Friday, September 5, 2014

Blu-ray Review: SEIZURE

We live in a world where SEIZURE is available on Blu-ray.

Or, we will in a few days, anyway. Oliver Stone's directorial debut has long been an orphaned title, damned to clutter the lower shelves of flea markets and pawn shops everywhere. If you wanted to see SEIZURE you had only two options: A decades-old VHS tape, or a shady DVD release that looked as if it had been mastered on a Tandy 1000. It's relative scarcity has given the film a certain mystique that it might not even deserve.

You can decide for yourself if a high-definition edition of SEIZURE is a sign for hope or despair for our culture. For the first time since its limited release in 1974, you'll at least have the opportunity to give the film a fair shake. I'm not going to bore you with yet another review of SEIZURE (we've written about the film more than any other website) but the high-def transfer leaves a little more room for discussion.

The work done by Scorpion Releasing for the new home video release isn't what I'd call spectacular. If you're expecting the kind of TLC given to films like STAR WARS and APOCALYPSE NOW, you're going to be disappointed. The print used to create this release has imperfections throughout, especially in the final reel, but that's to be expected from an orphaned title. SEIZURE looks like a 40-year-old movie, and I'm fine with that.

The bonus materials are both surprising and disappointing. There are new interviews with actors Mary Woronov and Richard Cox, but neither of them have much to say about SEIZURE. They spend only a few moments talking about the film before moving on to chat about their other work. I doubt either actor has had much call to discuss SEIZURE since 1974, so I can't fault them for having fuzzy memories of the shoot. But it's hard to get any more off-topic than an interview that wanders into the pitfalls of location scouting for William Friedkin's CRUISING.

While I'm thankful to have it, I don't think the HD presentation does anything to elevate SEIZURE beyond its humble production values. If you want to save yourself a few bucks, go for the DVD instead.

Below are a handful of screencaps from the Scorpion Relese DVD of  SEIZURE. For comparison, I've included images from the previous DVD release from Telavista. You can probably figure out which is which. Hint: The Telavista edition looks like fried shit.

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