Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Scorpion Releasing - SEIZURE on Blu-ray ""

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scorpion Releasing - SEIZURE on Blu-ray

SEIZURE (1974; Oliver Stone)
I've always been fascinated by historical context, especially when it comes to filmmakers. Seeing where they got their start and what their early films were like can be quite educational. While I can't claim that SEIZURE particularly reminds me of any other Oliver Stone films that I can think of, there are bits and pieces of what I think of as Stone type elements interwoven into it. These things aren't easy to nail down, but it has to do with the way the characters interact with and speak to each other. They are intelligent, opinionated people, some with a cynical worldview. I can't be much more specific, but overall I got the sense of a writer of above average intelligence behind the script. The basic story of the movie is that of a country home getaway with a group of friends that is besieged by an evil woman and her strongman and dwarf minions (who seem to have the ability to be multiple places at once). The main character is a father played by Jonathan Frid. He was relatively fresh if the cult sensation TV show DARK SHADOWS, wherein he portrayed vampire Barnabas Collins. Frid's character is plagued by recurring nightmares surrounding characters much like the ones that have captured he and his friends. The dastardly trio has one purpose with the group, they wish to put them through a variety of trials and "events" where they are pitted against each other in a charitable game of survival. They seem to be out to punish the group for a their various innermost secrets and wrongdoings. It's one of those films that wants to reveal the worst side of human nature and what people are capable of when they are threatened with extremes. Personally, this type of film has never been my favorite, but this one is nonetheless interesting.
 The colorful cast includes the likes of Herve Villachaize and cult icon Mary Woronov as well. My favorite shot in the film is a brief one of Woronov running down a the centerline of a darkened road in her underwear. There's also a memorable scene where Woronov and Jonathan Frid wrestle each other. It's always fun to watch two cult actors in a scene together, especially one as silly as that.
This is certainly a strange, trippy, nightmare incarnate and a film that has not really been available on DVD (save for a pretty crappy bootleg type edition) prior to this so it is a rather surprising thing to see it finally presented in not only DVD, but Blu-ray and in its proper aspect ratio. The source materials are far from major studio level standards, but the movie looks nonetheless quite good considering.
Scorpion Releasing has even seen fit to include a few extra supplements here as well:
--An Interview with Mary Woronov (15 mins). Actress Woronov talks about how she came to be cast in SEIZURE, her memories of Oliver Stone and working with Herve Villchaize, Jonathan Frid and the rest of the cast. I'm a big Mary Woronov fan so I will never pass up any opportunity to hear her interviewed. She is as lovely, funny and sharp as ever here.
--An Interview with Richard Cox (24 mins). Actor Cox (who is perhaps most remembered for his role in William Friedkin's CRUISING) discusses his fond memories of the first film he ever did and how he learned knife-throwing and painting from Herve Villachaize during that time.

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