamy, nor did his era support it.

Broomfield’s portrayal of Cohen’s life and career is not as interesting as all the Hydra stuff, but it’s fun to see the footage, concerts, shows, parties. Ihlen says at one point, “My love for him destroyed me.” She died in July 2016. Leonard Cohen died just three months later. 

The documentary continues the tradition of reincarnating legendary artists onto the silver screen and Broomfield and with the help of the BBC, pulls off an extraordinarily romantic film that is a portal to a time of reckless youth and confused mid-life crises. Largely documenting the numerous sexually-charged events which occurred on the island of Hydra, throughout the early 1960’s to the 70’s; the real-life Greek indulged drama between Cohen’s ex-lover Marianne ; who inspired a handful of Leonard’s early works, including but not limited to the infamous So Long Marianne; comes with the cost of a turbulent lifestyle involving Cohen’s womanizing attitude and rambunctious spirit. 

Broomfield takes a much more subdued and broad approach, and instead focuses largely on Cohen’s irrational behavior among industry officials and close family/friends. We see the evolution of Leonard’s career, throughout the times of Woodstock and Watergate, where the personal touches to his charisma, deeply affect the art he produces. We see the consequences of his actions, largely extensive drug usage, through old archival footage of an anything-but-sober young Leonard Cohen. It feels all too familiar to other films about the life and eventual downfall of high-status artists.

“CREATING WOODSTOCK”— For Three Days in August

 

“CREATING WOODSTOCK”

For Three Days in August

Amos Lassen

For 3 days in August 1969, more than half a million young people went to Max Yasgur’s farmland in upstate New York for an event that Rolling Stone Magazine called “one of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.”  Of course, we can only be speaking of Woodstock (and I was not there). Now we have a documentary that honors Woodstock’s 50th anniversary and for it, filmmaker and director Mick Richards looked at 70+ hours of exclusive interviews with the producers, planners, and players so that he could share with us what really happened. What is so interesting is that it almost didn’t happen at all. Here are the stories we’ve never heard, told by the people who were there.

Singer-songwriters Richie Havens and Arlo Guthrie recall their experiences on stage and backstage. The four founders–Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts, and Joel Rosenman talk about their earliest meetings, with each claiming the festival idea as their own. There are great and incredible stories that Janis Joplin wanted to take a helicopter to get more frozen strawberries, while Jimi Hendrix nearly missed the event entirely. We learn how a ticketed event became a “free concert”, how the stage itself nearly collapsed, and how the 15 year old daughter of a New York State health inspector may have just saved the whole festival.

For those three days there was the rock ‘n’ roll event that defined a generation. It has been mythologized for 50 years but here the filmmakers set the record straight with the most comprehensive examination of how the festival came to be through the use of original interviews with key figures, rare archival footage and unearthed photographs.

 

We have recollections from the founders and from the production talent teams on both coasts including John Morris, Bill Belmont, Mel Lawrence, and Chip Monck who bring us what they remember from the initial idea for the festival, including the search for a suitable site and then the race to build a venue, promote the event and, most importantly, book the bands. We learn that the Grateful Dead wanted a “do over” and Crosby, Stills & Nash weren’t going to show up, why The Who refused to play, Jimi Hendrix almost didn’t make it and performing on a stage that nearly collapsed.

“Creating Woodstock” is the exploration, and discovery of never before seen private film and video footage, uncovered official photography, newspaper editorials and feature articles. We now have the original site blueprints and hours of in depth on camera interviews with the people who made it all happen as well as those who were there from the very beginning to the exact moment the last festival goer stepped left Max Yasgur’s farm. We have archival photographs and never before seen film footage and interviews with the producers, planners, and performers of the event.

 “Three Days of Peace and Music” were plagued by uncertainty, last-minute venue changes, a lack of headliners and permits. Here is the most comprehensive and deeply researched look back at how the event came to be.  Just so you do not forget, here is a list of bands that played at Woodstock.

Friday, August 15 to Saturday, August 16

  • Richie Havens
  • Swami Satchidananda
  • Sweetwater
  • Bert Sommer
  • Tim Hardin
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Melanie
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Joan Baez

Saturday, August 16 to Sunday, August 17

  • Quill
  • Country Joe McDonald
  • Santana
  • John B. Sebastian
  • Keef Hartley Band
  • The Incredible String Band
  • Canned Heat
  • Mountain
  • Grateful Dead
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Janis Joplin
  • Sly & the Family Stone
  • The Who
  • Jefferson Airplane

Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18

  • Joe Cocker
  • Country Joe and the Fish
  • Ten Years After
  • The Band
  • Johnny Winter
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Sha Na Na
  • Jimi Hendrix

“BLOOD PARADISE”— Finding Inspiration

“BLOOD PARADISE”

Finding Inspiration

Amos Lassen

When her latest novel flops, best-selling crime writer Robin Richards (Andréa Winter) goes to the Swedish countryside to regain inspiration. This was not so much her choice but rather that of her publisher. She meets quite a group of strange characters— Hans, her driver who is her most obsessive fan, his jealous wife, and the unhinged man who owns the farm that’s hosting her. She feels completely out of place and reflects this in the way she dresses which has nothing in common with rural life but rather she always seems to be ready for the glamorous life of big cities. Robin also learns  just how dangerous strangers can be.

