Rupert Pupkin Speaks: DVD REVIEW: THE AWAKENING (1980) ""

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Why is it that I never tire of Heston onscreen? His hammy, teeth-gritty style always amuses me. And the fact that he was cast as the handsome sought-after gentleman when he was pushing 60 really says something about his career. He's really a very oddly shaped man, truth be told. Nonetheless, he always entertains me. A friend of mine described THE AWAKENING as 'the only Hammer film that Heston ever did'. Seems like a fitting statement to me. While not actually a Hammer production, one can certainly see the similarities quite plainly. Heston plays an Egyptologist(and soon-to-be father) who discovers a tomb that exudes some serious evil. As evil is want to do, it really messes with his shit. He is estranged by his wife and newborn daughter and people get killed and stuff. Years later, when Heston is now in an oddly-accented, bearded professor-y mode, he and his daughter(a pretty cute pre-Remington Steele Stephanie Zimbalist) are reunited. Things kind of get nutty after that.

This was an early feature film effort for Mike Newell(who recently directed HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE among many others). It also boasts the cinematography talents of the great Jack Cardiff and being based on Bram Stoker's Jewel of the Seven Stars. It also features the lovely Susannah York. Never a bad thing. The film certainly does have that Hammer feel, and also some DEMON SEED & THE OMEN thrown in. Heston is really given some room to chew scenery towards the end. This film should be better remember than it is. This Warner Archive Collection disc represents it's debut on DVD. The 16X9 widescreen(1.85:1) transfer looks pretty good, but there are no extras, not even a trailer.
You can purchase the dvd from Warner Archive 

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