Carrie - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition (Blu-Ray) : Release Year - 1976

Overall Rating : 8/10

Directed By : Brian De Palma

Sissy Spacek (Badlands)
Piper Laurie (Hesher)
Nancy Allen (Robocop)
Amy Irving (The Fury)

Supplied By : Shout! Factory/Scream! Factory

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : November. 18, 2016


Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, this "absolutely spellbinding horror movie" (Roger Ebert) has become a pervasive, pop-culture touchstone for anyone who's ever wanted to get even. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie deliver Oscarominated* performances and John Travolta and Amy Irving are terrific in this ultimate revenge fantasy that has become one of the all-time great horror classics, and is now, finally, offered as a definitive, two-disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray! At the center of the terror is Carrie (Spacek), a high school loner with no confidence, no friends... and no idea about the extent of her secret powers of telekinesis. But when her psychotic mother and sadistic classmates finally go too far, the once-shy teen becomes an unrestrained, vengeance-seeking powerhouse who, with the help of her "special gift," causes all hell to break loose in a famed cinematic frenzy of blood, fire and brimstone!
When it comes to the film adaptation of the Stephen King story Carrie everyone knows it. Carrie White is an outcast, who is well guarded, and well sheltered by her religious nut mother, whom believes everything is a sin. So when she gets her period for the first time, while showering in the girls locker room, she is genuinely oblivious to the occurrence. It is this first time period event, that sets the wheels in motion for the rest of the story. The other girls at school, bully and make fun of Carrie. For this, the girls get a week of detention with Miss Collins, a far less harsh punishment than shw wanted for the group, for she wanted to revoke their tickets to prom. Though the majority agree to endure the detention, one dares to defy Miss Collins and for that, she does get her tickets to prom taken away. Following this, Chris Hargensen, the girl gutsy enough to do so, plans revenge. Yes, the plan involving pig's blood. Elsewhere, one of the others, Sue Snell looks to do good, as she convinces her Boyfriend Tommy Ross to ask Carrie to the prom. It takes some convincing, and some disobeying on Carrie's part to do so, but soon Carrie agrees. Dressed in a pink gown, Carrie White is in for the night of her life. Right? At the beginning, all seems well. She has even been voted in as prom Queen to Tommy's King. Unfortunately, little did she know that it was all apart of the elaborate plan by Chris, as an act of revenge. In the midst of the glory of being crowned Queen of the prom, Chris pulls the rope, that sends a bucket of fresh pig's blood, which showers Carrie, the crowned victor's head. It's an act of teenage cruelty, that serves as a grave mistake, as soon, Carrie's telekinetic powers are put to use, as Carrie lashes out at, not only the pranksters, but also the many who had caused her torment. And as a direct result, many perish, and the school set a fiery blaze.

As I said, when it comes the story, and in this case, the film, everyone knows CARRIE. It has been reinterpreted, and remade, and has even been adapted into a musical. The fact is that, as far as films go, Brian De Palma's original film can be followed, but it will never quite be duplicated. This, the 1976 original, had a true indie spirit to it, both in storytelling, and overall style. As you all know, CARRIE was redone recently in 2013, with a bigger budget, and a more modern approach. Sure it looked great, but unfortunately it didn't own any of the inspiration that the original had. In fact, the whole thing was sort of "wooden". and lifeless. To know this, all it takes is a side by side comparison of the two. While one of them is truly honest and special, the other lacking originality, and feeling like nothing more than a quick cash grab. The difference between the 2 films. although the same in story, is very apparent. Watching this, the original again, it still holds up, and is still as affective, all of these years later. If you still have yet to see this horror classic(!), there should be nothing stopping you. And if you have seen it, and likely seen many times over, then you know what it is that makes it so great.