Director Patrick von Barkenberg (who also plays Robin’s boyfriend) gives us his debut feature that is visually beautiful and strangely funny due to his choice of offbeat humor. It is Andrea Winter who keeps the film grounded and who holds our attention throughout.  It is both tightly wound and loose.

This is an actor’s film with both Winters and Christer Cavallius as Hans giving excellent performances that bring their characters to life.  They stand juxtaposed as well developed caricatures—the priss and the pervert and this is what gives the film its success. The two play awkwardly off and against each other and with the subtle indication that everyone living on the farmland is strange.

It is  fun watching Robin run around aimlessly, burdened with writer’s block, and placed in some rather precarious situations over and over again.

“Blood Paradise”  has many intentionally uncomfortable moments structured with intentionally stilted dialog and off-beat juvenile humor but it is  barely a horror film.

It begins with an intriguing premise: the scandalous writer forced to confront the weirdness of rural Sweden and while there are weak moments, I enjoyed it and am thinking about watching it again this week.

“AYITI MON AMOUR”— Three Stories

“Ayiti Mon Amour”

Three Stories

Amos Lassen

In Guetty Felin’s magical neorealist tale, three stories—  a grieving young boy discovers he has a superpower. An old fisherman realizes the cure for his ailing wife can be found in the sea and a muse struggles to exit the story her author is penning—combine to create a poetic portrait of the island nation of Haiti. Set five years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, Felin’s film totally avoids the images we were bombarded with after the disaster yet the pain of the destruction remains evident. We see it in young Orphée’s grief over the loss of his father, in the rubble of buildings and in ghostly images that float beneath the ocean’s surface. But Felin refuses to tell a tale of victimhood and instead she places the island’s narrative back in the hands of Haitians whose lives aren’t reducible to headlines. As her characters begin to heal, Felin suggests that  so does the island.

“Ayiti Mon Amour” is both a love letter to the country and a reminder that there is still plenty of work to be done to get the land thriving again. The film is loosely framed around the three interlocking narratives and each story has magical neorealism and the film wafts from one tale to the next.

The characters are thinly drawn but in some ways that is actually a good thing since it is not so much concerned with its plot as it is immersing the viewer into the Haitian culture. We see that Haiti is more than what is depicted on the news. It is vibrant and culturally rich land where the sense of community still thrives despite the tragedy that has occurred.  Felin plays up the mystical side of the Haiti but does not shy away from the serious agricultural concerns of the land as well. She shows how erosion caused by the quake has greatly impacted the fishing industry, as well as how some communities are still dealing with a lack of water and electricity. This makes for a captivating meditation on life and tragedy. Through her film, Felin reminds us that just because Haiti is not routinely on the nightly news anymore, that does not mean that the country should be forgotten.

Felin invokes Haiti’s past and present with stories that intertwine and collide. She tells the stories of poignant characters in a poetic and visually stunning array, minus a narrative of sorrow and pity that permeates similar dramas.

“Ayiti Mon Amour” is a magical neorealist love poem to Haiti and it both haunts and angers the viewer.

“I AM A RAIN DOG”— Getting Back on Track

“I AM A RAIN DOG”

Getting Back on Track

Amos Lassen

In Christopher Di Nunzio’s new short film “I Am a Rain Dog”, (Leo Fiore), a man in a motel room calling a specialist for help when he finds himself lost. He is not only physically lost, he also existentially lost and looking for guidance. The film runs for only 12 minutes and each minute serves a purpose and even though it is so short, we, the viewers, feel we have seen something that is very special.

As the film opens we see a man, Valentine Biltmore (Kris Salvi)inside a motel room and he is pacing and seems to be very nervous and upset. He has a gun which he pulls out when there is a sudden knock on the door. After looking out he puts the gun away and lets Vernon Weiss ( a tall man carrying a briefcase in (Vernon Weiss). He tells the man that he found his card on the cork board at the motel and that he is lost and needs professional help. When their conversation is over, the visitor takes the man outside and shows him why he feels the way he does.

