Perfect Strangers (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

Perfect Strangers (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

Perfect Strangers (1984) (Blu-ray Review)

0 comments 📅20 August 2020, 17:09

Perfect Strangers (1984) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Larry Cohen
Starring: Anne Carlisle, Brad Rijn, John Woehrle
Rated: UR/Region A/1.85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Vinegar Syndrome

Johnny, a mafia contract killer, has just completed his latest hit. However, as he’s preparing to leave the scene of the crime, he notices that someone is watching. The witness turns out to be a young child, but Johnny is uncertain as to how much he’s seen – and how much he’ll be able to describe. Proceeding cautiously, he begins a dangerous seduction of the child’s single mother, but soon discovers that his budding affair puts both himself and his new lover in ever increasing danger.

Perfect Strangers gives us the situation of a kid seeing a murder and then the murderer under pressure from the crime boss he works for getting close to the kid’s mom and to try to keep the kid silent. Of course, he falls for the girl a bit and gets attached to the kid so the pressure is on in more ways than one. Soon he has the crime boss all up in his business, has to deal with the woman’s ex, and then has to deal with cops that suspect him. This all ends up being director Larry Cohen in pure form. This is a gritty film that he made on an indie budget around the same time as Effects and the story here carries is. It becomes more of a character study than anything and despite being a killer we sort of feel bad for our lead guy who’s way over his head in this world.

I don’t think you can ever really get behind the boy’s mother in this one, as even she seems to be a bit over her head most the time. But the main joy of this one comes from the tension that builds every time our lead has his chance to kill the kid and how close he actually comes to doing just that. You want to know if he’s going to actually do it and you get lots of tension from that. The rest is interesting too but that’s the main thing. The film itself as a bit of a glow around the film from time to time and I think that’s the type of style they went for with it. Outside of that glowy hue during some scenes, this one looks really solid in HD and I’m a fan of it in general. We have interviews in the extras, one an archive one. All in all, it’s a solid movie and worth a watch.


  • Region A Blu-ray
  • Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive
  • “A True Artist” – an interview with actress Anne Carlisle
  • “Shadow in the City” – an archival interview with director Larry Cohen
  • Promotional still gallery
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • SDH English subtitles

Quality of Transfer: 88%

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