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"I've always wanted to see POSSESSION in its Director's Cut, although I've never seen it before but saw the video box in the horror section. A favorite of Dario Argento's, POSSESSION is the greatest horror allegory on divorce since David Cronenberg's THE BROOD. Sam Neill and Isabele Adjani are excellent in portraying the emotional distress of growing apart. It's also a comment on the state of Germany when the Berlin Wall was still erect and the Cold War was in full effect. As an added bonus, it's also a bizarre monster movie, kind of a psychosexual Frankenstein story. Great camerawork, music and ending! Highly recommended for open minds and strong stomachs!
I remember watching SHOCK when I was a kid on television (as BEYOND THE DOOR 2). The last half-hour of the movie has stuck out in my mind ever since. Mario Bava's final film (aided by his son Lamberto, a great director in his own right) is about possession, repressed memory, and psychological torment, with an excellent performance by Argento veteran Daria Nicolodi as the woman who experiences all of the above. Terrific music score by I Libra, a side project of Goblin; wish the CD soundtrack to this film would come out because I really love that opening theme! SHOCK is scarier upon repeated viewings and a must for Bava buffs!"
"POSSESSION" & "SHOCK"....
Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 11/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Double features from Anchor Bay on one disc (one on each side). Side A.) is 1981's "Possession" with Sam Neill as Mark who works for a mysterious agency employing him to track down a man "in pink socks." His marriage to Anna (Isabelle Adjani) is disintegrating. They've become emotionally estranged. They also have a small son. Mark wants to save the marriage, he suspects she's having an affair, so he has her followed after she moves out. Anna has become increasingly erratic and deranged and has moved into an old run down apartment where she harbors a hideous secret. And commits grisly murder. Their son's teacher (also Adjani) is a dead-ringer for Anna---only softer and more nurturing. But Anna's situation is something else again. "Possession" is a strange horror film with Neill and (especially) Adjani going all out. The "secret" is truly astonishingly gross. But the ending will leave your jaw dropping. Recommended for lovers of challenging films and Adjani fans. She's incredible. Side B.) is Mario Bava's "Shock" from 1979. (AKA "Beyond the Door II") "Shock" concerns a woman whose first husband (a junkie who supposedly committed suicide) seemingly comes back to haunt her through her small son. Daria Nicolodi is excellent as Dora, the devoted mother who has remarried and moved back into the house where the first husband died and soon regrets it. Bava flourishes abound in a beautifully directed shocker with good set pieces and a creepy score. Scary, bloody with some bizarre nightmare sequences and a chilling ending. Both "Possession" and "Shock" are presented in good prints and are worthwhile for horror lovers. But "Possession" is not for the squeamish. Enjoy..."
GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!!! 2 EXCEPTIONAL MASTERWORKS!
Bacchus | Philadelphia, PA United States | 01/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cinema is an art form based in the human psyche. Light and sound weave a psychologically evocative tapestry. In my humble opinion, the Poles and Italians stand at the very top rank of inherently cinematic filmmakers (followed closely by the British realists and their current heirs). The two films in this collection re-affirm my opinion with the power of their story-telling.
Zulawski's POSSESSION is a very twisted mystery with a supernatural surprise. The story unfolds at a leisurely but intriguing pace (as does Bava's SHOCK -- this is a great double bill). The first half is somewhat reminiscent of Polanski's THE TENANT and REPULSION, all character work, building tension and intrigue. The acting and staging are superb. Both Sam Neil and Isabelle Adjani, as well as all the supporting cast, give superlative performances.
The eternally beautiful Adjani was honored with a Cesar Award for this movie, and it was well deserved. An extended turn in a deserted subway tunnel is one of the most chilling scenes ever captured on screen, and it is her phenomenal performance which makes the scene.
The action picks up dramatically in the second half, and explodes in the last act. This film is definitely not for everyone. It has been called perverse (but is appropriately so) and self-indulgent (and is at least minorly so). But it is undoubtedly the work of a master filmmaker, working with the finest actors and craftsmen at his disposal. Even the most jaded lover of dark cinema will be thrilled by this one.
SHOCK is an equally wonderful achievement, by a third generation filmmaker who might have been lauded as another Antonioni or Fellini had he not confined himself to the disparaged horror genre throughout his career, eventually passing the torch to his son Lamberto.
Like POSSESSION, SHOCK is a beautifully directed occult-themed mystery. Horror fans are all too familiar with the flashy whirly-whirl dolly work of lesser auteurs. Bava moves his camera in mind-blowing ways. Always subtle, never drawing attention to itself as it artfully exploits its subject, then walloping the viewer with a stunningly effective pause. At times I was reminded of Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING (not the dreadful remake), due to Bava's ability to conjure powerful, elusive chills out of thin air, simply by his use of camera and lighting.
Horror fans and those attempting to produce or direct horror movies owe it to themselves to check these two out. "
WOW ! WHAT A GREAT DEAL !
creatureart | Massachusetts | 05/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mario & Lamberto Bava's "SHOCK" is a creepy little ghost story & Andrzej Zulawski's "POSSESSION" is one of the most twisted art-house masterpiece's of all time! This package is a gem! Either one of these movies alone is worth the price nevermind the two of them together."
Isabelle Adjani is a superior actress!!
Shiloh Kremer | 11/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sam Neil and Isabelle Adjani star in Possession as a troubled married couple in this shocking horror. Anna (Adjani) is hiding a dark secret that Sam Neil seeks to uncover. The second movie, "Shock", is about a woman who remarries after her first husband dies under suspicious circumstances. Daria Nicolodi plays Dora, the wife and mother who is haunted by rather creepy visions after she moves back into the house where her first husband dies. Both of these movies are produced by Anchor Bay. These movies are more suspenseful and shocking than they are scary. Having said that, I did enjoy Possession more than Shock. This version of Possession contains around 40 extra minutes that had been cut from the American released version. Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neil manage to delivery an exciting performance and show alot of emotional range. I rate this DVD collection from Anchor Bay with 5 stars."