Brian De Palma's classic film version of Stephen King's first novel finally recieves a proper release from MGM Home Video, and I have to say this is one stunning package. From it's pristine transfer to an abundance of great extras, Carrie is one that belongs on your shelf.
Carrie White (Spacek) is an oddball high school introvert whose a constant target for cruel jokes and abuse at the hands of the other girls, boys, and even some of the faculty members. As if her school day wasn't bad enough, Carrie has to contend with her psychotic mother ( a brilliant Piper Laurie) who attributes everything wrong OR right in Carrie's life to the wages of sin. Carrie, however, harbors a secret, and that is her recently developed gift of telekinesis. She handles the gift with innocence, until a pair of well meaning students plan to give Carrie a memorable senior prom is thwarted by the school's queen bitch Chris (Allen) and her dimwitted boyfriend Billy (Travolta), pushing Carrie over the edge, taking everyone with her.
King's horrific coming of age story makes the leap to screen in a way that none of his novels have since. De Palma and screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen faithfully and lovingly recreate the world of Carrie White, from it's most poignent moments (her first dance with Tommy (Katt), the most popular boy in school) to it's most terrifying (Carrie's final confrontation with her mother). Of course, De Palma adds much of his own vision to King's, and when these two minds in their prime team up the results are electrifying! De Palma's split screen finale remains one of the most effective and satifying moments in horror history, and holds up as well today as it did over 25 years ago.
Spacek and Laurie both deliver Oscar calibur performances ( both were nominated!) and the terrific supporting cast reads like a who's who in the world of horror! Carrie is more than the finest adaptation of a Stephen King book, it is, quite simply, one of the finest horror films ever to grace the screen. From the stand-out performances and bravura direction to a story that runs the gamut from touching to terrifyin, Carrie is a film that both genre fans and non-genre fans can appreciate as a motion picture classic.
MGM Home Video originally released Carrie as a bare-bones edition in 1998, but this special edition more than makes up for that oversight with some of the best extras to compliment any disc! First up we get the film itself, which boasts a completely remastered image and audio track (Dolby Digital 5.1). Carrie has never looked or sounded so good! The image is crisp, clean, and virtually devoid of artifacting, while the new sound mix is amazing, especially during Carrie's "meltdown" in the gym. Each and every thump, grind, and crash will have the sofa rumbling across the floor!
If the stunning transfer isn't enough to convince you to knock down elderly folk en route to the local DVD sellers, then perhaps these extras will put a spring in your step!
We get a 45 minute original documentary entitled "Acting Carrie" in which all of the films principal actors recall their experiences while making the film. It's a very satisfying
feature and is loaded with behind the scenes photos, clips, and rare footage. In addition to "Acting Carrie" we get ANOTHER 45 minute documentary entitled "Visualizing Carrie", in which De Palma and crew take us from the film's inception to pre-production and rightinto the trenches of making the movie. Both of these documentaries together are a feature length release unto themselves, and will have fans, as well as aspiring filmmakers, thanking MGM in their nightly prayers, but they aren't stopping there. Nope, there's also a short
Betty Buckley (Miss Collins) hosted feature about Carrie: The Musical, that is pretty funny stuff, but unfortunately includes no footage from the actual play as the rights were not secured. There is also a text-only feature about Stephen King's inception of the novel that is almost as long as a novel itself, and quite interesting if you don't mind reading your television set!! Add to all of this Carrie's original theatrical trailer and you get the TRUE definition of Special Edition.
While there is no commentary on the disc, one should note that the two features that accompany this volume provide much more insight than any single commentary could, and one can assume that De Palma had probably said all he had to say over the span of both documentaries!
Carrie: The Special Edition is a must own DVD for any sentient horror fan, and given the films ridiculously low price to content ratio, I suggest you shut off your computer NOW and run and grab this film immediately!!