A. M. Esmonde talks Blood Hunger, photo shoots, film and horror in an interview with the Volts Show. From his thoughts on the modern vampire genre including Twilight to Hammer Horror.
Archive for August, 2010
Tags: action, adventure, Doug Liman, film reviews, Films, Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, movie, movie review, Paul Greengrass, Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum
Tags: Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Film, film news, film reviews, Films, movies, Planet of the Apes, review, Rise of the planet of the apes, tim burton
Four sequels followed Franklin J. Schaffner apes: Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970); Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971); Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972); Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)followed apes quickly in secession and while the sequels were inciting the quality never did matched the original.
The TV series followed with Planet of the Apes (1974) and the animated Return to the Planet of the Apes(1975). The hastely speed in which they were made and released in amongst a toy spree (before the infamous Star Wars (1977) merchandising) is what probably lead to it’s downfall, in a way they slaughted the cash-cow and golden goose within 6 years.
In 2001 Tim Burtons reimagining was released and ten years later Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an original origin film that pays homage to the original 1968 film was released.
Below are my comments on the 1968 original, the 2001 reimagined version and 2011’s Rise…
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Franklin J. Schaffner is never given enough credit when it comes to the genuine sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes. The talking points are usually the twist ending, or the late great Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall.
A philosophical sci-fi made in 1968 and nominated for two Oscars it still holds up today as a social parable, effective drama with a relevant and underlining social commentary. It’s the primitive depiction of an ape civilisation rather than technologically society made Planet of the Apes standout as the iconic film it is haled as today.
‘Apes builds up nicely, there’s a wonderful score, (groundbreaking for the time) by Jerry Goldsmith, creating eerie and ominous atmosphere with the first exciting ape reveal at about 30 minutes in.
The film is wonderfully directed and has a solicitous and thought proving screenplay by Michael Wilson & Rod Serling. That said source material was from Pierre Boulle’s very wry, whimsical and thoughtful novel. Astoundingly Boulle is also author of The Bridge over the River Kwai.
The few visual effects are sufficient but the ape make up is admirable and star of the show. Recognisable only by their voices Kim Hunter as human conservationist Dr. Zira and the anxious Cornelius played by McDowall are splendidly magnificent as they assist Taylor played by the boldly cast film legend Heston to escape the command of the apes. The attractive Linda Harrison, who plays Nova is effective and the British classical actor, in orangutan make-up Maurice Evans is outstanding, giving a weight of believability to the subject matter.
Planet of the Apes is an original science fiction must see.
That said, the make up is excellent, Tim Roth as Thade is fantastic, Colleen Atwood costumes are notable and Danny Elfman’s thumping score is an achievement. The spaceship sets and on the location night scenes have a unique atmosphere and edge about them. Even Mark Wahlberg tries his best to handle the half-baked script and there are a few welcomed cameos from some of the original cast.
On the flip side there’s some choppy editing, an uneven story, the ape city and the sandy finale are emotionless and uninspiring. Slipped in is some unnecessary humour, usually supplied by Paul Giamatti (aptly named Limbo) and you never feel any danger or threat from the apes apart from Thade. Also, there’s no likable characters to really root for. Nevertheless, nothing can save nominated director and visionary Tim Burton’s incarnation of Apes.
The fist ten minutes and the last two are probably the most attention-grabbing of this version but with an estimated budget $100,000,000 there’s no excuse for the travesty in between. Thankfully Rise of the Apes (2011) put the series on track.
Tags: Alien, American Gangster, Black Hawk Down, blade runner, Body of Lies, Coppola, director, Hannibal, Kingdom of Heaven, Legend, Lucas, Prometheus, Ridley Scott, Robin Hood, Scorsese, Spielberg
If history has taught us anything it’s that father of three director/ producer Ridley Scott knows how to make a gripping movie.
Self proclaimed perfectionist born in 1937 Tyne and Wear, nominated and winner of Numerous Oscars, Scott is now surprisingly in his 70’s.
Rid’ Scott started in the TV commercials and become known for his stunning visuals, weeping landscapes and backdrops, at times coupled with a close-up of a character’s face in foreground. Scott has an array of films under his belt covering many genres which include The Duellists (1977), Legend (1985), Black Hawk Down (2001), Hannibal (2001) and Body of Lies (2008) to name a few.
