THE ENTITY (1982)
Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Duration: 125 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Cast: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, George Cole, Alex Rocco
The assault happens again, only with more poltergeists activity surrounding it, causing she and her children to temporarily flee the home in terror. The assaults continue, one even nearly causing a car accident, and this time leaving behind visual evidence by way of hand prints and what look to bite marks on her inner thigh. However, when her teen son says that no one was in the house she begins to think that maybe she's going crazy, seeking the help of arrogant psychologist Dr. Sneiderman (Ron Silver, The Arrival), who believes that the incidents are purely delusions caused by a childhood sexual trauma, which are revealed during the therapy sessions.
The assaults continue, including one right in front of her kids, her son tries to intervene but is caught in some sort of electrical discharge and is thrown across the room, breaking his arm. Carla then runs into a pair of parapsychologists from the local college, though they are skeptical of her story but nonetheless spend the night in the home and are shocked by the previously unfathomed supernatural activity happening within the home and around the woman, thus beginning a full-on 24-hour monitoring of the home, and though the spectral attacks seem to stop altogether there's still plenty of strange supernatural activity happening in the home.
With the attacks waning Carla begins to feel more at ease, feeling that the parapsychologists interventions are more effective than Dr. Sneiderman's psychiatric therapies, though he still tries to convince her that the he feels the events are all psychological in nature, and are happening in her head.
During an intimate night at home with her boyfriend Jerry (Alex Rocco, Freebie and the Bean) Carla experiences the most horrific assault to date, with the spectral attacker pinning a nude Carla to the bed, her breasts being being graphically groped by the unseen force, this is the scene that I saw on TV as a kid, and it traumatized me in a weird way, of course my adolescent mind was curious about the breasts on display, but on the other hand the ghostly sexual assault horrified me to no end.
The film culminates on a strange note, with a weird experiment happening at the university where Carla's house has been painstakingly recreated in a controlled environment. The plan is to freeze the spectral force using liquid helium, which also puts Carla in great danger, but so desperate is she to be rid of the ghostly rapist that she's willing to risk life and limb to do so. The whole experiment seems a bit over-the-top compared to what's been happening in the film thus far, but I guess they needed a big finish for the film.
This is a movie that traumatized me as a kid, and even now I think it's a harrowing watch, thanks in part to the atmospheric visuals captured by cinematographer Stephen H. Burum (Body Double), and a strong script by Frank De Felitta (Audrey Rose), but the film is anchored by the sympathetic yet strong performance from Barbara Hershey, who is really phenomenal here, turning what could have been a cheap slice of ghost-rape exploitation into a thoughtful examination. This is a movie that easily could have gone wrong in so many ways and numerous times, it could have slipped into the realm of ghostly exploitation, but thanks to the controlled direction of Sidney J. Furie (The Jazz Singer) and a wonderful turn from Hershey it walks the line, but there are times I think it goes a bit overboard. Notably during those "thrasher" music cues that start up during the assaults, sounding very similar to the music sting used throughout Maximum Overdrive (1986), and again when the entity speaks a single line of dialogue at the very end, but overall this one is still a frightening, and harrowing tale of supernatural rape.
Audio/Video: The Entity (1982) arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory in 1080p HD framed in the 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio. I have the benefit of also owning this film on three separate Blu-ray releases, from Eureka Entertainment, Umbrella Entertainment, and the initial release from Anchor Bay. This release looks to mirror the Anchor Bay scan, appearing a bit darker and more saturated than both the Umbrella and Eureka releases, which are slightly brighter by comparison.
Scream Factory offer something not previously available on previous Blu-ray release. They include the English DTS-HD MA Surround 5.1 track, but they also offer the original DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo mix, plus the DTS-HD MA 4.1 mix from the 70mm presentation of the film. All options are crisp and clean, with the Charles Bernstein score is both atmospheric and jarring, really amping up when the "thrasher" attack theme is cranked. Optional English subtitles are provided.
While Scream could not get approval for a new scan of the film from 20th Century Fox they have come through with some great cool extras, beginning with a brand new interview with star Barbara Hershey who speaks about being drawn to the controversial film by the supernatural versus psychiatric nature of the role, touching on the true life story that inspired the film, and choosing not to meet with the woman her role was based on, unsure if that was even an option. Hershey also goes into the details of filming the harrowing ghost-rape scene, including how they filmed the infamous booby-grope stuff.
Actor David Labiosa who played Carla's teenage son speaks about landing the role following his appearance in a popular TV film, and the joy of working with Barbara Hershey and Ron Silver, the latter of who took the teen out to dinner and sightseeing in California. He also speaks about how refusing to shoot a particular stunt scene may have lead to other scenes of his being cut, including an incestuous scene with his character's mother, He also lost some screen time after on-set injury resulted in him breaking his wrist. The reason her turned down shooting his own stunt is rather silly when you hear about it.
Composer Charles Bernstein shows-up for a 17-min interview, beginning by saying despite scoring o er a hundred of films it's always these horror films that get discussed hyears afterward. He describes his scoring process, creating the "thrasher" theme, and going into the unique way that director Sidney J. Furie worked with music in his films, and praising the performance of Barbara Hershey.
Editor Frank J. Urioste shows up for a 12-min interview, talking about how he came to work with the director, his family's background in music, and touching on the real encounters experienced by writer Frank De Felita encountered that inspired his film, and his own strange encounters while editing this film.
The film also gets a brand new audio commentary with with author/filmmaker Daniel Kremer (Sidney J. Furie: Life and Films), which gives a career retrospective of the director, filled with loads of anecdotes and factoids about the making of the film.
Rounding out the extras we have a Trailers From Hell commentary from Suspiria remake director Luca Guadagnino, a vintage 27-min featurette The Entity Files, which recounts the real-life case that inspired the film, plus a trailer, TV and radio spots, plus an image gallery.
The single-disc Blu-ray release comes housed a standard Blu-ray keepcase with a sleeve of reversible artwork featuring illustration from artist Joel Robinson, the reverse side featuring the original poster artwork. Not a huge fan of the new artwork, for whatever reason this is a release that has never really had a great artwork option in my opinion, who would of thought it would be so hard to capture the essence of a ghost-rape film? Well, look up the Turkish movie poster, those guys almost got it, but you won't find it in the gallery on this one.
- NEW Inner Strength – an interview with actress Barbara Hershey (19 min)
- NEW Seeing Is Believing – an interview with actor David Labiosa (14 min)
- NEW High Dread – an interview With Composer Charles Bernstein (17 min)
- NEW Spirits & Sprocket Holes – an interview With Editor Frank J. Urioste (12 min)
- NEW Audio Commentary with author/filmmaker Daniel Kremer (Sidney J. Furie: Life and Films)
- Trailers From Hell - The Entity with audio commentary by Luca Guadagnino (Suspiria - 2018) (2 min)
- The Entity Files Featurette (27 min)
- Theatrical Trailer (1 min)
- TV Spots (1 min)
- Radio Spotsn (1 min)
- Still Gallery
- Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1
This spectral-terror thriller really holds up, it's a weird one for sure though, a rape story by way of The Legend of Hell House (1973) complete with psycho-analysis, parapsychology, and harrowing sexual assault - yet somehow it manages not to be a slice of ghost/rape exploitation. While it's a shame Scream Factory couldn't get approval for a new scan of the film the new extras and original audio options make this the more appealing release of the quartet of Blu-rays currently available, highly recommended.