Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 9th, 2017
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
BluRay released: August 29th, 2017
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
Snapshot 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 Snapshot 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 include, The Day After Halloween and One More Minute.
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 films 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, Snapshot 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.
Snapshot comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer was scanned and restored in 2k from the film’s 35mm original camera negative. It should be noted that the version transferred here is the international version of the film, since there no longer exist film elements for Australian theatrical release version of the film. Colors look nicely saturated, black levels remain strong throughout, details look crisp and there are no issues with DNR or compression. And when compared to previous home video releases, this new transfer is superior in every way.
This release gets one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented, dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, behind-the-scenes still gallery, two T.V. spots (58 seconds), an interview with producer Tony Ginnane titled Producing Snapshot (27 minutes 56 seconds), extended interviews from the Not Quite Hollywood documentary (36 minutes 30 seconds), the alternate feature length Australian cut of Snapshot (100 minutes 25 seconds, 1.78:1 aspect ratio) and an audio commentary with director Simon Wincer, Tony Ginnane, actress Sigrid Thornton and cinematographer Vincent Monton.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tony Ginnane include, the origins of the film, the Australian film industry in the 1970’s, screenwriter Everett De Roche, director Simon Wincer, production related topics, background information about how the film got its alternate title The Day After Halloween, the film’s distribution history and his thoughts about the film.
The extended Not Quite Hollywood interviews include comments from Sigrid Thornton, Tony Ginnane, actress Lynda Stoner, Simon Wincer, screenwriter Everett De Roche and cinematographer Vincent Monton. Topics discuss include, how they got involved with the film, their thoughts about the film, how the film evolved out of another film that ended up not getting made and that was to have Lynda Stoner in the lead role, shooting nudity, stunts and Grant Page, the screenplay, the visuals and other production related topics.
As mentioned before, film elements no longer exist for Australian theatrical release version of the film and a video source was used for the alternate feature length Australian cut of Snapshot.
The audio commentary makes an informative track that makes a solid companion piece to other extras included as part of this release.
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 Snapshot gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.