It is not long before their conversation ends and he takes the man outside to show him the root of his problem and why he feels lost.

I do not want to ruin the moviegoing experience by spoiling the plot so I won’t say anymore about that the meeting between the two men is both puzzling and touching. To learn any more you will have to see the movie.

“STYX”— A Parable on Global Refugees

“STYX”

A Parable on Global Refugees

Amos Lassen

 Set almost entirely in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Wolfgang Fischer’s “Styx” is a parable of the global refugee crisis. Rieke (Susanne Wolff), represents hand-wringing European liberalism; she is a strong-willed and a good-hearted German doctor who reveals a tragic indecisiveness when she comes upon a boatful of stranded African migrants in desperate need of help, during a solo yachting excursion. She has been instructed not to become involved and to leave the situation to the proper authorities.

The film is an indictment of the bureaucratic obstacles that are placed in front of refugees. Rieke clearly wants to assist the refugees she encounters. She wants but  to provide them with bottled water, medical care, and sanctuary on her yacht.  She lets allows her natural empathy to be overridden by a cruel official demand.  

Rieke does eventually get the opportunity to help at least a  refugee, a young boy, Kingsley (Gedion Oduor Wekesa), who floats over to her vessel and is in dire need of medical attention and bring them to the yacht but she says that the boat is too small and she is able to provide this. But once Kingsley recovers, he starts to push her toward helping his friends but and she responds that her boat is too small.  When pushed further, she says, “I have no answers for you. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do.” There is a sense if helplessness hanging over the entire situation.

The film begins with seemingly unconnected sequences and then emphasizes Rieke’s privileges. Her journey is filled with dangers but this is  the journey that she chose to make. Of course she is equipped with all she needs from maps to supplies to a GPS.

Gradually, though, the film tightens its focus onto Rike’s ocean voyage to Ascension Island, a remote volcanic outpost in the South Atlantic which Charles Darwin helped to terraform into a botanical wonderland. The refugees, meanwhile, have far more limited choices and none of Rike’s access to resources.

The film is  named after the river in Greek mythology that runs between Earth and the Underworld and we see that ware all faced with moral dilemmas in facing the immigration situation. We also know that Environmental catastrophe has been  spurred in no small part by America’s stubborn reliance on fossil fuels and this has caused various parts of the world to become increasingly uninhabitable, forcing those who live there to seek a new home, only to be confronted with one border wall after another. Rieke has to deal with the question of whether the immigrants we see in the film should be left to drown because of xenophobic protocol or should we the question a paramedic like Rieke. Rieke had to deal with driving rain and gale-force winds but through this we see her expertise in acting quickly and effectively during daunting circumstances.

Rieke’s destination of her ocean journey is the artificial forest created by Charles Darwin on Ascension Island, an enduring example of how the seemingly impossible can be achieved with the necessary effort and ingenuity. We sense Darwin’s ideas reverberate through every scene.

The specific reasoning behind this venture are unclear. Rieke is obviously wrestling with something unknown to us  We move back and forth in time and frequently. Halfway through Rieke meets her critical crisis. Dialogue is sparse and this heightens suspense and exaggerates the importance of cinematography further. The film is gripping and is a visual feast.  

 BONUS FEATURES

  • Commentary by Director Wolfgang Fischer and Star Susanne Wolff
  • Bonus Short Film – Ashmina (Directed by Dekel Berenson | Nepali with English subtitles | 16 minutes) — In an impoverished country, rife with contradiction, a young girl finds herself torn by her obligation to her family and the influence of foreign visitors. 

ABOUT FILM MOVEMENT

Founded in 2002 as one of the first-ever subscription film services with its DVD-of-the-Month club, Film Movement is now a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide.  Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com.

“MISS FREELANCE”— A New Look at an Old Profession

“MISS FREELANCE”

A New Look at an Old Profession

Amos Lassen

Carly (Maddy Murphy) is an attractive young woman in New York with an active night life. She works in the world’s oldest profession and is obviously good enough to meet a different man every night. Ben, one of the men she meets, seems to be her boyfriend—or he thinks he is. She is expected to partake in rile-playing when asked to but what is really interesting  is that the men are not drawn to Carly necessarily for sexual reasons but because she is a genuinely nice person to be with. For those of you who remember “Irma La Douce”, you know what I mean. 

When we hear her with Ben, for example, it sounds as if she is quite comfortable with being something of a paid sexual charity worker and her nightly trysts are all she needs, physically and emotionally. However as we watch this short, we get the feeling  that there a need there for something else. Carly comes across a truly sweet and sincere person and it is easy to see why men find her alluring. It is impossible for us, as l, to understand her and I can only wonder if her clients do. Even though we don’t always understand Carly, but we do come to care about her and in just 19 minutes.

