BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
To this day, there remains something insanely special about director Brian De Palma’s Carrie. It is based on the once-discarded novel by Stephen King, but was painstakingly adapted for the screen by Lawrence D. Cohen. Cohen got everything about King’s first novel right and – with Sissy Spacek in the role of the telekinetic girl at the center of the narrative – the film remains an absolutely PERFECT tale of one teenager’s revenge.
It’s hard to even understand why most studios passed on making the film. Well, considering rich, white men are usually AFRAID of women and minorities, it’s not too hard to guess why they were afraid to put up the money for the De Palma’s film. It’s about a girl and her first period. Two things that make most powerful men quake in fear. Just ask Donald Trump.
United Artists EVENTUALLY had the last laugh as the film went on to earn two Oscar-nominations for the performances from Spacek and Piper Laurie as her demented Christ-obsessed mother. I imagine – thanks to Scream Factory’s 2-disc handling of the film’s new blu-ray release – they are still laughing. And why not? The film was shuffled from studio to studio for many years as it was first optioned in 1974, right when the book made its debut.
From the opening in which Carrie flubs a return and her team loses the game to the slow motion in the shower when she discovers the blood running down her leg, the movie has puberty on its mind. For this girl, though, it seems the change within her is more transformative than most, enabling her with powers far beyond that of most. Just don’t make her angry. Except that is what everyone does. Carrie’s demeanor – hell, her everything – seems to somehow provoke the bullying. All she has to do is show up.
Well, on prom night, revenge will be hers.
Co-starring John Travolta, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen, P.J. Soles, and Betty Buckley as Miss Collins, Carrie White’s only positive female role model, Carrie was a tour-de-force of upcoming talent when it was originally released in 1976. The film, while certainly dated a bit with its soft focus and hazy edges, STILL holds up in a very shocking manner. It is both charming in its own way and spooky as hell. Complete with Psycho-like music cues, Carrie is a hypnotic revenge fantasy that explodes into an unforgettable cinematic bloodbath.
Watch Bates High School get upended by one teenager’s epic fury. Scoop up this collector’s edition and forget about 2015’s poorly executed remake. De Palma brings the goods to the original. It is smart, engaging, and STILL resonates far, far into the night. If the sight of Carrie’s mother pulling her own hair and screaming “they’re all going to laugh at you” over and over again isn’t enough to goose pimple your flesh, then maybe Carrie’s own telekinetic power will as she makes the Bates High School Prom a night to remember. It’s only when the doors swing shut and the screen splits to show two different views that you realize there isn’t going to be ANYONE getting out of the gym alive.
As Carrie’s mother says, “take off the dress and pray for forgiveness” tonight. Carrie has arrived for her date … with YOU.
MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime: 98 mins
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen
Cast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Tagline: A chilling blend of American Graffiti and Psycho.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We'll pray. We'll pray. We'll pray for the last time. We'll pray."
Theatrical Distributor: United Artists
Release Date: November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: October 11, 2016
Synopsis: Carrie White, a shy, friendless 17 year-old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray - October 11, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A
Scream Factory continues to roll out their catalog of horror releases just in time for the scares this Halloween. Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, Carrie’s new 4k scan of the original negative is a thing of pristine beauty. The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color. It’s a dark film, for sure, but the costumes are detailed and the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity. Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen. Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 mono soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.
While highly recommended, it is sad that there are no commentaries for the film.
Loaded to the gills and spread across two discs, the Collector’s Edition of Carrie is a thing to celebrate. All the interviews on the second disc are new and provide a lot of information on the making of the movie and its legacy. With interviews from Lawrence Cohen, Mario Tosi, Paul Hirsch, Harriet B. Helberg, William Katt, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg and P.J. Soles, and Pino Donaggio, the filming of the movie is covered from beginning to end and certainly will not disappoint any fan of the movie. With new cover art, this 2-disc set is a must-own.
Disc One (Feature Film)
- Theatrical Trailer
- Carrie Franchise Trailer Gallery (4 min)
Disc Two (Special Features)
- Writing Carrie (30 min)
- Shooting Carrie (15 min)
- Cutting Carrie (25 min)
- Casting Carrie (16 min)
- Acting Carrie (43 min)
- More Acting Carrie (21 min)
- Visualizing Carrie (41 min)
- Bucket of Blood (25 min)
- Horror's Hallowed Grounds (11 min)
- Carrie, the Musical (6 min)
- TV Spots (3 min)
- Radio Spots (1 min)
- Still Gallery - Rare Behind the Scenes (5 min)
- Still Gallery - Posters and Lobby Cards (4 min)
- Stephen King and the Evolution of Carrie Text Gallery