Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 13th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Netherlands / West Germany, 1969
Director: Pim de la Parra
Writers: Pim de la Parra, Martin Scorsese, Wim Verstappen
Cast: Alexandra Stewart, Dieter Geissler, Tom van Beek, Donald Jones, Elisabeth Versluys, Marijke Boonstra, Vibeke Løkkeberg, Michael Krebs, Hasmig Terveen, Fons Rademakers, Victoria Naelin, Adrian Brine, Sara Heyblom, Ingeborg Uyt den Boogaard, Margareta Orrje, Rista Schuyt, Fred Hecht
BluRay released: May 30th, 2017
Approximate running time: 91 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
BluRay Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region Free / Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $34.95
They say that “imitation is the best form of flattery”. And when it comes to discussing the thriller genre, there is no denying Alfred Hitchcock’s influence on said genre. With some of the more notable homages to Alfred Hitchcock being, The Bride Wore Black, Sisters, Obsession and Body Double.
Not to be overlooked is Obsessions, an Alfred Hitchcock homage that until now has languished in obscurity. And content wise, this is a film that is ripe with all of Alfred Hitchcock’s cinematic obsessions.
At the center of this diabolical tale is a protagonist whose inquisitive mind leads to him being entangled in a very dangerous scenario. And what starts off as a casual act of voyeurism, quickly becomes a compulsive act that consumes him.
The narrative is well constructed and pacing is never an issue as key moments are given an ample amount of time to sink in. Another strength of the narrative is how it serves up just the right amount of information. Which makes this film’s shocking ending all the more potent!
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where this film does not deliver. With one of this film’s greatest strengths being Bernard Herrmann’s sinister score that perfectly sets and maintains the mood.
Obsessions comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. For this release a brand-new HD transfer has been created from original 35mm film. There source used is in very good shape. There are no issues with compression, colors and flesh tones look accurate and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and the score sounds robust throughout. It should be noted that there are some very mild instances of background noise.
Extras for this release include, a photo / image gallery with music from the film playing in the background, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 55 seconds, in German with English subtitles), introductions with actor / producer Dieter Geissler (36 seconds, in German with English subtitles) and co-screenwriter / director Pim de la Parra (3 minutes 33 seconds, in English), script notes by Martin Scorsese, an excerpt about Scorpio Films from the documentary Parradox (4 minutes 2 seconds, in Dutch and German with English subtitles), a text based interview with Martin Scorsese who discusses Obsessions, an interview with Dieter Geissler (22 minutes 46 seconds, in German with English subtitles) and an interview with Pim de la Parra (20 minutes 27 seconds, in English).
Topics discussed in the interview with Dieter Geissler include, how he got into filmmaking as an actor, 48 Hours to Acapulco and how this film led to him being cast for the lead role in Obsessions, the plot, why the film was shot in English, how the film was shot on location in Amsterdam, Pim de la Parra, Alfred Hitchcock’s influence, the score / Bernard Herrmann, Martin Scorsese and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Pim de la Parra include, the origins of Obsessions, how the film was shot in five weeks, Martin Scorsese and how they met, the score / Bernard Herrmann, Alexandra Stewart, Dieter Geissler, Roger Corman’s interest in the film and other production related topics.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Obsessions gets an excellent release from Cult Epics, highly recommended.