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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (2-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Special Edition, Blu-ray + DVD
DVD + Blu-ray
Frequently bought together
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Potent and poetic, mischievous and macabre, Borowczyk's film shows how many imaginative worlds the horror movie can open up when the right artist holds the keys; (Nigel Andrews, Financial Times)
It's the engagement party for brilliant young Dr Henry Jekyll (Udo Kier) and his fiance, the beautiful Fanny Osbourne (Marina Pierro), attended by various pillars of Victorian society, including the astonishing Patrick Magee in one of his final roles. But when people are found raped and murdered outside and ultimately inside the house, it becomes clear that a madman has broken in to disrupt the festivities - but who is he? And why does Dr Jekyll keep sneaking off to his laboratory?
We know the answer, of course, but Walerian Borowczyk's visually stunning adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's much-filmed tale is crammed with wildly imaginative and outrageously perverse touches characteristic of the man who scandalised audiences with Immoral Tales and The Beast, not least the explicitly sexualised nature of Mr Hyde's primal urges.
A film of strange and outrageous beauty which seems to emanate from that place where our fears are also desires --Chris Peachment, Time Out
Potent and poetic, mischievous and macabre, Borowczyk's film shows how many imaginative worlds the horror movie can open up when the right artist holds the keys --Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
Top customer reviews
The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Miss Osbourne has been granted a Criterion Collection style release and contains a number of absolutely essential bonus features, most of which were created by Daniel Bird. First up, the disc has an engrossing and fascinating commentary track made up of a 1981 archival discussion with Borowczyk and new interviews with cinematographer Noel Very, editor Khadicha Bariha, assistant Michael Levy and filmmaker Noel Simsolo. Expertly put together by Bird, this is one of the most rewarding commentary tracks I have heard in ages.
Two short films can be found on Arrow's disc including a newly discovered Borowczyk animated work called Happy Toy, a charming and surprising film from 1979. Also on hand is the startling Himorogi, a 16 minute 2012 homage to Borowczyk by his greatest muse Marina Pierro and Alessio Pierro.
A number of interviews are included on this special edition as well including a touching chat with Udo Kier and a thought-provoking talk with the fiercely intelligent and intense Pierro (who appears off-camera). We are also treated to a discussion with Alessia Pierro on Himorogi and the charming collaborator Sarah Mallinson.
Rounding out the superlative extras on The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Miss Osbourne are a number of featurettes including a terrific 30 minute introduction to Borowczyk, which is both wonderfully informative and personal, by the disc's co-producer Michael Brooke. An insightful video essay on Borowczyk by Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez Lopez entitled Phantasmagoria of the Interior follows as well as two terrific Daniel Bird works, Eyes That Listen (a profile of the daring composer Bernard Parmegiani) and Return To Melies: Borowczyk and Early Cinema (an ingenious look at how silent cinema helped shape Borowczyk and especially The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Miss Osbourne). The theatrical trailer and a long booklet is also included.
Arrow's special edition The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Miss Osbourne is not only an absolutely essential purchase for Borowczyk fans but also for art and cinema lovers in general. The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Miss Osbourne is one of the most important films of the past fifty years and with Arrow's Blu-ray/DVD combo it has finally been given the proper release and respect it has been deserving of for such a very long time.
Another lost film recently unearthed by Arrow Films, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (aka Docteur Jekyll et les femmes) is, as the title states, strange. I was unfamiliar with the film before reading about its new release, however I was familiar with director Walerian Borowczyk, probably best known for his films The Beast and Immoral Women. I had watched one of his films, Behind Convent Walls, about five years ago (on September 23rd, 2010 to be pointlessly exact) and based on that film's strange blend of artful sleaze, I knew what I was getting into.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (damn that's a long title) stars Udo Kier (who I love) as Dr. Henry Jekyll. Jekyll is having a get together announcing his engagement to Miss Fanny Osbourne (the lovely Marina Pierro). Some of the guests include a General, his daughter, a fellow doctor (Jess Franco's buddy Howard Vernon) and a reverend. Shortly after the guests arrive, they start getting knocked off one by one, though not by ordinary means. The inhuman killer seems to have a giant pointed wang which he uses to penetrate his victims to death with. Ouch! I'm sure you can guess who the killer is by the title of the film...or can you?
This film (I'm NOT going to type that title again!), is not only strange, but it's warped. Really warped. The use of classical music confuses your expectations, as do the beautiful settings (Borowczyk did the set designs too) and the hazy, period camerawork. But don't let this fool you, this film has plenty of perverse scenes and characters. The killer's (as described above) appearance is startling and Jekyll's transformation into Mr. Hyde sends him into an almost orgasmic frenzy. I'll admit, there are some slow parts in this film, but I never found my mind wandering or my ass squirming in my seat (well, maybe in a couple key scenes...but not out of boredom). Arrow's release is pretty amazing, in both quality and quantity. The transfer used for this release is stunning and clear. And the bonus features? Boy do we have bonus features here. Interviews, commentaries, short films and even a booklet! Overall, not a perfect film but definitely an oddity that lovers of avant garde and sleazy films should seek out. Below are a list of the bonus features included in Arrow's Blu Ray/DVD combo:
-Brand new 2K restoration, scanned from the original camera negative and supervised by cinematographer Noel Very
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film, released on both formats for the first time ever
-English and French soundtracks in LPCM 1.0
-Optional English and English SDH subtitles
-Introduction by critic and long-term Borowczyk fan Michael Brooke
-Audio commentary featuring archival interviews with Walerian Borowczyk, Udo Kier, Marina Pierro and producer Robert Kuperberg, and new interviews with cinematographer Noël Véry, editor Khadicha Bariha, assistant Michael Levy and writer / director Noël
-Interview with Marina Pierro
-Himorogi (2012), a short film by Marina and Alessio Pierro, made in homage to Borowczyk
-Interview with artist and filmmaker Alessio Pierro
-Video essay by Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez Lopez
-Eyes That Listen, a featurette on Borowczyk's collaborations with electro-acoustic composer Bernard Parmegiani
-Returning to Melies: Borowczyk and Early Cinema, a featurette by Daniel Bird
-Reversible sleeve with artwork based on Borowczyk's own poster design
-Booklet with new writing on the film by Daniel Bird and archive materials, illustrated with rare stills
p.s. Marina Pierro is so photogenic,absolutely beautiful on film.
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