U.S.A. Home Video released two Space 1999 "movies" on their Sybil Danning's Adventure Video line in 1986. This line is similar to Elvira's ThrillerVideo, but instead with action films introduced by Sybil Danning wearing various flashy outfits. These two are more serious "films" than many of Sybil's other releases, meaning that they aren't that much of a chore to sit through if the subject matter interests you. Usually, the "introductions" are infinitely more interesting than the actual films. A friend of mine once noted, "I don't understand. There's some trashy woman with a ray-gun telling stories that don't make sense." It may not sound like much, but these scenes are a real fun time if you've had a few beers (or other things of that nature). The running times are consistent with that of a feature film. I do not know if these are actual tele-films connected to the series or just related episodes that have been edited together. The two releases are entitled "Alien Attack" and "Journey Through the Black Sun" and run a little over an hour and a half.
Le Orme is odd but great. Needs re-discovery of some kind.
When, oh, when will someone like Anchor Bay or Blue Underground release this on widescreen DVD??? Le Orme, which I only know because of my rare/vintage video collecting habit, is a film in my collection that I would not only sit through, but actually enjoy watching. The fact that Klaus Kinski is top billed, but is only in small parts of the film, means little to me. (Though several comments expressed disappointment in his rather limited screen time.) I cannot say that this is a good horror film, a good mystery, a sci-fi epic or anything of that nature. It is simply unclassifiable in the "genre" sense of things. It is more like a confusing, frightening (though not particularly violent or bloody) dream, filled with great visuals and mystery. It relies on visuals and emotion, much like Bava's "Lisa and the Devil". Both films are beautiful in almost every sense, but almost impossible to describe in a logical manner; they both occur in such a dream-like atmosphere. Don't be deterred by Force Video's synopsis on the back cover. It is infinitely more complex and intriguing than that. Though Force Video's release from 1986 (the only one in the US, that I know of) is cropped to full-screen on tape, even in that format it is still great. Releasing it remastered and/or letterboxed would make it magnificent (hint, hint... DVD companies).
I just read some of the previous "user comments" that stated that this film was boring, or not worth watching. These folks must belong to the generation accustomed to "Scream" or "I Know What You Did Last Summer" as being the epitome of a horror thriller. I don't care how jaded you are... If this film does not shock you, there's something inately wrong with you. (also... I was born in 1979, so a good deal of these "mainstream-ites" are close to my age)
This film has a motive much more serious and understandable than many gialli. It is also the first film to make me shudder from the mere display of an X-ray. The plotline could have made an XXX masterpiece, but fortunately it is filmed in a rather un-exploitative style (even though photographed by the late "Joe D'Amato").
Anyone who finds this film "boring" is just looking for a cheap-scare each minute who doesn't care about the intelligence or thought put behind the story.
I really don't know how to describe this movie and be clean about it. Before the opening credits, we see actual "hardcore" horse copulation. Then we get to know the family that the movie is centered around. Her dad's a child molester. The step-mom (Heidi) is an unhappily married lesbian. Giselle is, um... noticeably promiscuous and bisexual. The step-brother (Sergio) is, rather obviously, gay. The ranch hand (Angelo) swings every which way that he cares to. He seems to have sex with everyone save Giselle's father (though his dear dad did have an extended fling with him). Plus, the love of Giselle's life turns out to be a philanthropic lesbian communist physician. It is basically like an early-80s "trashy-to-the-max" soap opera (it seems like a weekday-afternoon television line-up melded with a Penthouse or Hustler magazine). There is nudity aplenty, but nothing more than stalely shot soft-core (other than the aforementioned horse "interaction"). I have only seen the American video version (Her Summer Vacation) and don't know if it was "doctored" upon its US release as quite a few other foreign films of the era have been. * (It is cut, but not rearranged further than that) ** I came across a copy of a Greek video release that actually expands on the US video release. Several scenes are extended, but the majority of what is missing from the US release relates to the male/male encounters (mainly the ranch hand and the step-son). For some reason, these scenes must qualify (then, and perhaps even more-so in the US's current political environment) as more scandalous than the lesbian scenes and/or the opening hardcore "horseplay" that entertains the family. *** The film apparently was never given an official release in any English speaking areas, as the credits are in Portugese in all versions that I have seen.
I have read a couple of reviews of this film, which has recently been released on DVD by Eclectic. Apparently, the opening titles are letterboxed, but the remainder (most) is full-screen. The first release, in 1982 by Planet Video, is completely letterboxed. Though it was a primitive release, it did get the compositions right. Later releases had sharper and better picture quality, but they were fullscreen as the DVD is. Any release of this film should be letterboxed, as it adds significantly to the visual experience of the old Planet tape.