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God Told Me To aka 'Demon' [Blu-ray]
(Larry Cohen, 1976)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: New World Pictures
Video: Blue Underground
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 31,695,733,787 bytes
Feature Size: 24,294,027,264 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 24th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3815 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 3815 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1298 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1298 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
English (SDH), French, Spanish, None
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
• Demon Advertising - 1 Trailer + 2 TV Spots (2:09)
• Poster & Still Gallery (:43)
Description: A rooftop sniper guns down 14 pedestrians on
the streets of New York City. A mild-mannered dad takes a
shotgun and blows away his wife and children. A cop goes on
a sudden shooting spree at the St. Patrick's Day Parade. And
each of these unlikely killers makes the same dying
confession: "God told me to." Now a repressed Catholic NYPD
detective (Tony Lo Bianco of
THE HONEYMOON KILLERS and
THE FRENCH CONNECTION) must uncover a netherworld of
deranged faith, alien insemination and his own unholy
connection to a homicidal messiah with a perverse plan for
the soul of mankind.
Released theatrically as God Told Me To, this inventive film from "B"-movie auteur Larry Cohen was later re-named Demon after television distributors refused to air it under the original title. The convoluted, tabloid-flavored storyline (predating the kind of stories frequently featured on The X-Files) involves a series of motiveless murders committed by various New York residents: a sniper picks off targets from a water tower; a mild-mannered father murders his entire family; and a cop (Andy Kaufman, of all people) opens fire during a St. Patrick's Day parade. The only consistent pattern to the crimes involves the perpetrators' calm admissions of guilt, explaining, "God told me to." While investigating the murders, devoutly-Catholic police detective Peter Nicholas (Tony Lo Bianco) is increasingly troubled by evidence of a Christ-like figure named Bernard Phillips (Richard Lynch) who appeared to each of the killers and can't seem to shake the feeling that his own fate is inexplicably linked to this mysterious being. As he comes closer to the truth, his worst fears are confirmed -- particularly after a telling conversation with Bernard's tormented mother (Sylvia Sidney), who reveals the horrifying secret of her son's unnatural birth. Cohen has often used the "B"-movie format to address rather lofty concepts, and this is certainly no exception -- tackling no less than the existence of God and the nature of human beliefs -- but clumsy editing and an outrageous FX-heavy finale tend to obscure this film's unique vision.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
A delirious mix of sci-fi, pseudo-religious fantasy and horror detective thriller, with Lo Bianco as the perfect existential anti-hero - a New York cop and closet Catholic, guiltily trapped between wife and mistress. His investigations into a bizarre spate of mass murders lead right to the top: Jesus Christ, no less, is provoking innocent citizens to go on a murderous rampage. The wonderfully insane plot - involving spaceships, genetics and police corruption - builds to an ambiguous climax: a 'gay' confrontation which suggests an outrageous alternative to anal intercourse. God Told Me To overflows with such perverse and subversive notions that no amount of shoddy editing and substandard camerawork can conceal the film's unusual qualities. Digging deep into the psyche of American manhood, it lays bare the guilt-ridden oppressions of a soulless society.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guiide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
God Told Me To comes to Blu-ray from Blue Underground. This is advertised as a 'brand-new 4K High Definition transfer from the original uncensored negative'. The dual-layered visuals with high bitrate look fabulous. There is substantial grain and a high level of detail notable in the film's many close-ups. Depth is apparent. The 1080P has impressive contrast and realistic colors exporting some solid depth. This Blu-ray image is excellent producing a strong HD image, with no damage or marks, and a pleasing, consistent video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Blue Underground use a 3 robust options including a whopping DTS-HD Master 7.1 at 3815 kbps bump that sounds quite impacting for the film's effects and Frank Cordell riveting score. There are also a Dolby Digital EX 5.1surround and another DTS-HD Master but in 2.0 channel at 1298 kbps. The latter is an important inclusion being the most authentic, if flatter with not as much range. There are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
I thoroughly enjoyed the audio commentary with writer/producer/director Larry Cohen sharing multiple anecdotes about the production and performers. He is quite a character and offers a lot of interesting details regarding making God Told Me To including how Robert Forster was cast and shot for 2 days before Tony Lo Bianco as well as Cohen's own inventive, thinking-on-his-feet filmmaking prowess including being his own casting director. I appreciated hi comments on Sylvia Sidney. There are some new Blue Underground - Red Shirt production featurettes including a dozen minutes interview with star Tony Lo Bianco entitled Heaven & Hell On Earth and ten minutes with special effects artist Steve Neill. The piece is called Bloody Good Times. God Told Me To Bone has Cohen at the New Beverly in a Q&A for 20-minutes. We also get 8-minutes with Cohen from 2002 at the Lincoln Center for another Q&A. Lastly, are some God Told Me To advertising - trailers and TV spots as well as for Demon and some poster and stills gallery.
February 12th, 2015
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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