What’s Out on Blu-ray 3/21/2017: Multiple Maniacs, Firestarter

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, Horror, MoviesLeave a Comment



This is the adaptation of the early Stephen King novel of the same name. A little girl and her father are hunted by a government agency that experimented on them. The father has the ability for telepathic manipulation while the little girl ‘Charlie’ (Drew Barrymore) has immense pyrokinetic abilities. The film story is okay, but it is a bit of a slog to sit through more than once. Even performances by Barrymore, Martin Sheen, and George C. Scott and an inspired Tangerine Dream soundtrack can’t really lift the film up.

Firestarter gets a new 2K transfer here that is clear and crisp. Of particular interest among the special features is all the new content with Tangerine Dream’s Johannes Schmoelling. The Blu-ray reverse cover includes the original video art of Drew against the background of flames.

Special Features include:

  • NEW Audio Commentary with director Mark Lester
  • NEW Playing with Fire: The Making of FIRESTARTER – featuring interviews with director Mark Lester, actors Freddie Jones, Drew Snyder, stuntman/actor Dick Warlock and Johannes Schmoelling of Tangerine Dream (52 minutes)
  • NEW Tangerine Dream: Movie Music Memories – an interview with Johannes Schmoelling (17 minutes)
  • NEW Live Performance of “Charlie’s Theme” by Johannes Schmoelling of Tangerine Dream
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Radio Spot
  • Still Gallery



Multiple Maniacs

It doesn’t matter what it’s about. This is John Waters, Divine, and the whole Dreamland in their last Black and White Wonder before they launched into the infamous Pink Flamingos years. No film lover should be without a copy of this masterpiece that was so long out of reach. Nowhere else will you get the opportunity to see Divine raped by a lobster (also there’s plenty of drugs, sex, murder, perversion, and blasphemous themes) so order today!

It’s been a hard, decades-long wait to get a proper edition of this film on disc and this restoration has been overseen by Waters himself. It has honestly never looked better and I’ve seen in projected on 35 on the big screen. It’s worth noting that given its extreme low budget nature, the film image is inherently imperfect; there is a lot of under/over exposed and fuzzy shots that are part of its natural charm and not a disc defect. The rest of the disc is uncharacteristically light on features for a Criterion release, though it does have the all-important new Waters commentary.

Special Features include:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Waters, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New audio commentary featuring Waters
  • New interviews with cast and crew members Pat Moran, Vincent Peranio, Mink Stole, Susan Lowe, and George Figgs
  • New video essay by scholar Gary Needham
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Linda Yablonsky
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Adam RuhlWhat’s Out on Blu-ray 3/21/2017: Multiple Maniacs, Firestarter