Directed and written by Matthew Kyle Levine, we follow Carly during a week in which we see her travelling and visiting clients made up of many kinds of men who all have different desires, requests and problems. It’s up to Carly to help them with it. The movie is shot in close-ups so that we are very aware of the importance of expressions.

Timothy J. Cox, Zach Abraham, Keith Boratko and Ivan Greene play the men she meets throughout the week and each of the actors as well as Mandy Murphy are excellent. We get a look of what Carly’s world looks like and the questions that we formulate about it stay with us for quite a while after the movie is done.

 

“HOLD BACK THE DAWN”— A 1941 Romantic Drama

“Hold Back the Dawn”

A 1941 Romantic Drama

Amos Lassen

Director Mitchell Leisen brings us a heart-rending romantic drama with “Hold Back the Dawn”. Georges Iscovescu (Charles Boyer) is a Romanian-born gigolo who arrives at a Mexican border town attempting entry into the US. He faces a waiting period of eight years and is encouraged by his former dancing partner Anita (Pauline Goddard) to marry an American girl and desert her once safely he safely makes it across the border. He successfully targets visiting school teacher Emmy Brown (Olivia de Havilland), but his plan is compromised by a immigration officer, and her new love for Emmy.

Billy Wilder cowrote the screenplay for this 1941 film now being released on Blu ray. We have brilliant performances by Boyer and de Havilland, and an over-arching sense of romantic melancholy. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements

  Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack

  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin

  Love Knows No Borders, a newly filmed video appreciation by film critic Geoff Andrew

  The Guardian Lecture: Olivia de Havilland, A career-spanning onstage audio interview with Olivia de Havilland recorded at the National Film Theatre in 1971

  Rare hour-long radio adaptation of Hold Back the Dawn from 1941 starring Charles Boyer, Paulette Goddard and Susan Haywood

  Gallery of original stills and promotional images

  Original trailer

  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by writer and critic Farran Smith Nehme

“THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON”— The Devil in Space

“The Dark Side Of The Moon”

The Devil in Space

Amos Lassen

In the year 2022. A mysterious systems failure causes the crew of a spaceship to be stranded on the dark side of the moon where they are running out of fuel and oxygen. They are surprised to discover a NASA space shuttle floating in space, and board it in the hope of salvaging some supplies. But one by one, the crew is possessed and killed, and it is up to Paxton Warner to find the links between the dark side of the moon, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Devil himself.

“The Dark Side of the Moon” is a dark and sinister sci-fi film that was popular in the 1990s when the film was first released. It is a Biblical nightmare with Satan possessing the crew and manipulating them into sin. Sex is a perverse tool, hatred is amplified and murder is plentiful. The crew is aims to break all ten of the Ten Commandments.

It takes a while to get into the philosophizing, concluding with two astronauts, one consumed by evil, battling over what to believe. The screenplay is sharply written thematic material that is undone by a well-timed nuke. In Cold War America, the ultimate evil is susceptible to military might. We hear the theorizing about places man isn’t meant to go, and surprise with Christian allegory.

Technically this is a competently made B-film – the lighting is moody and creates some tension that disguises the cheap sets. The cast is okay and the model effects are very well done.  However dialogue is banal and the plot is absurd with the Bermuda Triangle as a portal that comes out on the Moon, the Devil is parasitic.

Outer space represents the concept of infinite possibilities to the human psyche. Like all that is unknown, it is a source of both mystery and fear. When the electronics on their ship malfunction and the team find themselves running out of oxygen on auxiliary power, all seems hopeless. But then Space Shuttle Discovery drifts out and promises salvation but threatens damnation.

Director D.J. Webster uses one of the great villains of exploitation cinema,  The Devil. Again, juxtaposing the visceral and the technological. Satan is the world’s oldest villain and that he terrorizes the crew of a space vessel is ironically fitting. The Bermuda Triangle is used to explain just how what is happening is happening from a more rational standpoint, but only just. Giles (Will Bledsoe) begins to piece together what’s going on with the aid of Lesli (Camilia More), a very sexy supercomputer and the results and the leaps of logic used to attain them are interesting but show no common sense.

Even though the film provides cogent answers with very little innovation or deviation, it manages to do so pleasantly. The filmmakers cultivate a serious tone that stresses the claustrophobia and mild paranoia that we see on the screen.

Bonus features include:

Interview with Allen Blumenfield

Production and dialogue notes

Interview with Stuntman Chuck Borden

Interview with FX Artist Chris Biggs

Commentary with producer Paul White and Stephen Biro