While not part of the 70’s 80’s Hollywood in-crowd like heavy weights Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola and Scorsese, Scott’s seems to be the dark horse, a British, dry, witty guy and above all intelligent with a good business sense who loves a good cigar.
He has personally brought me hours of entertainment and if you are reading this he’s probably captivated you too.
Below are my thoughts both good and bad on a fist full of Ridleys finest moments.
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Possibly one of Scotts most intricate and underrated films. Orlando Bloom plays Balian of Ibelin who after a committing a murder travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century. Soon he finds himself defending the city and its people.
With a fine cast including the likes of Philip Glenister, Liam Neeson and David Thewlis to name a few it’s a casting directors dream. Marton Csokas performance as Marton Csokas is exceptional and Michael Sheen has a small part and pivotal part (especially in the directors cut). Eva Green, Jeremy Irons and an unrecognisable Edward Norton are a great support. However, Bloom desperately wrestles with the substantial script and size of the film appearing a little uncomfortable at times. That said, even though he is the main character, the story, really revolves around the other characters. Balian appears more as a narrative tool.
The locations are breathtaking, from the misty woods and shores of France – to Holy sites of Jerusalem. Again Ridley, incorporating amazing sets and utilising visual effects, production designer Arthur Max, set decorator Sonja Klaus and crew painstakingly recreate the period. Janty Yates costumes are fantastic. Weapons, flags and props look authentic, all this attention to detail coupled with Harry Gregson-Williams score and John Mathieson Cinematography give the film a wonderful look and atmosphere.
All in all, one, if not the best crusade film ever.
Space, spaceships, androids and aliens, and no it’s not Starwars or Startrek…
Alien is a perfect blend of characterisation, visual effects, sound and score. What separates this from the two franchises above is the gritty realism, a brooding atmospheric and claustrophobic feel that has given the film both cult and classic status. So much so it spawned its own franchise.
The acting is provided by a perfect heavy-weight cast that includes John Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Tom Skerritt. Dan O’Bannon’s screen-play, coupled with Ridley Scott’s visuals stop this becoming just another monster alien movie or space film. The subject matter is delivered completely seriously and you become immersed in the dread, fear and uncertainty as even the main characters get killed off (which has become common place these days). Who will be the hero or the heroine?
H.R.Giger creature designs of the face huger and Alien is the ace in the hole and Jerry Goldsmith score mixed with the sound effects gives the film a nightmarish feel that build up the tension to breaking point. Scott’s direction is outstanding, creating the most fantastic and memorable moments in film history which push your fear threshold.
Compulsive viewing for Sci-fi fans who want story over action or in this case a steak to digest instead of fast food. If you’ve never seen Alien what it treat it will be to watch it fresh.
Blade Runner (1982)
Whichever version of Blade Runner you prefer, it has atmosphere, great costumes and a mood of gritty realism about it. The neo-cityscapes, the dark street life and polluted air; all paint a grim futuristic picture complimented by a Vangelis score; which is touching and haunting. The lines are memorable and there are fantastic performances from Rutger Hauer, Sean Young and Edward James Olmos. Harrison Ford is perfect as the moody ex- Blade Runner and Joe Turkel should have won an award as the Frankenstein -like creator.
Blade Runner is quite a simplistic tale that is complicated by the fantastic visuals and effects. Lying beneath the plot that many writers contributed to, there’s heart and soul, questions of what it means to be human and even delves into our own mortality.
Its edgy hi-tech art-house that brings science fiction to life and while it’s not the most fulfilling sci-fi film it certainly is a fantastic visual experience.
Consistent Ridley Scott recreates 1970s America in the true life story of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), a heroin kingpin from Manhattan. Russell Crowe plays Richie Roberts, an incorruptible detective, who works to bring down Lucas’s drug empire.
An interesting and contrasting character study on many levels, Russell Crowe performance is excellent, his personal life is in turmoil, yet he is totally focused on his work. Where as Washington’s character is in control of both his personal and ‘work’ life. Washington is on top form, equalling if not surpassing his Oscar winning performance in Training day (2001).
