It’s funny how often I forget this one. Whenever people ask me to give a ‘Scariest Movie'
list, I'm known to completely forget about “The Silence of The Lambs”
. While it’s definitely more of a procedural thriller (hell, it pretty much re-invented the procedural thriller) than a horror film, try to tell me that that night vision sequence at the end wasn’t one of the most edge-of-your-seat frightening moments in film history. “Lambs”
succeeded in every way a film can succeed (except getting my Mom to sit through it) even dominating every single one of the major Oscars in 1991. It’s too bad it had to start both a genre of films that more often than not were lackluster and ‘twist’
dependent, and even worse, that Anthony Hopkins
portrayal of Hannibal Lecter
became one of the most parodied, imitated, and exaggerated character roles in history, even by Hopkins
himself in the lackluster sequel and prequel. This is a movie best taken all by itself, all by yourself, in a dark room late at night.
plays FBI agent Clarice Starling
who is pulled out of training at the academy to go interview famous serial killer and cannibal, Hannibal Lecter
. He’s completely twisted yet off the chart brilliant as well. Starling
’s superior officer (Scott Glenn
) believes he might know something about current killer on the loose, Buffalo Bill
). So begins a game between Starling
, a ‘quid pro quo’
; for any information Lecter
gives her, he expects some personal information about Starling
’s life in return. As surely as he consumes human flesh, he dines on these painfully admitted morsels of her spirit and her past.
As the manhunt for Bill
continues, and the politics around Lecter
lead to him being transferred to a more comfortable prison in exchange for more info, Starling
is put off the case. She knows enough to suspect that the agents in charge of the investigation are on the wrong track and her own independent efforts lead to a confrontation with Bill
that…well…if you haven’t seen it yet I certainly don’t want to spoil it.
So now we’ve got the Blu-Ray version of the classic movie. How’s it all add up?
Naturally the picture is better, although there still doesn’t seem to be a definitive clean up. There’s still some speckle here and some muddy tones but it’s a sure improvement even over the Criterion
release. The audio is fabulous though, it’s first ever transfer to high-res, and as we all know, in a scary movie the audio perfection is key.
While this skips out entirely on any comments by director Jonathan Demme
on the film, (the commentary from the Criterion
edition with Demme, Foster
is notably absent) it is loaded down with enough bonus goodies to make it worth your while:
-“Understanding the Madness”
: Interviews with FBI profilers who straight up admit that it’s an imperfect science (despite what some TV shows might lead you to believe). Comparisons are made to the real life serial killers that writer Thomas Harris
was influenced by when creating the characters of Hannibal Lecter
and Buffalo Bill
, just in case you were sleeping tight, comforted in the thought that this was only a movie.
-“Inside the Labyrinth: The Making of Silence of the Lambs”
: Nice long making of doc, but with a disturbing lack of Foster
-“From Page to Screen”
: A Bravo
television show's two-parter about the film. Here’s where they hid all the good interview stuff with Jodie Foster
about her role, much of it quite revealing and interesting from an ex-aspiring-actor’s point of view, anyway. Yes, Cyrus
once upon a time dreamed of being a star performer. He still daydreams about it. So, if you have a movie with a role for an oversized geek, please forward on your script. Paid inquiries only. Cyrus
has a hidden gift and one he doesn’t reveal ‘on spec’
-“Scoring the Silence”
: Nicely done by Howard Shore
, but I really wasn’t interested enough to watch a doc about it.
-“Original 1991 Making-Of Featurette”
: The 8-minute mini-doc that came on the original disk. Meh.
: Holy crap, this is the good stuff. Twenty plus minutes of the stuff you always hoped existed but never dared dream; lots more of Hannibal
shooting the shit. Plus, the outtake is of Hopkins
doing a Rocky
impression for some reason. Probably wouldn’t have been as funny if he wasn’t covered in blood.
-“Anthony Hopkins Phone Message”
: Oh, good lord. If you HAVE to have a genuine answering machine message of Hannibal Lecter
, here’s where you get it. Also about this point when you realize that Hopkins
...bit of a whore. Not so surprising now, his next two re-appearances as they character.
: Yeah, you know.
And of course, the only Blu-Ray exclusive, a Picture-in Picture combined with Trivia track that you can play during the movie that would be much better if A
: You didn’t have to watch the movie in standard definition format while watching it and B
: It had more content. There are new interviews with Foster, Glen, Hopkins
and screenwriter Ted Tally
used here but it’s not enough. And once again, where the hell is Jonathan Demme
While this version of “Silence of the Lambs”
isn’t a must-buy, it sure is nice to have the highest quality version of the film itself, especially with the kick-ass new sound mastering. I doubt we’ll see a re-release of the Criterion
version on Blu-Ray so if you want the best copy out there, this is probably as good as we’re going to get until they bring out that Kryptonian crystal storage technology. And even then, I’m gonna get sick real quick of Marlon Brando
introducing everything. I’ll tell you this much, that’s precisely why I won’t be buying any porn on CrystalVision
™. Hard to keep a woody when Brando
keeps cutting in with his commentary.
Click Here to Buy The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray]