REVIEW BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-LAMBERTO BAVA CAST-JOHN HANNAH, LAURA HARRING, PETE POSTLETHWAITE, and CORALINA CATALDI TASSONI SOURCE-CP DIGITAL (RUSSIA / PAL REGION 5 DVD / 97 MINS / 2006)
The land is dry, but the beauty it holds is endless when you realize you have someone to share it with. Mark and Stacy, recently married set off to spend there days together in a remote house in the middle of the hot South African desert. Their passion for one another is as hot as the desert itself, flowing seemingly endless. Then one day Mark disappears without notice, Stacy thinking that he has left her for some odd reason. Then, what seems to be his return one night, Stacy starts to vision and experience his touch as if he were a ghost. It is he or was once what he was, but the truth is she is pregnant with his child. Once the child is born, the truth, secrets and the heightening of a supernatural presence becomes almost unbearable for her.
The man behind some of Italyís more notorious horror entries during the 80's has returned from a long stretch of direct to TV films. Though it was his 2005 film THE TORTURER that broke the mold, it is GHOST SON that has gathered more notice due to itís higher profiled international cast. One would like to say Lamberto Bava could in fact handle such have weights as Pete Postlethwaite, but early indications werenít looking so rosy. Of course Iím one who never takes anotherís word to heart until I witness for myself. Finally with this early DVD release out of Russia, I had the chance to see for myself. What I have found is a very decent return indeed.
The beginning is with the endless lush scenery captured picture perfect from cinematographer Giovanni Canevari with a keen eye guidance of Bava. The wide open space provided by the African back drops especially at night really give a unique eeriness to a storyline that is as equally eerie. Unorthodox, strange and seemly something that the Italian cult cinema needed. It is a breath of fresh air, not new, but fresh. The casting including the house are also perfect fittings to this ghostly adventure. Very strong performances from all of the cast especially John Hannah and the very beautiful Laura Harring. Postlethwaite projected his usual strange persona and the return of one of my favorites, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni. Making her return after several years since Dario Argentoís THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Once again, though the her role of Stacyís friend Jennifer is only limited to a few scenes, she known the less continues to exhibit her lust for life and conveys it with her role. She bring complete color to a grey picture no matter how small it maybe. I canít wait to see her in Argentoís up coming MOTHER OF TEARS.
Though GHOST SON is primarily a dramatic thriller, it does stray into the realm of horror and the grotesque in small doses. A scene where there is a mangled body due to a severe car accident is found, I wonít reveal which character to save face with those you who have yet to see the film. Even scene where the baby is seemingly possessed, the special effects really give the baby a creepy vibe and look. Leave it to Bava though as he too is no stranger to this avenue and Iím sure will continue to venture down it with this film MURDER HOUSE due out later this year. The original music score performed by Paolo Vivaldi is also equally as haunting as the surrounding elements. This is truly a fine return of sorts for Lamberto, one that fans Iím sure will be pleased with.
The Russian release of GHOST SON I believe is the only current one on DVD, though Iím sure it will either see the light of day either in limited theatre release here in North America later on this year, or a DVD release in Europe. Either or, I would suggest waiting until such does happen as this Russian release as many are, are better much bare bones other then a couple of trailers. The main feature though is in great shape, presented in a nice clear anamorphic wide-screen coupled with a crystal clear sounding 5.1 Dolby Digital English track. There is also a Russian audio track as well. Iím sure if you are a Lamberto Bava fan youíll snatch this up if you havenít already though, it is for completes only.
STORY/FILM-3/5 BITCH SLAPS PICTURE-4.5/5 BITCH SLAPS AUDIO-4.5 BITCH SLAPS EXTRAS-1/5 BITCH SLAPS OVERALL DVD-3 BITCH SLAPS
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