Best served by the bizarre proceedings is Crispin Glover as the titular wizard, a ghoulish magician named Montag who appears to gruesomely kill an audience member (almost always a buxom woman whom he first humiliates) at every show, only to resurrect them again. Clad head-to-toe in white, with a hilariously exaggerated codpiece rounding out the look, Glover is in oddity overdrive. Every line is delivered with a kind of mesmerizing eccentricity, and Kasten amplifies the performance’s idiosyncrasies with lurching camera angles and extreme close-ups.
Theatrical Release: May 17th, 2007 - Cannes Film Market
DVD Review: Genius (Weinstein) - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Genius (Weinstein) - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.28 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.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1) - commentary in 2.0|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
with Producer Dan Griffiths, writer Zach Chassler,
Cinematographer/producer Christopher Duddy, Max Gillman associate
producer and director Jeremy Kasten
Deleted Scenes (Scene 68, Montag and Dell in car,
Geek's Lair and backstage etc.) and some miscellaneous (26:19)
different Stills Galleries
Well, here is an experience for the uninitiated (this reviewer). I'm afraid I was always more interested in the people who gravitated to these type of films - than the films themselves. But I strapped myself in and gave it a spin (twice actually to hear the commentary as well).
Like many of the 50's sci-fi films I adore, this new (remake) of The Wizard of Gore had some pragmatic production value 'charm'. It fosters an emotional response crossing between amusement and titillation. I don't have enough exposure to this brand/genre of cinema - which, when I do - I admittedly 'diss'. I can see that the limitations can be part of the appeal and I admit to some smiling interest in my initial viewing. Let's just say it was better that I was expecting.
This Weinstein DVD is dual-layered, probably exporting the film as well as one could anticipate - without major transfer flaws. It is progressive and anamorphic, some noise but the obvious directorial style touches - heavy grain/video-look in one scene, obtuse camera angles etc. - are easily discernable (as I'm sure they were theatrically). Subtlety is not this film's strong suit anyway. Detail is a shade sub-par. It's clean enough while colors tend to look a bit dull but overall this disc gives a decent, if not stellar, presentation of The Wizard of Gore - 2007. I hope the screen captures below can give you a fair idea of what you might be in for visually.
The audio is 5.1 channel but doesn't separate the sound very distinctively. There are one of two notable moments where it comes into play but generally is as less dynamic as the image quality. It is fairly clear and consistent for the dialogue which is supported with optional English or Spanish subtitles. NOTE: The brief non-English dialogue has burned-in English subtitles (see sample below).
This DVD is stacked with supplements - although, appropriately they lean more to the cheesy end of the scale than the 'professional'. Case-in-point the full-length commentary with producer Dan Griffiths, writer Zach Chassler, cinematographer/producer Christopher Duddy, Max Gillman (cited as associate producer) and director Jeremy Kasten. This is totally off-the-cuff with the cast stating that this is the first time they have been able to see the entire film (this 'unrated' cut anyway). It's loads of fun akin to a bunch of buddies sitting together and casually rapping about the film. There is humor and lots of honesty, some swearing - I think I enjoyed it as much as the film. I was especially amused by the talk of Glover's insistence at the codpiece (a pouch emphasizing the front of the crotch of men's trousers) of Crispin Glover's thoroughly researched costume. Anyway, fans of the film, or just about anyone else should get a laugh or two out of this group commentary as well as interesting production information about the film.
The rest of the supplements consist of a 35 minute Making of... feature with more crew and cast giving soundbites. There is another featurette entitled Behind the Screen: A Look at the Effects of the Wizard of Gore which lasts about 13 minutes and yet another • From Volunteer to Victim: The Suicide Girls in The Wizard of Gore - running the same length. There are 26 minutes worth of deleted Scenes - 7 in total with names like Scene 68, Montag and Dell in car, Geek's Lair and backstage etc., 4 Storyboard comparison running a scant 2.5 minutes and a whopping 10 different stills galleries focusing on most of the cast with one for production graphics.
This film certainly knows it's target market and all of this 2007 edition of The Wizard of Gore's flaws can be dismissed by that undemanding niche - in fact it may be worth viewing for Crispin Glover's performance alone. I've never seen the original (gaining marginal fame with it's mention in Juno). This DVD is a very competent and thorough job by Weinstein... and if you want something totally different, film-wise, - well, here it is.
Non-removable for the non-English dialogue