• The Corruption Of Chris Miller (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: April 23rd, 2019.
    Director: Juan Antonio Bardem
    Cast: Jean Seberg, Marisol, Barry Stokes, Perla Cristal, Gerard Tichy
    Year: 1973
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    The Corruption Of Chris Miller – Movie Review:

    Directed by Juan Antonio Bardem and released in 1973, The Corruption Of Chris Miller introduces us to its titular character, played former Spanish child star Marisol, a young woman that lives with her stepmother Ruth (Jean Seberg), a well to do artist from London. Their home is a massive old mansion out in the country, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and quite secluded but they don’t get along so well. Still, these two women share a common source of pain – the disappearance of Chris’ father/Ruth’s husband, an issue that Chris, recently released from a stint away in a clinic, holds a grudge over.

    Their lives take an interesting turn when a young man named Barney (Barry Stokes) arrives. A drifter without much in the way of opportunity aside from working as an occasional gigolo, he soon finds himself lucky enough to work as their handyman. Ruth, however, has other plans for the young man. Around the same time that Barney arrives, however, a killer with a knack for using a scythe on wealthy older women arrives on the scene and starts knocking people off, leading Chris and Ruth to suspect Barney of murder.

    Beautifully shot by cinematographer Juan Gelpi (who also shot Crypt Of The Living Dead), The Corruption Of Chris Miller is a cracking thriller, the kind that gets pretty much everything right. It’s paced nicely, moving things at a deliberate pace without ever feeling slow, and it’s a very attractive looking picture with some great camera work. The score from Waldo de los Rios (who also scored The House That Screamed), suits the tone of the story very nicely indeed and the story, written by Santiago Moncada, the man behind Ricco and Swamp Of The Ravens, might go off the rails a tad for the big finish, but that issue aside, it’s clever, tense stuff. Juan Antonio Bardem directs with style but never forgets that the substance matters just as much, if not more. Things come together very nicely here.

    Performances are pretty solid across the board from our three main leads. Stokes, who fans will recognize Norman J. Warren’s Prey (also released recently on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome), is quite good here even if the role doesn’t ask him to stretch all that much as an actor (there are similarities between this part and the one he plays in Prey). But he’s fine. He looks the part and handles the material well. Marisol is also good in her role, she’s an interesting looking woman and a solid casting choice. Jean Seberg, however, is the one who makes the strongest impression. Here the star of Preminger’s St. Joan and Godard’s Breathless delivers some very strong work, making the most of the interesting character that she was chosen to play.

    The Corruption Of Chris Miller – Blu-ray Review:

    The Corruption Of Chris Miller is presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 widescreen with a new transfer taken from a 4k scan of the original 35mm negative. The English language opening and closing credits look a little bit rough but aside from that, this transfer is fantastic. Detail is very strong, colors look gorgeous and the image is nearly pristine. Skin tones look perfect, there’s nice, deep black levels here and the transfer provides a lot of depth too. There are no problems with even a trace of edge enhancement nor are there any issues with noise reduction or compression artifacts.

    Audio chores are handled by your choice of English or Spanish DTS-HD Mono tracks with separate subtitle options supplied for both. The quality here is also solid, both tracks are clean, clear and nicely balanced. No problems here.

    Extras start off with an archival career retrospective interview with director Juan Antonio Bardem that runs just over fifty-eight-minutes in length. Taken from a Spanish television broadcast, the piece finds Bardem interviewed by film festival programmer Diego Galán. They do touch on The Corruption Of Chris Miller a little bit, but the focus is more on Bardem’s other films and on his politics. They cover different films that he made in different genres and the social aspects of some of these productions, his involvement in production company UNINCI and quite a bit more. It’s an interesting piece that sheds a lot of light on a filmmaker that deserves to better known outside of his native Spain than he is.

    Also quite interesting is Jean Seberg: Movie Star, a twelve-minute short film exploring the life and times of actress Jean Seberg. She had quite an interesting life and career, having worked with Otto Preminger in hear early days and then later Jean-Luc Godard, but some of the more personal details about her life off camera, like how she got involved with the Black Panthers, is even more interesting.

    There’s some interesting alternate material from the Spanish version here as well, including the four-minute ending, a minute-long partial title sequence and a short thirty-second insert shot that shows off the newspaper headline about an event in the film.

    Rounding out the extras on the disc is a theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack release, we also get a DVD version of the movie and Vinegar Syndrome packages this with some nice reversible cover artwork.

    Slip cover collectors will be interested in buying directly from Vinegar Syndrome where they can get a limited-edition slip featuring exclusive (and super cool) artwork from Earl Kessler Jr. that is limited to 2,000 pieces.

    The Corruption Of Chris Miller – The Final Word:

    Stylish, suspenseful and just weird enough to stand out, The Corruption Of Chris Miller is a top notch giallo that benefits from some great direction, excellent cinematography and strong performances. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray is a God-send for fans of the film, presenting the movie in excellent shape and with a very nice array of supplements as well. Highly recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized The Corruption Of Chris Miller Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. AngelGuts's Avatar
      AngelGuts -
      Great review of this superb film. BluRay is gold.