Double Face (1969) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Riccardo Freda
STARRING: Klaus Kinski, Christiane Krüger, Günther Stoll
RATED: UR/REGION A/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video
When wealthy businessman John Alexander’s (the legendary Klaus Kinski, giving an atypically restrained performance) unfaithful wife Helen (Margaret Lee, Circus of Fear) dies in a car crash, it initially looks like a freak accident. However, the plot thickens when evidence arises suggesting that the car was tampered with prior to the crash. And John s entire perception of reality is thrown into doubt when he discovers a recently-shot pornographic movie which appears to feature Helen suggesting that she is, in fact, alive and playing an elaborate mind game on him…Psychological, psychedelic, and at times just plain psychotic, Double Face stands as one of the most engaging and enjoyable films in Freda s lengthy and diverse career a densely-plotted, visually-stunning giallo that evokes much of the same ambience of paranoia and decadence as such classics of the genre as One on Top of the Other and A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin.
While the description of this one paints it as a very good flick and one that is ranked up there with such as A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, I don’t think I was near as impressed with Double Face. The plot isn’t a bad one per say and I’m usually a big fan of Klaus Kinski but this is a movie that I have to say was extremely dull and it never did seem to kick things into another gear for me. It has a lot of the same little quirks about it that a number of other movies in this sub-genre have but this one takes too long to get to a point and slows things down to a pace that it takes you right out of it while you are watching. Even the actors seem bored with what they are doing at times and that is never ever a good thing. It makes this one mostly a movie with a good idea but not very well execution of the idea and that is what comes back to bite this one on the backside. You know things are going bad for a movie when Klaus Kinski can’t make it at least a little bit interesting.
And none of this is a knock on Arrow. The company put out the best version of this one they could. It even has both versions of the film. Both are still in the same ballpark but help if you at least don’t feel like reading subtitles that day or not. The plot tells one of a love gone wrong and a lot of other stuff that follows when it does go south. Kinski is actually playing a normal character this time around and that might be one of the things that actually hurt it in the long run. Usually, him playing someone insane is a good thing for a movie and we get something different from that here. The movie looks nice, it has a plot that should be fun, but the thing just floats by from start to finish and I can’t say I was a fan of it.
– Brand new 2K restoration of the full-length Italian version of the film from the original 35mm camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
– Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary by author and critic Tim Lucas
– New video interview with composer Nora Orlandi
– The Many Faces of Nora Orlandi, a new appreciation of the varied career of the film s composer by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon
– The Terrifying Dr. Freda, a new video essay on Riccardo Freda s gialli by author and critic Amy Simmons
– Extensive image gallery from the collection of Christian Ostermeier, including the original German pressbook and lobby cards, and the complete Italian cineromanzo adaptation
– Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
– FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell
Quality of Transfer: 91%