The costumes and makeup are excellent. The supporting actors give weight to the production and there are some memorable performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin and Ted Levine to name few.
I’ve seen both the theatrical version the 175 min extended version that includes approx. 19 minutes of additional footage. While the extra footage doesn’t jump out at you, the ending is notably different but just as captivating. For a lengthy film America Gangster zips along at a fast pace, accompanied by a great music soundtrack and a enhancing score by Marc Streitenfeld.
The 1970’s is painstakingly created with amazing realistic set design. Scott’s direction coupled with Harris Savides cinematography captures the feel and tone of the time. Scott not only recreates Manhattan but also Vietnam and the war is at it’s height. Credit deservedly should g to Steven Zaillian’s
A perfectly crafted film and gratifying cinema.
Robin Hood (2010)
I hold Ridley Scott in the highest regard, one of the most creative and demanding directors of his time. However, Robin Hood is an unequivocally unnecessary prelude to a timeless folk tale of a man who fights against the Norman invaders. The direction, subtle effects, locations and so on are remarkable and are what you would expect from the director of such films as Gladiator and The Kingdom of Heaven to name a few.
The cast is superb, a mix of old greats and new comers that include Max von Sydow, Cate Blanchett, Scott Grimes, William Hurt and Russell Crowe as Robin the legend himself. With a heavy laden script for the seemingly padded out story the high calibre actors’ graft their way through the latest incarnation of Robin Hood with ease. There are a few droll moments but the screenplay appears unsure if it wants to be another Disney, Costner Robin Hood or a serious war movie tackling issues of the time of corrupt politicians, generals and monarchy.
With an estimated budget of $200,000,000 and the acting talent and creative people behind Robin Hood, you’d thing Scott would have suited to tackling a period piece not centred around the rise of Robin Longstride. Due to this it leaves the viewer unsatisfied.
It’s a lengthy movie and there is much to enjoy, the score, performances, cinema photography, action scenes are admirable. However, as a Robin Hood film it’s a bit of a miss, and you can’t help feel that as the last reel runs that that’s where the story should have begun.
Despite it’s historical inaccuracies Gladiator without a doubt deserves it’s 5 Oscars. The story follows Maximus, a Roman general who’s family is murdered after he is betrayed and left for dead. While the story is echoes The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Gladiator revenge theme is far more ambitious and poignant.
Meticulous portraying the social and political issues of the time, proved director Ridley Scott united with David Franzoni story and screenplay single handily bring back the sword and sandal epic prompting a flurry of copycat films. The opening scene is astounding, the fights are incredibly choreographed, however, Gladiator is far from perfect, let down by a variety of CGI shots, the lack of grandeur that other epics have and several hollow palace scenes. That said, Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer score is exciting, emotionally moving as much as the actor’s performances.
Thankfully, Mel Gibson turned down the part of Maximus that Russell Crowe portrays with such conviction and energy. Even though it was Oliver Reeds last great performance and one of Richard Harris finest, as Marcus Aurelius, the new comers hold their own and are just as effective. Juaquin Phoenix. Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi and supporting actors are perfectly cast. Aside from the magnificent sets and locations to the cast credit it’s the ability to render the viewers concern for these characters is what separates Gladiator from being an run of the mill flick.
It’s no masterpiece but far from a gladiatorial coup de grace. Scotts compelling Gladiator is impressive, moving and exciting.
Veteran director Ridley Scott gives Prometheus its own unique look and rightly so as the action, suspense takes place on LV-223 not LV- 426 as in Alien(s). Without getting bogged down with Alien (2122A.D) comparisons, this is a science expedition not a mining vessel. This change in location allows Prometheus to sit as a stand alone film.
Questioning our origins in a reasonable intelligent way the story written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof is intriguing and makes this film stand above your average sci-fi. That said, Prometheus does raise more questions than it answers yet it’s ambiguity is what makes this film special and allows set-ups for future instalments.