For the film's 40 anniversary, the folks at SCREAM! FACTORY, have done a fine job, re-releasing the film in a 40th anniversary, collector's edition. For this release, the film have received a new 4K transfer, which has been scanned from the film's original camera negative. Along with this new transfer on disc 1, a second disc gives a nice offering of special features. These include several new interviews with select cast and crew, along with archival featurettes, featuring interviews from previous releases of the film. Also included to round out the disc, are the film's TV and radio spots, galleries, containing behind the scenes photos and lobby cards as well as a Stephen King text gallery.

Below are some details regarding the special features.

"Writing Carrie - An Interview with Screenwriter Lawrence Cohen (29m 7s)
Here, CARRIE's Screenwriter, Lawrence Cohen is interviewed, who says that he first came to New York to be a Film Critic. Writing CARRIE begins when Cohen received a manuscript from Stephen King. It was a manuscript that highlighted many of the story's key points. Both the book, and King's writing itself impressed Cohen, who soon tried to shop the story around, but got no takers. Eventually, FOX took the rights to the book. When producer Paul Monasch wasn't pleased with the writer hired, in a panic, Cohen took the job. However, the script and movie were rejected prior to being picked up by UNITED ARTISTS. Cohen talks about how he took King's short story, and adapted it for a feature length film. He notes the changes between book and movie, as well as working with Brian De Palma. Initially, Lawrence did not believe that he was right for the job, as De Palma up until that point had directed mostly comedy, but it was his film, OBSESSION, that changed Lawrence's mind. After the project was a go, both De Palma and Cohen agreed on additions and other changes such a the death of "Carrie's mother, and the film's ending. Eventually, Cohen talks about initial screenings of the film and reactions. He then talks about how he later adapted the story again as a musical, which would also go on to be somewhat of a success.

"Shooting Carrie - An Interview with Director of Photography Mario Tosi" (15m 22s)
Director of Photography Mario Tosi talks about how he got involved with the project. He says that he was a replacement for someone, as he came on when the production was already underway, He talks about what kind of film CARRIE is, as well as working with Brian De Palma, who he says was a little difficult at times - but he says that he was brilliant. He then discusses the difficult shot that they managed to pull off, which took place at prom, at the moment the tickets were switched. Tosi seems to have enjoyed his time on the film, as he speaks candidly and fondly of both the film's cast, and crew.

"Cutting Carrie - An Interview with Editor Paul Hirsch" (25m 09s)
CARRIE's editor said that he had previously worked with Director Brian De Palma previously on HI MOM. But couldn't get him for another film. However, when Brian De Palma was fired from that film, he hired him for both SISTERS, and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. Hirsch says that he met George Lucas, who was impressed with his work in PHANTOM AT THE PARADISE and would later go on to use him. He also touches on the difficulty he faced when cutting the film together, especially the split screen effect during the chaotic prom scene. He also talks about the prologue scene which was ultimately cut from the film, and how it relates to the ending of the film that we know today. He also answers the question of "does he watch films which he has worked on?" His answer being that he doesn't often, and that he usually waits until years after completing them to do so.

"Casting Carrie - An Interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg" (16m 03s)
CARRIE's casting director Harriet B. Helberg talks about how she came to know Director Brian De Palma, saying that she was first exposed to him, via PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. She then talks about Sissy Spacek, and the fact that she wasn't the only person to be considered for "Carrie White", that she had read with Sondra Locke. The topic then returns to the casting process. Harriet says that Brian De Palma held a casting call at his New York apartment, were Spacek, PJ Soles, and Nancy Allen, were all there. As for Allen,who read for the part of the antagonist, "Chris Hargensen", At first, the production team didn't think that she was quite right, but that they soon gave her another shot at the role and she nailed it(thank God!). She also mentions the casting of John Travolta, saying that he auditioned for the part during his lunch break, during the filming of the TV show, "Welcome Back Kotter". Also discussed, was Sissy Spacek's unique approach in auditioning for the role of "Carrie White). That she put Vaseline in her hair, and purposely neglecting to bathe prior to the screen test. Also discussed are the many remakes/reimaginings of CARRIE. Harriet says that she believes that all of them breathe new life into the idea, and keep life going for the original.

