Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quick Look: SORCERER on Blu-ray

Still an editing nightmare that spends its first hour elliptically globe-hopping to introduce four losers we never get to know, William Friedkin's SORCERER arrives on Blu-ray with jungle foliage newly the color of a Jelly Belly Green Apple bean. Unlike Clouzot's original THE WAGES OF FEAR, this not-a-remake isn't an exercise in unbearable suspense so much as an attempt (to paraphrase Franju) to "twist the audience's head off" with extended scenes of miserable cyphers enduring the worst a South American Mother Nature can deal out as they run a fool's errand. Hardly the best film Friedkin ever made, as he claims, but probably not the worst film ever made by someone pretending they were Werner Herzog. The harrowing bridge scene still makes the misguided trip moderately worth taking, and the original emerges from its shadow all the more impressive. No extras, but the BD Book packaging includes a 40-page chapter about the film from Friedkin's autobiography. There is also a letter from the director, in which he basically admits that the film came about because his new house in Bel Air was getting to him. (Warner Home Video, $27.98)

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