Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 11th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 1979
Director: Simon Wincer
Writers: Chris de Roche, Everett De Roche
Cast: Chantal Contouri, Robert Bruning, Sigrid Thornton, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Denise Drysdale, Vincent Gil
DVD released: July 24th, 2012
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A beautician gets her big break, when one of her clients gets her work as a model. Unfortunately with fame comes an unwanted admiring, who watches her every move and terrorizes her.
The Day After Halloween was Simon Wincer, who’s diverse filmography includes Dark Forces, D.A.R.Y.L., Quigley Down Under and Free Willy. Other key collaborators on The Day After Halloween include screenwriter Everett De Roche (Patrick, Long Weekend), cinematographer Vincent Monton (Newsfront, Thirst) and composer Brian May (Mad Max, Nightmares). Other titles besides that this film is also known under besides, The Day After Halloween include, One More Minute and Snapshot.
Don’t let this film’s alternate title ‘The Day After Halloween’ mislead you. Obviously the film has no connection to the Halloween film series. Also it is not just when it comes to the title in which this film differs from the aforementioned Halloween films series. Those film’s were deeply rooted within the horror film genre, while this film can be firmly placed within the psychological thriller genre (well at least the film’s final act). The first two acts often come off as a soap opera that tries its darndest to mix things up. With a few well placed red herrings.
After the film’s circler opening which foreshadows this film’s outcome. The narrative then shifts backwards to when the trouble for this film’s protagonist all started to happen. Unfortunately outside of some obligatory T & A, the first act of the film often gets bogged down trying to establish who everyone is. And some character development is away welcome, there is not much else that occurs during this lethargic opening act. Thankfully things pick up considerably by this film’s middle act and by the time the final act has rolled around things finally come into focus.
Performance wise things fare well as there are really no performance that is lacking. This film is anchored by the performance from its leading lady Sigrid Thornton (The Man from Snowy River) in the role of Angela a beautician, who overnight becomes an in demand model. Another performance of note is Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max) in the role Linsey, an eccentric photographer that is obsessed with photographing death. Ultimately despite its lack of substance and logic, The Day After Halloween somehow ends up being an enjoyable romp that fans of the type of thrillers that Brian De Palma is most known for should thoroughly enjoy.
Scorpion Releasing present The Day After Halloween (under the title card ‘Snapshot’) in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s intended 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio for the first time ever on home video. Quality wise this is the best this film has ever looked on home video.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. There are no issues with background noise, everything sounds balanced and dialog always comes through clearly.
Extras for this release include an alternate title card for the film under the title ‘The Day After Halloween’ (5 minutes 37 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and the international version of the film (100 minutes 23 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, 1:78:1 aspect ratio) that also comes with an optional audio commentary track with producer Anthony I. Ginnane and moderator Katarina Leigh Waters. The quality of the audio / video presentation of this alternate cut of the film is not as strong as the version of this film that has been included with this release. Besides looking to soft and lacking detail. This version is a compromised aspect ratio. The audio commentary does a very good covering the various areas of this production, most notably the script, casting and the film’s ending.
Also there are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Play Movie’ or ‘Play Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’. This second option include comments before and after the main feature from Katarina Leigh Waters, who’s comments are done in a more analytical way as she gives a overall of who all the main players in this production are and she closes with her thoughts on the main feature. Overall Scorpion Releasing gives The Day After Halloween its best home video release to date.