"Acting Carrie" (42m 42s)
This is an archival interview featurette featuring interviews with Director Brian De Palma, cast members; Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt, Nancy Allen, Amy Irving, PJ Soles and Betty Buckley, Priscilla Pointer, and Art Director Jack Fisk.

"More Acting Carrie" (20m 19s)
This is an update/addition to the previous featurette, featuring new interviews with cast members, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg, and P.J. Soles. - This is just an extension of the previous featurette with the cast, in which many of the recollections/stories are repeated.

"Visualizing Carrie" (41m 33s)
An archival interview featurette, featuring interview with Director Brian De Palma, Screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, and Editor Paul Hirsch, and Art Director Jack Fisk, that deals with bringing the story from book to screen.

"Bucket of Blood" (23m 53s)
This is an interview with CARRIE's composer, Pino Donaggio. Via translation, Pino Donaggio says that CARRIE is a film that changed his life, and that Brian De Palma sought him out, sue to his work on the film, DON'T LOOK NOW. Donaggio says that the composer likely would have been Bernard Hermann, who De Palma had worked with prior. Unfortunately, Hermann died during the time that he was working on TAXI DRIVER. So with that, he paid homage to Hermann's work, while applying his own style to it. Donaggio also talks about his approach to the music when it comes to the film's moods, and how things were recorded, and the various instruments used.

Horror's Hallowed Grounds (11m 25s)
Host Sean Clark visits various CARRIE shooting locations. First, it's the outdoor Basketball court, which the volleyball scene as shot. We then visit the field, where a couple of moments in the film were shot, as well as the empty lot, in which the film's finale was shot. Clark next visits the location of character Sue Snell's house. Unfortunately, the original house has been torn down, with another built in its place. Visited next, is the location of the pharmacy, and tuxedo store. After that, Clark visits the pig farm, as well as the building, where the iconic prom scene was filmed.

"Singing Carrie" (6m 23s)
This is an archival featurette about the production of "Carrie: The Musical", which starred Betty Buckley, this time as Carrie's mother, "Martha White".

Also included:

- TV & Radio spots
- Behind the Scenes photos
- Still Gallery: Posters & Lobby Cards
- Text Gallery: Stephen King and the Evolution of CARRIE
3/10 Just the sight of heavy blood, and other instances of blood, as well as implied gore.
7/10 The scoring by Pino Donaggio, is fantastic is the way it fits the film's every mood. AS said above, a lot of the scoring is in the vein of Bernard Hermann, yet with a touch of Donaggio's own style.
1976's CARRIE is a Horror classic, and with very good reason. It has a protagonist one can relate to, as well as a type of antagonist that is recognizable to almost anyone. It is essentially a story of the bullied getting the last laugh....with a vengeance. It's a film that has near perfect execution, a helping factor as to why it remains potent no matter how many years have passed since its theatrical debut.

Special Features include

- NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Negative
Original Theatrical Trailer (HD)
Carrie Franchise Trailer Gallery

DISC TWO: - NEW More Acting Carrie featuring interviews with Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg and P.J. Soles (20 minutes)
- NEW Writing Carrie an interview with screenwriter Lawrence Cohen (29 minutes)
- NEW Cutting Carrie an interview with editor Paul Hirsch (25 minutes)
- NEW Shooting Carrie an interview with director of photography Mario Tosi (15 minutes)
- NEW Casting Carrie n interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg (16 minutes)
- NEW Bucket of Blood a new interview with composer Pino Donaggio (24 minutes)
- NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds Revisiting The Film's Original Locations (11 minutes)
- Acting Carrie Interviews With Actors Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Priscilla Pointer and P.J. Soles And Art Director Jack Fisk And Director Brian De Palma (43 minutes)
- Visualizing Carrie Interviews With Brian De Palma, Jack Fisk, Lawrence D. Cohen, Paul Hirsch (41 minutes)
- A Look At "Carrie: The Musical" (6 minutes)
- TV Spots
- Radio Spots
- Still Gallery Rare Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards
- Stephen King And The Evolution Of Carrie Text Gallery


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