Special edi­tions aren’t just for the movies you adore. A lot of times a spe­cial edi­tion can shed light on the mys­ter­ies behind a trou­bled pro­duc­tion, thus adding val­ue to a film that might not oth­er­wise be inter­est­ing as a stand-alone home video release. Scream Factory’s new edi­tion of Supernova shows how a video com­pa­ny can pull this off.

The trans­fer offers a decent pre­sen­ta­tion of this CGI-heavy film, with a nice vivid­ness to the pri­ma­ry col­ors that dom­i­nate the light­ing. Some are say­ing an old­er hi-def mas­ter was used for this pre­sen­ta­tion: Schlockmania hasn’t seen defin­i­tive con­fir­ma­tion for that but the detail isn’t as crisp as you expect from new­er trans­fers. 5.1 and 2.0 loss­less stereo tracks Supernov-bluare pro­vid­ed for audio options: the 5.1 track was used for this review and offers a suit­ably bom­bas­tic pre­sen­ta­tion for this set­piece-heavy film.

The extras provide some inter­est­ing insights into the dif­fer­ent choic­es made in assem­bling the final film. There are almost fif­teen min­utes worth of delet­ed sce­nes: the­se bits fea­ture a lot of super­im­posed titles, nar­ra­tion and the occa­sion­al flash­back. Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est are extra sce­nes from a solo vis­it to a desert­ed ship that James Spader makes in the sec­ond half of the film because they incor­po­rate anoth­er char­ac­ter with unique make­up effects.

On a sim­i­lar tip, the film’s orig­i­nal end­ing is also includ­ed. This alter­nate take offers more visu­al effects, a dif­fer­ent fate for the vil­lain and an unex­pect­ed­ly somber coda that was aban­doned for the released ver­sion. Another inter­est­ing inclu­sion is the film’s the­atri­cal trail­er, which goes out of its way to mis­rep­re­sent this macho, often seri­ous film as a hap­py-go-lucky sci-fi action romp, com­plete with kitschy pop songs accen­tu­at­ing the action.  Scream Supernov-04Factory includes some bonus trail­ers in a sci-fi vein: Lifeforce, The Incredible Melting Man and Invaders From Mars.

However, the key extra here is a new mak­ing-of piece that runs 25 min­utes and includes inter­views with pro­duc­er Daniel Chuba, edi­tor Jack Sholder and stars Robert Forster and Lou Diamond Phillips. The four offer a detailed post-mortem of how and why the film end­ed up the way it did: you’ll hear how it was being rewrit­ten dai­ly while being shot, how Walter Hill left the project after com­plet­ing the shoot and how Francis Ford Coppola end­ed up tak­ing a crack at the film.

Supernov-05The fea­turet­te also includes an inter­est­ing tale of how some visu­al effects fea­tur­ing two actors were repur­posed to cre­ate a new sex scene for two dif­fer­ent actors (!). Sholder in par­tic­u­lar is uncom­pro­mis­ing­ly frank in offer­ing his opin­ions on not only where the edit­ing went wrong but what ele­ments in the film don’t work. All in all, an eye-open­ing piece that sheds light on how stu­dio pol­i­tics can go awry.

All in all, this spe­cial edi­tion of Supernova will appeal to the film’s fans and any­one inter­est­ed in Hollywood skull­dug­gery through how it shows the ugly side of main­stream film pro­duc­tion.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Supernova, click here.