• Editor, The

    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: September 2nd, 2015.
    Director: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy
    Cast: Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney, Matthew Kennedy, Paz de la Huerta, Laurence R. Harvey, Udo Kier
    Year: 2014
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    The Movie:

    This latest feature from Astron-6, the Canadian production house that brought us Manborg and Father’s Day, introduces us to a man named Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks). While he used to be the best editor in the business, an accident that took his fingers has led to a decline in work for him. Oh sure, he’s got wooden fingers now, but it’s not the same. Also on the decline is the acting career of his wife, Josephine (Paz de la Huerte), once one of the most popular actresses in Italy and now content to laze about their home watching TV.

    Ray takes on an apprentice named Bella (Samantha Hill) who seems to inspire him a bit. She’s pretty and keen to learn from him and they do work well together, but the film that they’re editing has some issues. When the leading man in the film is found murdered, things start to get complicated. A cop named Peter Porfiry (Matthew Kennedy) is called in to work the case but as good as he is, Peter is having trouble figuring out who the killer is… particularly as there doesn’t seem to be a motive. While he works various angles, supporting actor Cal Konitz (Conor Sweeney) does what he can to get the director to put him in the lead.

    When all signs start to point to Ciso as the killer, Porfiry think he’s found his man, but there’s a lot more to this than either the cop or the editor realize…

    A very tongue-in-cheek love letter to giallo films and Italian horror pictures of the late sixties through to the early eighties (the film references, sometimes more subtly than not, films like The Beyond, Hitch-Hike and even The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh along with the better known black gloved killer movies), The Editor is a blast. Some will take issue with the lampooning of some very influential horror films, movies that were meant to be taken seriously and that very often succeeded in that. But let’s face it – there are enough ridiculous elements through the giallo cycle to fuel plenty of send ups. The fact that this one is done as well as it is makes it not only funny, but periodically pretty suspenseful too. You’re not meant to take any of this seriously, that’s made evident by the over the top nudity and murder set pieces that begin right with the opening scene (in which the lovely and talented Tristan Risk appears), but the film is played completely straight.

    The film also gets the look right. Sure it takes what filmmakers like Bava and Argento did and goes way over the top with it but these Astron-6 guys did their homework. The camera angles, the settings, the way in which the murders are shot, the fashions, the furnishing – they’ve done a good job of recreating the right sort of environment for all of this to play out in. Complimenting this is the soundtrack, featuring compositions from Jeremy Gillespie, Norman Orenstein, Vercetti Technicolor, Trevor Tuminski, Brian Wiacek and yes, even Goblin’s own Claudio Simonetti. Again, it’s all very over the top but you can’t help but get pulled into it.

    The cast are just as impressive. Adam Brooks does his best Franco Nero here, he looks the part and creates an interesting, almost tragic character. Matthew Kennedy channels a young Donald Sutherland (something not lost on the writers) perfectly while Conor Sweeney plays the young buck character with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm. Then there’s the supporting players – Paz de la Huerte is just fucking nuts as Ciso’s wife. She can’t help but constantly berate him but we know that she too has a past, and with that past comes a secret. We also get some amusing cameos from Laurence R. Harvey as a priest (who Portiry hilariously keeps referring to as ‘wizard!’) and the great Udo Kier as a psychiatrist. All three of those better known guest stars have got their own strange sort of screen presence and it’s used very effectively in this movie.


    The Editor looks excellent in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 widescreen. The first thing you’ll notice is the colors, which are reproduced beautifully through the movie. As the whole thing is an not to giallo cinema, particularly the films of Argento and Bava, expect lots of primary lighting to bath large portions of the frame in pretty much every shot. Black levels stay nice and deep while skin tones look good as well. This was shot digitally and so there are obviously no issues with print damage to note, while detail is impressive and strong throughout. This one looks great in high definition.

    The English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track on the disc is also quite impressive. The score has that really great sort of pulsing vibrancy to it that a lot of the movies that inspired this picture also had, and that music sounds great when it’s spread out across the mix. We also get some fun directional effects in the kill scenes, properly balanced levels and easy to understand dialogue. Again, a top notch job on this part of the presentation. Optional subtitles are provided in English only and a DTD-HD 2.0 Stereo track is also available.

    The extras begin with a full length audio commentary from Astron-6’s Adam Brooks, Connor Sweeney and Matt Kennedy. If you’ve heard these guys speak before you know that they’ve got a sense of humor and that shines through here but not at the expense of information. Here they talk about casting the film, how some of the actors that wound up in were chosen, the locations, the gore effects, the music and a lot more. It’s a busy track but it’s pretty much packed with interesting stories about the making of this picture.

    The Blu-ray also includes a fifty-one minute long featurette called Making Movies Used To Be Fun that is essentially a making of documentary. All of the Astron-6 guys are featured here but so too is Udo Kier (who clutches a prosthetic severed heard during every frame of his interview), a surprisingly charming Laurence R. Harvey and, not to be outdone, Paz de la Huerta, who speaks from an alternate dimension about her acting abilities and how working on The Editor compared with working with Martin Scorsese. Additionally there’s a bunch of behind the scenes footage in here showing off how some of the murder set pieces were put together, plenty of clips from various aspects of the shoot and more. It’s quite well done and genuinely interesting. It not only covers what went right during the making of the movie, but just as importantly what went wrong.

    Rounding out the extras are brief but interesting featurettes that cover the music used in the film (featuring Hook Lab and their methods!) and the poster art that was created for the picture by 'artist' Brett Parson, a ninety-second Astron-6 Film Festival Introduction piece (basically a gag, but a good one), and a handful of deleted scenes. Animated menus and chapter stops are also included. As this is a combo pack release a DVD version of the movie is also housed inside the Blu-ray case which in turn fits inside a nice little cardboard slipcover.

    The Final Word:

    Shout! Factory has given Astron-6’s The Editor an excellent release. The transfer is gorgeous, the audio is very strong and the extras are plentiful, interesting and in their own way sometimes as entertaining as the movie itself. As to the feature, giallo fans who don’t need to take everything absolutely seriously all of the time should have a lot of fun with this – you always get the impression that the people making the movie are having fun with their inspiration, rather than making fun of their inspiration. It’s a wicked slice of black comedy with more than enough sex and violence to give genre fans what they want, and then some.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!