Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Incredible Hi-Def Melting Man

Just spent a pleasant Sunday morning in the company of The Incredible Melting Man, a film I've poured scorn on many times over the years. Nevertheless, the road to Damascus is paved with stunning Arrow HD transfers and the film can at least be enjoyed for Rick Baker's spectacular gloopy make-up effects, beautifully presented here in all their viscera dripping glory. The illuminating supplements on the Arrow disc go some way to explain the film's more obvious flaws like the staccato pacing, and some bizarre editorial choices - director William Sachs reveals that Melting Man's original editor botched the first cut and a second editor was drafted in to salvage what he could (the story is corroborated by Rick Baker). One thing I hoped the extras would shed some light on was the unlikely appearance of Jonathan Demme, but tuning into Sachs' commentary during Demme's fleeting cameo doesn't reveal any nuggets of trivia - the future Silence of the Lambs director is simply described as a friend of the film's producer Sam Gelfman and nothing more. In addition Arrow have include the Super8 version of the film. I've long read about these digest versions (a veritable secret history in the annals of home cinema), and have seen the carton packaging on collector sites, but very nice to finally experience one. And it looks surprisingly good too.

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