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Directed by Oliver Stone
USA 1981

 

 At the time of its cinema release, this early directorial outing for future A-list film-maker Stone, about a cartoonist (Caine) being haunted by his severed hand, was a welcome relief for horror aficionados from the apparently endless production line of identikit stalk 'n' slash movies that were clogging up local cinemas. Time, however, has not been kind to the movie. Stone tries hard to imbue Caine's plight with some psychological depth - is the hand real or just a figment of his vengeful imagination? - but that doesn't really excuse the film's rampant misogyny, nor its ineffably silly ending. Rumour has it that the reason the scenes featuring the animatronic crawling hand were shot in black and white was that it was the only way to mask the fact that said appendage looked about as convincing as something you'd buy in a novelty shop.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

Anyone having seen Salvador or Platoon who thinks that Oliver Stone is the best thing since sliced bread would do well not only to remember his scripts for Midnight Express and Year of the Dragon, but to catch this grotesque, unimaginative fiasco - clearly ripped off from The Beast with Five Fingers - in which cartoonist Caine has his mitt severed in an accident, and sees it commit a series of murderously vengeful crimes against his enemies. Silly and nasty.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: April 24th, 1981

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in the Twisted Terror Collection (Deadly Friend / Dr. Giggles / Eyes of a Stranger / From Beyond the Grave / The Hand / Someone's Watching Me - see REVIEWS and individual purchase links directly below.)

        

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:44:16 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, French , Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Oliver Stone commentary

DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 11

 

Comments:

Decent enough transfer that creeps into dual-layered territory - both anamorphic and progressive. Colors, detail and contrast are all very strong. No damage or visible manipulation - in fact, no complaints at all about the image quality of The Hand. Audio is clean and clear with an optional Spanish DUB that it is supported with English, French or Spanish optional subtitles.

Far beyond the film - the Oliver Stone commentary would be the reason to buy this disc. I wouldn't say it is exceptional but it is interesting enough and Stone has a good manner about his delivery. He makes no apologies but discusses the budgetary reasons behind the production and the major differences in making a horror film as opposed to some of the socially-based drama epics he would later direct. It was, admittedly, a learning experience for him and he didn't have the same level of control that he would further on in his career. He talks about the dialogue and some of the shots - he narrates a bit - a few gaps but I actually listened to it twice I enjoyed him so much.

Certainly this is still a cheesy and gruesome/grim film experience but although it has little charm it is a bit of cinema nostalgia/history being made by Stone - and the price sure is right. Yeah, okay - I'll recommend...

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available in the Twisted Terror Collection (Deadly Friend / Dr. Giggles / Eyes of a Stranger / From Beyond the Grave / The Hand / Someone's Watching Me - see REVIEWS and individual purchase links directly below.)

        

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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