Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 1st, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1972
Director: Mike Hodges
Writer: Mike Hodges
Cast: Michael Caine, Mickey Rooney, Lionel Stander, Lizabeth Scott, Nadia Cassini, Dennis Price, Al Lettieri, Leopoldo Trieste, Luciano Pigozzi, Janet Agren
BluRay Release Date: December 12th, 2017 (USA), December 18th, 2017 (UK)
Approximate Running Time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: PG (USA), 12 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Encoding: Region A,B
Retail Price: $34.95 (USA), £19.99 (UK)
Pulp was written and directed by Mike Hodges, whose other notable films include, Get Carter, Flash Gordon and A Prayer for the Dying. Key collaborators on Pulp include, cinematographer Ousama Rawi (Zulu Dawn, The Human Factor), producer Michael Klinger (Black Torment, Repulsion) and composer George Martin, who is most known as The Beatles producer.
Though this film has many elements that one would associate with the Neo-noir film sub-genre. This film has a tongue and cheek vibe, that is in direct contrast with the type of vibe that has become synonymous Neo-noir film sub-genre.
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where this film does not deliver and then some. The premise is well executed and there is an abundance of absurd moments that ensure that there is never a dull moment.
Another strength of this film is its colorful characters. And performance wise, the cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s greatest asset being Michael Caine’s (The Italian Job, Dressed to Kill) pitch perfect performance in the role of a pulp novelist named Mickey King. Other performances on note include, Mickey Rooney (Treasure Train, The Intruder) in the role of a former actor with ties to organized crime, Lionel Stander (Cul-de-sac, Milano Calibro 9) in the role of Preston Gilbert’s right hand man and Nadia Cassini (The Snake God, Star Crash) in the role of Preston Gilbert’s companion.
Not to be overlooked, is Mike Hodges direction and nowhere is more evident, then how the film takes full advantage of its scenic. Standout moments include, the film’s opening setup which perfectly sets the foundation for what is about to unfold, the scene where Mickey King meets Preston Gilbert and the film’s very satisfying finale that perfectly sums that events that have just unfolded.
Pulp comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer is a brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, supervised and approved by director of photography Ousama Rawi, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release. Colors look accurate, black levels fare well and details look sharp. And when compared to this film’s previous home video releases, this transfer is superior in every way.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 3 seconds), an interview with Tony Klinger, son of producer Michael Klinger (6 minutes 7 seconds), an interview with assistant director John Glen (4 minutes 58 seconds), an interview with cinematographer Ousama Rawi (9 minutes 14 seconds) and an interview with screenwriter / director Mike Hodges (17 minutes 35 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Tony Klinger include, background information about Pulp, his thoughts about the film and background information about his father producer Michael Klinger.
Topics discussed in the interview with John Glen include, Michael Klinger, editing Pulp and composer George Martin / the score.
Topics discussed in the interview with Ousama Rawi include how he had previously worked on commercials before Pulp, how Pulp was his first film as a cinematographer, the visuals / the look of the film and his favorites scenes.
Topics discussed in the interview with Mike Hodges include, the origins of the film, the cast, his thoughts about the film and background information about the trailer that he directed for Pulp.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a thirty-two-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Death Rattle in Paperback written by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, The Letter That J.G. Ballard Wrote to me About my Thriller Pulp written by Mike Hodges and information about the restoration / transfer.
Overall Pulp gets a solid release from Arrow Video.
Note: This film was released by Arrow Video on DVD.