One of the nicest things about the U.S. division of RaroVideo is that they aren’t just recycling their European work for an American audience. Their U.S. discs offer upgrades in A/V quality when compared to their European cousins and frequently add new extras to boot. The latest example is their American disc of Plot Of Fear, a release that not only brings this audience to new viewers but also offers several improvements.
Plot Of Fear has a brand-new transfer that not only offers an upgrade in definition but also adds anamorphic enhancement, something the European release lacked (thanks to Mondo Digital for this info). The results have a nice vintage look, appropriate to the film’s glossy style and rich color palette, while also making sure it looks as crisp as possible. Both Italian and English mono soundtracks are provided, with English subtitles for the Italian track. The Italian track was used for the purposes of this review and while there was a certain amount of age-related crackling in spots, it sounded good overall.
This release also adds a variety of bonus materials not present on the older disc. The core of these new special features is a trio of interviews. For starters, there is an interview with co-writer Enrico Oldoini. He talks in great detail about how co-writer Bernardino Zapponi and director Paolo Cavara were helpful to his career and his habit of blending thriller and comedic elements in his work. There is also an interview with actor Michele Placido about his work on the film. He speaks freely, revealing interesting tidbits about how he looked down on genre fare before doing this film and how he modeled his performance on Cavara himself!
That said, the most interesting of the interviews is actually an interview with Pietro Cavara, the son of the director. He offers a highly detailed analysis of the film in the context of his father’s career, including a discussion of how its themes represented the senior Cavara’s concerns and how his earlier work in the mondo genre influenced this film. The results are much more intellectual than this type of appreciation usually is and anyone intrigued by the film should check it out.
The package is rounded by a bonus PDF available via a DVD-Rom drive. It offers an appreciation of the film by Fangoria editor Chris Alexander in which he makes a case for the film as a fascinating combination of Italy’s giallo and poliziotteschi traditions. It’s a solid read for the film’s fans and a nice way to cap the extras.
In short, RaroVideo’s U.S. edition of Plot Of Fear offers a nice upgrade in a/v quality as well as some worthwhile extras. Thus, it is definitely a worthwhile pick for the Euro-cult crowd, particularly those who Italian film fare.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of Plot Of Fear, click here.