It’s excellently cast and includes international actors Guy Pearce (who is sorely underused) Idris Elba as everyday man Janek and Logan Marshall-Green to name a few. Charlize Theron is astounding as Meredith Vickers, a hard nosed corporate mission director. Notably is Michael Fassbender as David who is every bit as interesting as Bishop and Ash with added a quirky ‘fondness’ for Peter O’Tool. Main protagonist Elizabeth Shaw played by Noomi Rapace is not your typical Ripley clone and carries much of the emotion for the film.
The effects are first rate, with the Space Jockeys, scenery, ships and Aliens wonderfully realised and rendered. Some of the effects are practical and look organic for the most part. The location and environment feels real and makes everything more palatable. A nod should go to Dariusz Wolski’s cinematography and Pietro Scalia’s editing.
Scott delivers a few standout creepy scenes some particularly gut turning, notably the arm breaking, infection and decontamination scenes- it captures some xenomorph magic.
Marc Streitenfeld’s music score is an effective mixed bag although is a little over used. Both writers and Scott ensure to include a few character twists and wisely incorporate some elements from the Aliens series (in keeping with that world) whether it be a vehicle, a line or setup to possibly appease die-hard fans but for the most part it feels fresh.
Prometheus tackles themes of origin, mortality and biological warfare to name a few and although it feels a little rushed it’s a grower just like the spores themselves.
Tags: Aliens, Angel Heart, Basic Instinct, Ben Kingsley, Film, film review, Jaws, Mark Ruffalo, Martin Scorsese, Max von Sydow, movies, reviews, Shutter Island, The Game, the Godfather, The Usual Suspects, thriller, thriller films
The thriller genre is packed with sub-genres and there are many classic thrillers. Hitchcock was the master of suspense thrillers, Rear Window (1954) and Dial M for Murder (1954) are two of my favourites. There are notable thrillers – Se7en (1995) ; Fatal Attraction (1987); Les diaboliques (1955) to name a few. From The Godfather (1972); Aliens (1986);The Usual Suspects (1995) to Jaws (1975) are classed as thrillers. While I wouldn’t necessary agree fully with all the categories of the aforementioned it’s clear that thrillers are hard to define.
P.I Harry Angel has a new case, to find a man called Johnny Favourite, only it isn’t a straight forward missing person’s case. Prefect, grounded, Alan’s Parker’s voodoo-laden, hard-boiled film is the ultimate mystery film.
A timeless, eerie and realistic atmospheric classic. Perfect.
Wealthy financier Nicholas Van gets drawn into a live-action game that consumes his life. Douglas perfectly portrays the characters journey, excellently written by John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris.
It’s a psychological thriller packed with intrigue and suspense, a creepy clown and feeling of helplessness. Supporting actors are an array of familiar faces that include flawless performances from Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger and Armin Mueller-Stahl.
Known at the time for its nookie and infamous cross-legged interrogation scene, 50 San Francisco riot police had to be present at every location to deal with picketing gay and lesbian activists, it’s hard to believe the film caused such a stir at the time.
Michael Douglas plays a police detective investigating a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved. It is without doubt Sharon Stone’s best and most memorable performance, as writer Catherine Tramell, who taps into every mans fear of being lied to, rejected and so on.
The supporting cast are effective, it has a few familiar faces in there. Jeanne Tripplehorn, George Dzundza and Leilani Sarelle are surprisingly good. That said, Douglas who gives great performance does seem miscast especially in the night-club, where he gurns and sports a jumper that will stick in your mind forever.
Despite the dramatic score being over powering in places it adds to the film stylised charm. Director Paul Verhoeven keeps set ups interesting and writer Joe Eszterhas puts in enough twists, albeit clichéd, to keep you interested.
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniel’s and his partner investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is apparently hiding on the remote Shutter Island.
The cast is a fine line-up that includes Leonardo DiCaprio who manages to get away with the complexity of the characters situation; Swed’ Max von Sydow is on usual perfect form. Zodiac (2007) and Collateral’s (2004) Mark Ruffalo is excellent, although a little under used as Daniel’s partner. Thankfully Ben Kingsley has taken on a role worthy of his abilities as the empathetic Dr. John Cawley. In addition, Ted Levine and Elias Koteas show up in almost cameo appearances.
