The Vis­i­tor

Ital­ian in­san­ity

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

1979 | 15 | 109 min­utes | £ 19.99 ( dual- for­mat Blu- ray/ DVD) Distrib­u­tor: Ar­row Video Di­rec­tor: Gi­ulio Par­a­disi Cast: Joanne Nail, Paige Con­ner, John Hus­ton, Lance Hen­rik­sen, Shel­ley Win­ters, Mel Fer­rer, Glenn Ford

“I hope you

all have seat­belts…” Lance Hen­rik­sen’s ad­vice on view­ing The Vis­i­tor doesn’t go far enough. A hel­met and el­bow pads would help too, in case you need to es­cape by com­man­dorolling into the road.

This bonkers Ital­ian ef­fort was con­ceived as an Ex­or­cist cash- in, but that re­mit seems to have ex­panded to cover The Omen, The Fury and Close En­coun­ters. Eight- year- old Katy is the prog­eny of Sateen, an evil alien mu­tant who’s passed on psy­chic pow­ers. We learn this not via in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but cos it’s info- dumped to a room­ful of bald kids. By Je­sus Christ. Who’s blond. John Hus­ton is the tit­u­lar Vis­i­tor, here to stop more Sateen sprogs be­ing spawned. He’s just one of a host of well- known Amer­i­can ac­tors you’ll feel aw­fully em­bar­rassed for.

Stud­ded with mem­o­rable mo­ments of mad­ness – the open­ing psy­che­delic vi­sion- scape; an ice rink se­quence where Katy hurls fel­low skaters through win­dows; an at­tack by swarms of birds – The Vis­i­tor looks like a master­piece when com­pressed into a trailer, but the lack of a co­her­ent nar­ra­tive means that as a full- length fea­ture it’s a dog’s din­ner. En­ter­tain­ingly aw­ful.

A trailer and three in­ter­views ( 23 min­utes), two of which are solid gold: Lance Hen­rik­sen is amus­ingly be­mused, while the writer de­liv­ers hi­lar­i­ous rev­e­la­tions about a di­rec­tor who, if not reined in, would’ve made a film twice as bark­ing. Ian Berriman

The king of wigs was in great de­mand.

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