In 2014, Scream Factory put out an excellent 2-disc set (blu and DVD) for the Brian DePalma cult favorite, Phantom Of The Paradise. This year, they’ve returned to the DePalma filmography to tackle one of his more overlooked films, Raising Cain. The results are no mere catalog reissue. Instead, Scream Factory has produced a double blu-ray set that not only includes the original film and several new extras but also an entire re-edit of the film that has achieved acclaim in recent years from fans and DePalma himself.
Each cut of the film gets its own disc in the set. Both versions use the same source material and have a nice, sleek look. Colors looks spot-on and the detail has a nice, appropriate celluloid texture befitting its early ’90s vintage. Lossless 5.1 and 2.0 stereo mixes are included for each film: both are worthwhile, skillfully-mixed options for the listener.
Extras are included on both discs, with the largest amount on the first disc. Here’s what you can expect…
John Lithgow interview (30:00): a fun and comprehensive chat with the film’s star, who talks about how his relationship with DePalma extends back to college and gives an interesting portrait of DePalma’s directorial style and work habits. You’ll learn about how they developed a lot of the Cain quirks over daily breakfasts during pre-production and hear Lithgow’s sophisticated analysis of the DePalma filmmaking style.
Steven Bauer interview (24:00): an intriguingly quirky sitdown with Bauer, who reveals himself to be more artsy and intellectual than his movie star looks in the film would suggest. He talks about how making the film was a vacation from personal life stresses, offers sincere and humble appreciations of DePalma and Lithgow and reveals the hilariously simple direction he was given for his character.
Paul Hirsch interview (10:49): this veteran film editor has a history with DePalma and that informs this brief but informative piece. He gets into how he came into the process late here and sheds some light on DePalma’s sense of humor in the editing room. He also has an interesting take on the Hitchcock comparisons that DePalma is associated with.
Gregg Henry interview (15:47): one of DePalma’s repertory players gets a fun chat here. He reveals how he got his start with DePalma and then digs into his experiences on Raising Cain, including what it was like to shoot the elaborate “walk and talk” scene and how he played the alternate Cain personas in rehearsals to help Lithgow.
Tom Bower interview (8:00): a quick but charming chat with this veteran character actor, who shares his appreciation of DePalma’s technique as well as praise for castmate Frances Sternhagen and the thrill of being mentioned in a Pauline Kael review.
Mel Harris interview (6:43): the former Thirtysomething star discusses her brief role in the film, along with her thoughts on DePalma and her castmates plus her favorite scene in the film.
Additional Extras: the punchy theatrical trailer and a quick image gallery
Changing Cain (2:35): A quick chat with filmmaker Peet Gelderblom in which he explains how and why he did his fanedit of Raising Cain and touches on its reception. Though not presented as such, this is worth watching as an intro to his fanedit.
Raising Cain Recut (13:02): a video essay by Gelderblom that goes deeper into the motivations and methodology behind his recut. It starts with an appreciation of the film before getting into an analysis of the issues with the released version and how they inspired the restructuring used in the fanedit.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of Raising Cain, click here.