The Passing (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)

The Passing (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)

The Passing (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)

0 comments 📅24 July 2019, 07:19

The Passing (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: John Huckert
STARRING: James Carroll Plaster, Welton Benjamin Johnson
AVAILABLE FROM Vinegar Syndrome

Ernie and Rose are two widower WWII veterans with no one but each other, living in a crumbling old house outside of Baltimore. Wade is a youthful, blue collar laborer with a wife and young child. Their lives seem predetermined to never intersect, until Wade’s wife is savagely assaulted and, in a fit of anger, Wade accidentally kills her attacker, subsequently finding himself convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Fears of morbidity are also affecting Ernie who, on the advice of his doctor, agrees to enroll in a mysterious program in which the minds and souls of the elderly can be implanted into the bodies of the young. Eager to experience youth once again, Ernie agrees, with Wade forcibly assigned to be Ernie’s new physical self. But neither of the two men, one willing, one victim, are prepared for the true results of the horrifying procedure…

While it has borders that reflect both horror and science fiction elements, The Passing, to me is a movie that best is described as an obscure art film. One that deals with such things as death, growing old, and if we have anything that comes after this or not. As we follow our main two characters living very different lives you can’t help but feel sorry for both for different reasons. One is at the end of his life with his friend who is in the same boat as him. Both are lonely and just ready to have it end, but they also have an unanswered question above their heads of just what to expect next. The other character, a much younger one, is dealing with life in prison because he took revenge into his own hands. His life seems to be over and there’s not really much he can do about it. Those are the two parallel paths this movie takes as we get from point A to B. You can tell at times that stuff in this movie was filmed years apart, but it oddly seems to work regardless.

Then we hit the “switch” portion of the film and that is where the real horror of it all comes into play for a time. While this portion of the movie isn’t long, it does seem to pack the type of scenes and visuals that nightmare fuel is made from. This is where the movie is at its best and while I can honestly say I enjoyed this one and found the elements and themes to be very relatable to a degree, I know you can’t pass this one by on just anyone you want. You have to have a tolerance for a slow burn and very artsy nature to like The Passing. I, myself, really did enjoy it and found it to be one of those lesser-known gems that I love a company like Vinegar Syndrom for because they are the only people who would dare release it. The movie is old and isn’t going to pop that much but the disc is packed and even comes with some extra short films from the creative director of the film.


– Region Free Blu-ray/DVD combo
– Newly scanned & restored in 2k from 16mm archival elements
– Audio commentary with director John Huckert, moderated by Tom Fitzgerald of EXP TV
– “Water Under the Bridge” – an interview with producer/co-writer Mary Maruca
– “Passing Time” – an interview with cinematographer Richard Chisolm
– Promotional & article gallery
– Short films directed by John Huckert:
– “The Water that is Passed” (1976)
– “Quack” (1976)
– “Einmal” (1979)
– “Ernie & Rose” (1982)
– Reversible cover artwork
– English SDH subtitles


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