Possibly one of Scorsese’ best films.
Tags: black and white, Candace Hilligoss, Carnival of Souls, classic horror, Elisha Cook Jr, Film, film review, George A. Romero, Haunting, Herk Harvey, Horror, horror films, horror news, House on Haunted Hill, John Clifford, Last Man on Earth, movie review, movies, Night of the Living Dead, Vincent Price
Allegedly rousing Alfred Hitchcock to make the horror film – Psycho (1960), and while the setting is not as lavish as The Haunting (1963) the House on Haunted Hill is an entertaining 50’s movie.
Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren played wonderfully by Vincent Price invites 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a “haunted House” party and they’ll get $10,000 if they survive the night. The quirky house owner, Mr. Pritchard is played entertainingly by Elisha Cook Jr. and the rest of the cast are good enough.
While the stories ‘twist’ is well developed the large modern 50’s house story is not. There are some creepy moments that include the striking Carol Ohmart as Annabelle Loren but the lighting and sets are so crisp it fails to create any real brooding atmosphere and sadly a movie of its time, the women shriek a lot.
Dr. Markway is undertaking research to prove the existence of ghosts and decides to investigate Hill House. He is accompanied by a sceptic, a clairvoyant and an insecure attuned psychic. Even though made in 1963 it is still very enjoyable even if a product of its time.
Nelson Gidding screenplay is based on novel “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson. The Haunting is an archetype haunted mansion film, superbly directed by Robert Wise. Excellent, painstakingly designed sets, amazing use of sound effects bringing to life the things that go bump in the night, which all add to the eerie and spooky atmosphere.
Richard Johnson plays the perfect English gentleman, Dr. John Markway. Russ Tamblyn as the cheeky chap is amusing, Claire Bloom as ‘Theo’ the lesbian, at the time a risky role for mainstream cinema. The supporting cast of quirky characters are all fantastic.
My only complaints are is that the movie, for effect only, was unnecessary filmed in black and white. In addition, Julie Harris’ superfluous voice-overs are distracting.
George A. Romero has readily admitted that Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls influenced in his making of Night Of The Living Dead (NOTLD). For me, they’re both low budget, both filmed in black and white and both are chilling creepy in places.
Both went onto be get ‘lost’ but unlike Carnival of Souls, NOTLD was haled by critics abroad, who saw it not just as another horror movie, but a film that reflects society. Romero has gone on to define a genre, a feat that very few have accomplished. Many films have been influenced and have imitated George’s creation but few successfully.
The stock music is bold, and the sound is an adequate mix but all these things with their faults add to the charm of this little horror classic.
It’s dark, gloomy and entertaining but more importantly it was a turning point in horror history.
The music is very creepy and a little too intrusive in places, however, for it’s time and budget it is a well crafted film. Carnival of Souls many not be as sleek and stylish as the Haunting (1963) but it is far more eerie. The zombies are not as imposing as in Night of the Living Dead, however, they are vastly creepier and macabre.
The tag-line read ‘By night they leave their graves, crawling, shambling, through empty streets, whimpering, pleading, begging for his blood’ if that doesn’t grab you as a horror fan, nothing will. Remade many times since as The Omega Man (1971), I am Legend (2007) to name a few, Richard Matheson novel I am Legend has been a wealthy piece of source material.
Despite Matheson feeling that Vincent Price was miscast in the lead role, Price gives a sterling performance as Dr. Robert Morgan who is the survivor of a devastating world-wide plague. Morgan is tortured by his dreams and his solitary existence trying to find another human still alive. Price’s distinguished voice and acting really gets the viewer hooked and caring for his character who is harassed by vampire zombies seeking his blood every night.
While not a faithful version of the novel it is well crafted by Ubaldo Ragona, who incidentally only directed a handful of films. Ragona’s work clearly influenced Romero’s set up of the horror classic Night of the living Dead (1968).
