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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Remix)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Judson Pearce Morgan, Daamen J. Krall, Doug Jones, Lauren Birkell, Neil Hopkins
  • Directors: David Lee Fisher
  • Writers: David Lee Fisher, Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz
  • Producers: Judson Pearce Morgan, Leonard McLeod, Paula Elins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O77LWE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,795 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Remix)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette: The Cabinet Reopened
  • Trailer
  • Photo journal

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Follow a new twist in the warped road of delirium in this "remix" of silent film era classic! Writer and director David Lee Fisher scanned the original backgrounds of the 1919 German Expressionist classic and put speaking actors into the mix, including Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) as somnambulist Cesare, breathing new life into the work known as the world's first horror movie. Find out why this intriguing new take on an unforgettable psychological thriller is a not-to-be-missed innovation in filmic storytelling!

Amazon.com

Yes, this is a remake of the classic 1919 silent film, but with a twist: Through the wizardry of digital hocus-pocus, the set design of the original has been captured and reproduced to provide a vintage backdrop for new actors, who performed in front of a green screen. So everything still has the revolutionary, crazy-quilt pattern of German Expressionism, with new costumes and make-up reflecting the 1919 style. The story and some of the dialogue is intact: this is still the strange tale of a carnival hypnotist named Caligari (played here by the convincing Daamen Krall), who controls the actions of a haunted sleepwalker, Cesare. No remake could match the delirious power of the original film, but this one falls short of even being an interesting curio. The technical trick is intriguing for the first few minutes, but the inadequacy of the actors (their flat line readings are especially jarring when played against the heavy stylization of the world around them) and the slow pace do their damage. One good casting note: Cesare, played so memorably by Conrad Veidt in the original, is played here by Doug Jones, the remarkable actor-mime whose work is central to many of Guillermo del Toro's films (including Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy). Jones hits the Expressionist note, without saying a word. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

This was tastefully done and really....it is hardly different at all than the original.
Michael L. Sweet
The experiment here was to take the basic plot and digitally-imaged sets from the original silent film classic, and "remix" them with new music, actors, and dialogue.
H. F. Gibbard
Remakes are something that Hollywood loves, as much as they want recycled comic book movies.
Robert Rootes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gregorio on February 13, 2010
Format: DVD
I stayed away from this for quite a while since the original film is such a sacred cow and the thought of doing a remake seemed quite ill conceived. As I started seeing still images from the film I thought it looked pretty good but when I finally watched the trailer I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. David Fisher has done the impossible, making a remake of Caligari that is faithful to the original and still providing something new and exciting. The look of the film is incredible and it gives me an odd feeling to watch actors walking about on the original sets. Its sort of like coming into your own home and finding strangers living there. This film is very faithful looking to the original (as it should be since the sets of the original were scanned for the background of this film). When new sets have been constructed they look very much like the original sets. The cast, headed by Judson Pearce Morgan are all very good. The script is intelligent. The music is quite creapy. This new version really works on every level and if you are a fan of the original classic film then you should give this one a try.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Gibbard on February 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of the original 1919 horror masterpiece, you may be wondering, is it worth my while to watch this new Caligari? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding "yes." The experiment here was to take the basic plot and digitally-imaged sets from the original silent film classic, and "remix" them with new music, actors, and dialogue. The new film would preserve the spirit of the original or perhaps add something new and exciting. I think it did both.

The original Caligari was a wonderful example of Expressionist cinema. Expressionism displays the emotions of a character or characters by bending the physical reality of what we see on screen. Thus, the streets, staircases, and rooms in both the original Caligari and the remake are twisted and distorted, representing the skewed perspective created by Francis's madness. When David Lee Fisher added sound to the film, he skewed the auditory reality in the same way, with great results.

Eban Schletter's beautifully creepy soundtrack, with echoes of Bernard Herrmann and Krzysztof Penderecki, is everything one could ask for in a horror movie of this type. It puts a fantastic musical spin on Francis's insanity. The dialogue, with its Kubrick-like formalism, also suggests the terrifying obsessions that exist in the madhouse Francis inhabits. But it is the weird sound effects that really frost the cake. When Caligari first appears on screen, the music is accompanied by an eldritch cawing of crows, representing Francis's own fear and disgust of him. And when Alan enters Francis's home, a distant foghorn blows, even though we are apparently nowhere near the ocean.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 7, 2007
Format: DVD
"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is considered to be the first great horror film, but I also think that the 1919 silent film from Germany is the first prime example of "cinema," by which I mean simply treating movies as art. With its angular sets and the exaggerated performances by the actors representing the dementia of the title character, director Robert Wiene's film is clearly the best example of German Expressionism with its abstract, expressionists designs provide severely angled corners, crooked lines, and objects highlighted by decorative stripes. If "Battleship Potemkin" opens us up as students of cinema to the possibilities about montage, then "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" does the same for mise-en-scene. The film also establishes many of the conventions of the horror film (e.g., the mad scientist, beauty and the beast), and when I reviewed it I commented that I was surprised the basic storyline had never been remade.

After watching "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Remix)" that statement is still true, because as the parenthetical part of the title points out this particular movie is a "remix" and not a "remake." This appellation applies because what director David Lee Fisher did was to shoot his actors against a green screen so that he could use digital scans of the original sets from the 1919 film. Then he added dialogue and sound to effectively bring the original silent film to life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Hale on September 13, 2010
Format: DVD
I was very doubtful that this new version of the classic Caligari would be any good. It seems every time I watch a remake, I am very disappointed.

This movie is the exception.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (remix) was very, very good. On every level, everything was done just right. In particular, I am glad it was decided to keep the movie in Black and White. Digital media has brought us new possibilities in video entertainment and this new version of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari proves it. Doug Jones was an extremely effective Cesare along with Damaan Krall as Caligari. Applause to all concerned.
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