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Fantasist, The (Katarina’s Nightmare Theater) 
Written by: on January 11th, 2013

Theatrical Release Date:
UK, 1986
Director: Robin Hardy
Writer: Robin Hardy
Cast: Moira Sinise, Christopher Cazenove, Timothy Bottoms, John Kavanagh

DVD released: November 19th, 2012
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $16.95

Synopsis: Shortly after her arrival in Dublin, a woman finds herself the target of a psychopath, who lures his victims by calling them on the on phone.

The Fantasist was written and directed by Robin Hardy, who is best known for directing the cult classic The Wicker Man.

After his first feature film Robin Hardy found himself in a place that very filmmakers before or since his arrival with The Wicker Man has traversed. It not that often that a filmmaker peaks with their first film and trying to follow up The Wicker Man, must have seemed like an insurmountable task.

BY the time he got around to making his second film The Fantasist, it had been thirteen years since he had directed The Wicker Man. And it would be another twenty four years until he would direct his third feature film, The Wicker Tree.

Content wise, what bills itself as a murder mystery. Ends up being a convoluted melodrama that is short of tension and takes way too long to get to the meat of the story. And while there are a few interesting ideas, most notably the killers modus operandi. Unfortunately by then it is too little, too late by as the train has already left the station.

The general tenor of this film is far too often bogged down with moments that are sluggish and worst of all uneventful. And though the film make an attempt to be salacious by introducing some well placed nudity into the mix. The end result is far from anything erotic.

Performance wise the cast are often lackluster as the story from which they are in habituating. With this film’s most problematic performance coming from its leading lady Moira Sinise in the role of Patricia Teeling, the woman that the psychopath becomes fixated on. Ultimately The Fantasist is a lifeless film that falls victim to the dreaded sophomore slump.

The DVD:

Scorpion Releasing presents The Fantasist in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details generally look sharp and there are no problems with compression.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout.

Extras for this release include a trailer for Death Ship, Mortuary, Nothing but the Night, The Devil Within Her, Double Exposure, The Hearse, Terror, The Survivor and Satan’s Slave.

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 The Fantasist gets a strong audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.

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