Tags: 80's film, Charles Manson, Chinatown, Emmanuelle Seigner, Film, film review, Frank Langella, Frantic, ghostwriter, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Lena Olin, movie, movies, Polanski, Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, the ghost, the ghostwriter, thriller, Wojciech Killar
Ironically for some his private life makes him more known than his films. Many years before his arrest, sadly, Polanski’s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 while staying at the Polanski’s Benedict Canyon home above Los Angeles by members of the notorious Charles Manson ‘family’.
Polanski, now in his seventies, still lives in France and aside from his interesting personal life and his critical achievements I like to share with you my thoughts on his three most underrated and splendid thriller films Frantic The Ghost Writer and The Ninth Gate.
Known under a few different titles The Ghost Writer borrows some of the serious and grounded elements of Roman Polanski’s Ninth Gate (1999). The tight thriller follows Ewan McGregor’s loner character, a ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan), who becomes accused of war crimes. The writer soon uncovers a conspiracy that like his dead predecessor puts his own life in peril.
The lighting is superb, plenty of shadows adding to the ominous atmosphere, the locations and sets are attention-grabbing, with an unusual beach house setting and motel at one point. Alexandre Desplat’s score puts the viewer on edge.
There are fine performances from a cast of familiar faces including Robert Pugh, Eli Wallach, and Liz Hurley look-a-like Olivia Williams. Both Kim Cattrall and James Belushi go against type cast and deliver their best work in a long-time. Despite Brosnan’s shaky accent, he’s on good form playing the ex PM, Adam Lang perfectly.
Like with most of Polanski film’s there’s no overboard story telling, everything is subtle, natural and down to earth. There’s no need for big explosions or fast paced cut’s. McGregor is exceptional as an everyday man out of his depth. The tension is builds up slowly, taking time to immerses the viewer and follow the story from the Ghostwriter’s point of view. Credit must goto Robert Harris’ novel and adaptation of an intriguing, topical story but this film interestingly demonstrates not only what a great screenplay writer Polanski’s is, but like the Piano shows what he can do with a bigger budget.
It’s well crafted suspense thriller, admirably, Roman Polanski makes a mystery as good as they used to be.
In Frantic Harrison Ford offers his best performance a character study of a man who, tamed by his peaceful and conformist existence is forced into a seedy and risky dangerous world.
Written by Polanski himself alongside Gérard Brach. It has a classic Hitchcock narrative and appreciates the rules of the genre. From beginning to end, the director shows a deep discipline by the way in which he visually conducts the narrative, establishing and preparing each shot, framing and revealing in a methodical.
Although Frantic never gets ‘frantic’, the title refers to the psychological aspect of the narrative, it’s an edgy and suspenseful story. The pace of the movie is very slow but worth the wait as Dr.Richard Walker (Harrison Ford) is caught up in a web of Parisian night-clubs, drugs, seedy characters and terrorist games in order to find his kidnapped wife.
Ford and Emmanuelle Seigner’s (Polanski’s wife) performances are top-notch, the chemistry between the unlikely pairing is the making of the more interesting, tense and memorable scenes. Ford’s Doctor Walker changes from a desperate fish out of water, to a driven survivor, while striking Seigner (Michelle) goes from self-centred drug trafficker, to heroine. The supporting cast are fantastic, an array of crazy characters including- french tramps and desk Clerks, to bumbling American officials and dodgy French cops.
Polanski’s direction is excellent and the movie is worth a watch just for a nostalgic look at 80’s back street Paris. This is a fine production accompanied by an excellent memorable score from Ennio Morricone. Throw in Paris as your backdrop and you get one of the best thrillers of the 80’s in the vein of Dial M for Murder mixed with a dash of Chinatown.
Frantic is sorely underrated.
Filmed 11 years later The Ninth Gate is the film adaptation of The Dumas Club, written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Johnny Depp plays Dean Corso, a rare book dealer, who is in search of copies of a demon text “The Nine Doors To the Kingdom of Shadows”, a book purportedly written by Lucifer himself and is said to contain knowledge to raise the devil. Corso gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.
Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner’s is cast as a mysterious blonde. Lena Olin fleets in and out as to does Frank Langella (Boris Balkan) who gives a great exaggerated performance. Like Polanski’s Frantic there is an array of quirky characters that push the story forward to a intriguing conclusion.