Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 31st, 2015
BluRay released: February 24th, 2015
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: 7.1 DTS-HD English; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX English; DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: What starts off as a routine case for a New York detective quickly takes an abrupt turn when it becomes apparent that key to solving these unusual murders is linked to an event from his past.
Got Told Me To was written and directed by Larry Cohen who’s other notable film’s as a director include Bone, Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem, Q and The Stuff. Besides directing Larry Cohen has also written many well known screenplays most notably, the Manic Cop Films, Phone Booth and creating The Invaders T.V. series. Key collaborators on The Stuff include cinematographer Paul Glickman (The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, The Opening of Misty Beethoven) and composer Anthony Guefen (Alucarda).
There are a lot of moving parts in this film and just when you think that things have finally settled, along comes another unexpected turn that puts a new spin on everything that had preceded it. Also there are moments where this film feels like a police procedural, only to momentarily venture off into the realm of science fiction. Other elements that Larry Cohen throws into this melting pot of genres and themes include, aliens, infidelity, paranoia and religion.
Though this film is filled with several moments that require a leap of faith. It is ultimately its narratives lack of cohesion which is bound to confuse the majority of first time viewers. Needless to say that this is a film requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate its nuances. And when it comes to exploitation cinema far too often it is the more shocking moments are the ones that are bound to garner the most attention. Fortunately in regards to this film it is actually its more dramatic moments that have the most potency.
Performance wise, the entire cast are all great in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance coming from Tony Lo Bianco (The Honeymoon Killers, The French Connection) in the role of this film’s protagonist, a detective named Peter J. Nicholas. Another performance of note is Richard Lynch (Invasion USA) in the role of Bernard Phillips, a ‘Christ’ like figure with a vagina on his torso.
Got Told Me To comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. For this new release Blue Underground have created a brand new 4k transfer from the film’s original negative and the end result looks spectacular. Details look sharp and during darker moments there is big improvement in regards to clarity when compared to previous releases. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with three audio options, a 7.1 DTS-HD mix in English, a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX mix in English and a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. All three audio mixes sound great, with the 7.1 and 5.1 remix tracks offering a slighter fuller soundscape. Out of these three audio mixes the film’s original mono mix is the way to go since this is a dialog driven film and it still does a remarkable job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Also included with this release are three subtitle options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
Extras for this release include, a spotter & still gallery, T.V. spots (3 minutes 42 seconds – 1080 Progressive), T.V. spots under the title Demon (2 minutes 9 seconds – 1080 Progressive), two trailers; one with the God Told Me To title card (1 minute 2 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and the other trailer with the Demon title card (1 minute 5 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), two Q & A’s with screenwriter / director Larry Cohen – the first one was filmed in 2002 a New York’s Lincoln Center (8 minutes 6 seconds) and the second one was filmed more recently at the Beverly Cinema (21 minutes 14 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), two interviews; the first one with actor Tony Lo Bianco (11 minutes 27 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and the second interview with special effects artist Steve Neill (9 minutes 9 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and an audio commentary track with Larry Cohen and filmmaker William Lustig.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tony Lo Bianco include, his first collaboration with Larry Cohen was a play, how he approaches the characters he portrays, God Told Me To and how they were able to shoot some key sequences, the cast and his thoughts on film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Steve Neill include, his special effects influences, how he got into the special effects industry, working with Larry Cohen and how he was able to create the effects which ended up in God Told Me To and he also discusses other Cohen films that he worked on.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary track include, the origins of the stock footage used for the opening credits and in a few scenes later in the film, how Bernard Herrmann passed away before he was able to score the film, Frank Cordell‘s score for God Told Me To, shooting guerrilla style and how he was able to get so many extras to work for free, the cast, stunt work, how Robert Forster was originally cast in the role that eventually went to Tony Lo Bianco, how he was able to shoot the parade sequence, how he secured the financing that he needed to complete this film, the look of the film and his thoughts on the final product.
Content wise the two Q & A’s cover a lot of the topics that are also covered on the audio commentary track. Overall Got Told Me To gets an exceptional release from Blue Underground, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Blue Underground on DVD.